According to Kevin Smith's movie "Dogma", this is what upsets Jesus Christ the most about people--the shit that goes on in his name.

The movie cites the Inquisition, the Crusades (which I tend to call "the Charades"* when I'm feeling sarky), the evil missionaries and that crap in general. I think ol' Kevin might have left out a bit in the interest of not getting lynched for his movie...but I have no such interests.

Let's talk about the shit that gets carried out in his name TODAY.

Televangelism. They say that if the Christ were around today, he'd be on TV. Well, ANYTHING would be better than the asshole creeps that are on it now! We all know that as soon as something sells in America, it's meaning is pretty much doomed; this is probably the epitome of that postulate. Some guy--not even a nice or a good-looking or a philanthropist kinda guy, but a greasy, sleazy money-hogging fucker--screaming "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!" into a microphone because he knows it'll trigger that spending switch on the herd. Not Jesus' flock, mind you; these guys preach for the hyenas--the only people dumb enough to think they can buy their way into Paradise.

The Pope. Yeah, I'll go screaming straight to Hell if I'm wrong, but I think the Pope is probably as Anti-what-Jesus-meant as you can get. Not only is the Holy Roman Church the one that slaughtered Jesus in the first place, according to the Story, but they've managed to remain amazingly corrupt for centuries by using the same ol' switching-sides method. Now, I have this personal axiom: Never trust the Truth coming from a bad guy. And every time I hear the Vatican open it's Head Puppet's mouth, what comes out is pure evil. Women can't be priests (because the HRC doesn't recognize a female as having a soul of her own). Don't use condoms. Homosexual people are going to hell. And intolerance upon intolerance, compounded with insensitivity and forty thousand gallons of preachy self-righteousness. And every time I turn around, some nice old lady who doesn't have a thing against anybody, gay or not, is dropping a dollar into the Vatican's help-us-be-assholes basket. Didn't we learn when we caught them running drug money a couple decades ago???

The Convincers. I separate the Convincers from the televangelists because their goals are different, though the outcome tastes as bad in either realm. The Convincers include every f*cking Mormon on a bicycle, the damned Jehova's Witnesses, the Mennenites with their awful pamphlets, even the seemingly-harmless Gideons who leave the bibles all over hotel rooms. Well, at least the Gideons are nice about it. The televangelists, we all know, want money. They don't give a fat fuck about your soul and I think everyone who still has one probably knows that. The Convincers are special because they've even managed to convince themselves that they're doing you a favor and saving your soul and really being damn nice guys and gals all the way. I hate dealing with these people because I always feel so bad treating them like shit, when I know they think they're being nice, and really they're just too damn stupid to understand what pieces of shit they're being. Jesus was all into missionary work--that is, missionary work; not missionary annoyance. How many pamphlets do you remember the Christ passing out? How many dinners did he interrupt to issue dire warnings and pleas to people at their front door? Not one, I'll bet; and I'll be right if mythological accuracy is what you look for in a parable. Jesus, be he man or god or story or all three, healed the sick for missionary work. He offered comfort and friendship, not pamphlets and a sales pitch. In reality, the Jesus figure much more resembles a Buddha than the missionary zealot most people worship him as. But then again, a poor guy doing nice things until we kill him for it doesn't sell very much, does it now?

*"Charade"--not as in "pretend thing that didn't really happen" but rather as in "thing whose premise was a lie right from the get".
What about:

Violent Anti-Abortion Zealots. Some how I don't think Jesus had it in mind to blow up clinics and kill doctors because they are doing something deemed "immoral." What was all that "Do unto others" stuff about then? I don't remember Jesus blowing up any Pagan doctors.

Censorship. Anyone and everyone heard about the controversial Virgin Mary art exhibit in NYC in early 2000. You know, where someone had made a portrait of the Virgin with elephant dung. The dung is not disrespectful, and is meant to sanctify the art, in a classic African art-form. However, people got insulted by art and tried to have the exhibit closed. And I won't even bother to start talking about music. The "Religious Right" is all over that shit.

Then again, messed-up stuff happens in the name of every religious leader, in every religion. The goings on between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East is a prime example. It is just that, especially in the English speaking world, Christianity is the easiest to bash. It is the stereotyping that we all fall prey to so easily that lets us see whats wrong with one thing, without seeing that in ourselves. Then again, if you are an Atheist, you probably feel a bit vindicated right now.

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