Thursday, June 09, 2005

Operator, Information, Get Me Jesus on the Line

Christians are retaking the world one phone call at a time. Pounding same-sex marriages, gays in general and atheists with the power of the pound key.

If you’re a gay atheist who’s married to someone of the same sex…you’re screwed, pal.

United American Technologies will get you. They’re offering a special phone service for Christians with a…less tolerant…bent.

Check out comedian Eugene Mirman’s encounter with these good people. Make sure to take a listen to the conversations he recorded. I have nothing to add.

I blame the Republicans of course. Granted, I blame the Republicans if the toaster oven burns my pop tart… But that doesn’t mean that the Republicans aren’t to blame for this too.

Whenever there’s a Republican in the white house, the entire nation goes coo-coo for Christianity. It becomes a real social issue. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you’re a Christian.

But lately, it’s been taking a weird turn. I think it’s because George W. Bush is such a nonsensical nincompoop that the religious wack-jobs out there feel more comfortable trying to break into the mainstream.

I mean, if Americans can swallow the war in Iraq, they’ll eat anything. Even bigoted hatred.

Especially if you can piggy-back religion with patriotism. Of course it doesn’t hurt that gays who want to get married love terrorists.

It’s true. Read the bible.

And with the onslaught of Christian-themed TV shows hitting the air lately, and Dan Brown’s conspiracy machine cranking out dubious science and reckless theory, Jesus has become quite a little celebrity.

As with all celebrities, we just can’t get enough of the guy.

We want to know everything! Where did he summer? Who did he date? What was his favorite spa? Is crucifixion really the fastest way to shed unwanted pounds?

And can Jesus’ death teach us all about the perils of pulmonary embolism?

Israeli researcher, Dr. Benjamin Brenner thinks it can. He’s recently postulated that Jesus didn’t actually die from blood loss on the cross, but rather it may have been a blood clot that traveled to his lungs that killed him.

“It is known that the common cause of death in the setting of multiple trauma, immobilization and dehydration is pulmonary embolism,” wrote Brenner. “This fits well with Jesus' condition and actually was in all likelihood the major cause of death of crucified victims.”

How immensely fascinating. I’ll bet Jesus would have liked to know this, huh?

“Mary…Mary…hey hon, look, I’m in excruciating pain up here what with my hands and feet having these huge spikes driven through them…”

“What is it Lord? What would you have me do? How can I make you more comfortable, Lord? Would you like me to anoint something? I don’t know what to do! I’m a wreck here!”

“No, no, hey, don’t worry too much about the anointing. It stings. But perhaps there is ONE little thing you can do for me?”

“Anything Lord!”

“Yeah…uh…could you ask around and see if, possibly, anyone has any HEPARIN on them? It’s an anticoagulant. I’d really be bummed if a blood clot made it to my lungs.”

Who really cares if Jesus had a blood clot? Not religious leaders. They feel that Dr. Brenner’s theory ignores the spiritual aspect of the crucifixion. They say that focusing on the physical part of Jesus’ death misses the point of the crucifixion. The suffering.

Evidently, none of the religious scholars have ever had deep vein thrombosis. It’s nasty stuff.

But sure, it’s missing the point. It’s meant to. But let’s not be pots and kettles here. As an atheist, I think that an argument about how a man claiming to be the son of God happened to shuffle off this mortal coil ignores a few…much larger…points of debate.

Jesus is a celebrity now. He’s not just a deity. Christians want more information than the bible gives. Even if it has to be mindless speculation. It’s fun to speculate. It’s fun to think about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Were they getting serious? Was it going to last?

If only there had been Oprah of Galilee. She would have cleared things right up. And Jesus could have showed his devotion to Mary M. by jumping all over her furniture.

Personally, I hope that it becomes accepted that Jesus did die of a blood clot. Then we could make it into something sacred.

The sacred blood clot.

“I’m sorry. You have deep vein thrombosis. Soon the blood clot will move to someplace bad and kill you. Unless we operate immediately…”

“Well what are you waiting for…operate already!”

“I’m sorry, we can’t do that. You shouldn’t have come to a hospital with ‘OUR LADY OF…’ in the title. Blood clots are sacred. Like cows to Hindus. But without all the weirdness.”

“So I’m going to die?!”

“There’s nothing we can do. It’s our religion. We can’t remove it. A blood clot killed Jesus you know.”

“But I’m JEWISH!”

“…How ironic.”

Fun Fact: Tom Cruise has a maniacal laugh that would make Hitler cringe in apprehensive terror.

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