Member # 6091
LET US PRETEND
It is requested that the reader engage in the popular childhood game of Let’s Pretend. Let’s pretend that Jesus Christ’s first ministry did not occur 2,000 years ago but rather in recent times and centered in the United States of America.
Let us pretend…..
Anticipation smothered Assembly Hall like a rapacious fog oozing from a Poe novel. Over 20,000 members of the We’re Messiah’s Disciples (WMD) organization had packed the auditorium to hear the words of a Man who had captured the hook, line and sinker of their imagination. Overwhelmingly, the American political right-wing had been the first to embrace the message of this Man called Jesus Christ and today’s event would be a celebration of their righteousness, an attitude trumpeted in the smash bestseller The Moral Superiority of the Right .
The hall was festooned with banners and bunting. Intermingled with the red, white and blue were giant medallions representing Wal-Mart, Enron, ExxonMobil and other corporate sponsors. Banners proclaiming “Liberalism is the Root of All Evil”, “Jesus and the GOP”, “On the 7th Day God Didn’t Rest…He made the Republicans”, contributed to the festive atmosphere. The event would be televised on pay-per-view and reports indicated that sales had been brisk.
Surveying the audience as it shuffled through an entranceway that appeared not unlike a giant eye of a needle, Jesus acknowledged many seated closest to the stage. Among those in the front row were George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Bob and Elizabeth Dole. He peered at Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, secured in their obligatory seats in the far right aisle. Dick and Lynn Cheney were exchanging pleasantries with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, while Bill O’Reilly and Shawn Hannity were plotting who knows what. You knew that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell just had to be there and sitting next to them was James Dobson.
“Holy Moses, thought Jesus, all the luminaries are here.” While the apostle, Simon Peter, regaled the audience with the latest news on Jesus’ miracles and the obligatory “the water fountains are filled with wine and slices of bread with poached salmon are available in the lobby” jokes, Jesus turned thoughtful.
“Psst, James, John, come here.”
“What is it, Sir”, John asked.
“Want to see something funny?”, asked Jesus. “Watch me turn this audience into a horde of stampeding elephants fleeing for the exits.”
“But why, Jesus? These are among your most devoted disciples and……..”
Before James could finish, a tumult of cheers and applause interrupted as Peter introduced Jesus.
“Sounds like a State of the Union address, doesn’t it” shouted Peter. Jesus nodded and strode to the podium.
Outside the Hall an unrelenting rain had calmed to a drizzle. A withered, middle-aged man leaned on his cane. Eyes etched in pain, he spoke with hope.
“Just my leg. The pain, I can’t take it. Tet Offensive, you know.” “I don’t know how they saved it, but sometimes I almost wish they hadn’t”, he confided to those who weren’t listening. “I’d like to be in there, but it’s invite only.”
“I’ve heard about His miracles. Some say He’s a charlatan, but I don’t think so. Anyways, it’s not what He does that gets me but what He says. A man’s actions can fool, just look at those magicians, but words….? Even if the tongue speaks deceit it’s hard for the face to wrap it in fancy paper and a bow. Well, that’s what I think, anyway.”
“Yeah, sure,” spoke an impatient reporter from the Fox News Channel. “Hey Shep, Shep, I just got an exclusive with William Bennett. How about you?”
“No good,” said the other reporter. “Ran into ‘em last night at the casino. Nothin’ doin’.”
Suddenly the doors to the Hall flung open and a barrage of people roiled through them like the polluted waters of a dam break pillaging an innocent hillside.
“It’s all your fault”, George W. berated Laura. “Today’s the anniversary of my taxpayer-funded stadium but, noooo, I had to fly up here for this!”
Closely behind them were a dazed Ronald Reagan and Nancy. “Well, …” “Oh shush, Ronnie,” interrupted Nancy. “Our astrologer advised us not to attend, but we went against her better wishes.
Bob Dole brushed aside reporters. “I got a Viagra commercial to do.” His wife averred and indicated that she was due to give a fundraising speech at the Family Values Leadership Council’s annual 250,000 dollar a plate God, Families and Apple Pie extravaganza.
Newt Gingrich was brusque: “Get lost. I have a book signing to attend and then I have a meeting with my divorce attorney.”
Stern-faced, Tom Delay kept a brisk pace insisting that he was innocent of any charges, past, present or future. “I’ll resign anyway, that’s how honorable I am.”
Dick and Lynn Cheney were not arm-in-arm. “….And you wanted me to put this guy on the Board of Directors of Halliburton….”
Bill O’Reilly, his mind spinning, advertised that he would “expose the truth about this guy on tonight’s Factor ” and then refused response to questions concerning pending illicit phone sex charges.
Prancing down the steps was Ann Coulter, malevolent eyes flaring at Rush Limbaugh. “I knew it. I knew it. I knew he was a liberal. Wait’ll I write a book about this guy.”
“Yeah”, said Limbaugh smugly. “I can’t believe it! And I actually said this wacko was the Messiah. What the hell am I going to tell my dittoheads now? ... Hey Bob, Bob Dole, got any extra Viagra you don’t need?”
Frantically chasing a dumbfounded James Dobson, Shawn Hannity stopped to offer: “Tell ‘em this guy’s the product of the biased liberal news media, Ted Kennedy, and a handful of Rinos, and then speculate that Hillary has a part in it. Works every time.”
A horrified Jerry Falwell was on the phone with an assistant. “…..yah, and tell this Christ fellow we’ve changed our minds and get me another commencement speaker.”
A twelve-year-old boy sporting a Neo-Cons for Christ button approached conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg.
“Is it true, Mr. Goldberg, is it true? Somebody said that Man inside is going to raise FDR and JFK from the dead. Say it ain’t so, Jo. Say it ain’t so.”
Inside the tomb-like auditorium the apostles stood nonplussed. Caught between confusion and anger Peter confronted Jesus. “I don’t get it. These people believed in you. They followed you. They believed that you are the Son of Man. Heaven help us, but they were your disciples.”
Hiding the sadness in His eyes, Jesus turned away. “They are not my disciples, Peter. They never were.”
As the pandemonium outside the Hall dissipated, the Vietnam vet noticed a crisply attired V.I.P. hurrying by and asked apologetically: “Excuse me, but … what happened in there?” Looking askance, the corporate executive glanced at his diamond-studded wristwatch, a corporate perk which had been assembled by outsourced labor in a third world cesspool for purposes of profit maximization so as to exceed Wall Street expectations, and realized that he was late for a downsizing meeting. “Hey, gimp, why don’t you go get a job,” he muttered regaining his step.
Splashed by the puddles of rainwater the vet shuddered as limousines with their smoked windows sped down the deserted boulevard.
In a dark corner of the auditorium the beady eyes of Judas Iscariot glared at the stage. “Izzy”, as the media had dubbed him, had become the darling of the radio and cable TV circuit and his insides were being devoured by a ferocity he had not known. “How could He … how could He have done this. We could have milked this crowd for all it was worth but He had to say it. Fool! Messiah! He just had to say: ‘Render therefore unto Bill and Hillary Clinton the things which be Bill and Hillary Clinton’s and unto God the things which be God’s.’ * Didn’t He even realize who He was addressing?”
Onstage, Jesus glanced at the dark recesses and smiled.
“Well, men, it’s time to go. There’s someone outside I have to see and I feel like I have a miracle in Me.”
Then the sun melted the angry clouds and a gentle breeze announced the glory of God’s good day.
* Quote based upon the belief of most in attendance that a co-presidency existed.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Sep 2006
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