Jesus returns, moves to St. Paul

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Jesus of Nazareth returns to earth to rapture the faithful to paradise. He is utterly dismayed upon arrival to find that a vast preponderance of said faithful have wildly misinterpreted His teachings and become bigoted, hateful cretins in dire need of a lesson on being a good Christian.

Rather than fed, the poor are reviled but the wealthy placed upon pedestals no matter how greedy and unethical they are in their business dealings. Prisoners are not comforted but given mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses and no chance for employment upon their release because most business owners don’t hire convicted felons.

Single mothers are decried as whores and cited as the reason for all of society’s woes. Immigrants are portrayed as rapists and murders, even as they mow yards, pick fruit and contribute payroll taxes they will never directly benefit from. The crippled are determined to suffer from pre-existing conditions and tossed off their health insurance.

War and the military are worshiped, and the profits of large corporations are held in higher priority than the health of the planet and the future of the human race.

Although Jesus is shocked and appalled to discover that these markedly un-Christ-like stances are being carried out in His name, the one that bothers Him the most, really gets His goat and grinds His gears, is the strange and inexplicable hatred of gay people. It just defies explanation.

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Jesus. Libturd.

Upon being called an “Un-American LibTurd Commie Snowflake” by Sean Hannity on his radio show, Jesus decides that the flock really needs a “Come to Jesus Moment.” He can’t directly involve Himself as that would be cheating. They will have to figure it out before they go to any kind of paradise.

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What kind of cupcake would Jesus eat?

Therefore, Jesus, who is going by Chuy to keep a low profile, takes a job at a gay-owned bakery in St. Paul, Minn. In an up and coming neighborhood, The Cupcakery is a lovely establishment owned by a nice couple, Fred and James, who resigned their positions in the private sector — Fred was a mechanical engineer and James a mortgage underwriter — to pursue their true passion: craft cupcakes.

Chuy enjoys the black forest chocolate with maple bacon crumbles. He loves His work. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like work, and He hasn’t been this happy since that weekend with Mary Magdalene at the Dead Sea resort.

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“I readily admit it. I’ve been kind of a jerk. I’m sorry.”

He gets along with his coworkers, in particular Vice President Mike Pence. Wrecked with guilt upon realizing he had used his Christian faith and position of power to harm others, Pence resigned and took a job washing dishes at the bakery. He prefers the plain yellow with chocolate frosting. He seeks atonement.

On weekends, Chuy volunteers at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Minneapolis. He sports his “I stand with Planned Parenthood” t-shirt and cracks the slightest, barely perceptible smile whenever the protesters scream, “You are going to burn in hell, baby killer!”

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I’d tell them that Planned Parenthood mostly does cancer screenings, but, sigh, what’s the point? 

In which I cement my place in hell via Newton

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Thanks, but I just came in here to use the urinal.

There I stood in front of a urinal inside a mental health clinic in Arvada. Someone had placed a religious tract behind the flush handle. Two things popped into my head:

  1. I wonder if this person who saw fit to pester me on how to get to heaven is one of those people who also doesn’t want a transgender person in the adjacent stall.
  2. Putting a religious pamphlet inside a bathroom at a mental health office seems like preying on people already feeling low. It’s like going to village full of starving Afghans and telling them that Islam sucks.

My religious upbringing was somewhat limited. I credit this in part to my mother and father having been brought up in religious households. My father, in particular, came up with a hell fire Baptist pastor, which turned him off on religion. It was weird to hear the non-denominational minister read psalms at my father’s funeral because one of his favorite sayings was “Fuck God and Die.”

I visited my paternal grandparents in Wichita, Kansas when I was about 10-years-old, and they took me to church. While I’m no religious scholar, the pastor opening his sermon with an invective about abortion being murder struck me as odd. Remember: this is the town where an abortion doctor was shot in the head inside a church.

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Jesus would have been OK with it. 

Before that, my parents took us to a Unitarian church in Albuquerque, New Mexico for about a year. Unitarian churches are strange places. They had women pastors who performed gay weddings long before performing gay weddings were socially acceptable. You could say they started that whole “open and affirming” thing. (If you are an open and affirming church and disagree with this, send angry letters to the Colorado Daily. Att: John Bear’s editor.)

Although Buddhists and Hindus and the occasional atheist came to church, it still had a Christian tinge to it if I recall correctly. We did the story of the birth of Jesus play. I was one of the three wisemen. We had no rehearsals, and the Sunday school teacher read us our lines during the one performance in front of the stained glass windows.

I was also in the chorus. What songs we sang elude me, but I wore a clip on tie and I blew my nose onto the sleeve of my blue sweater. My parents must have been so proud.

 

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The strawberry Newton. A hell worthy snack. 

My favorite memory, however, is snack time in Sunday school. One day in particular. They served strawberry Newtons. I was only allowed one. Finding that to be unreasonable, I ate one, grabbed two more and started on the second.

“How many cookies did you eat,” a girl asked.

“One,” I said through a mouthful of cookie, obviously lying.

“You’re lying,” she said and turned away, yelling “Teacher!”

I did the only thing I could think of. I ran. I hid beneath the slide and finished my cookies. I’m going to go to hell when I die. But I love Newtons, so it was worth it.