Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Origin of Christianity

There was never one person named Jesus. There were two: Je and Sus. Sus was the charismatic one, the one whom people loved and listened to. He had flair and a way with words. Children adored him. But Sus had some moral shortcomings: a chequered past in the circus, and rumours of a wife and daughter abandoned in the country. How could an entire religion be built on such imperfection, despite his being a Messiah?

Je on the other hand was squeaky clean and morally impeccable. He prayed every morning, washed-up after breakfast and obeyed his mother. The very characteristics Sus was missing. But Je was dull, vocally monotone, and he always won the argument. But still, he was also a Messiah (although no-one remembers him submitting his application).

When the apostles came together for a drink on the evening after Sus’ ascension to heaven, they were utterly crestfallen when considering the coming media war with the Phariseen moral majority, not to mention the belittling jokes on street corners about paternity suits, or the wise-ass graffiti. A poor pillar on which to build the religion that would conquer the Roman Empire.

After a few straight shots of drip-stoned water, Peter came up with the idea of the composite character: Je-Sus. Je’s moral traits would be merged with Sus’ charisma and depth, airbrushing out Sus’ turpitude as well as Je’s cheerlessness.

“Je who?”, Magdalene said.

“You know, Je. The Messiah from Ashdod”, said Peter.

The apostles shrugged. No-one knew him in Jerusalem.

“That’s good! That’s good that no-one knows him! We can co-opt the morally good things, work them into the narrative, and if anyone finds out that we are talking about Je, not Sus, we can say that Je is, in fact, Sus, because his full name is Jesus! And if anyone brings up the dodgy bits out of Sus’ past, then we can say that the Sus they are talking about is another Sus, not our JE- Sus. It’s perfect!”

The apostles agreed, and celebrated with a few more snorts of 2BC drip-stone.

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