Ad Majorem Gloriam Dei
Dostoyevsky often wrote about what would happen if Jesus were to return to the modern world for a moment. Would he appear in silence, radiating love amid the still-glowing embers of an auto de fe in the darkest years of the Grand Inquisitor's reign? Or would he be driven to madness, like Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, his infinite compassion unable to surmount the jealousy, malevolence and greedy violence that dominate the hearts of his straying flock? What would he say to rulers who spend a thousand times more money and effort building up the machinery of death and destruction while children starve needlessly? Would he still render unto Caeser that which is Caesar's, or would he command the armies of the world to lay down their arms in celebration of the new brotherhood of man?
Fortunately we now know the answer, and with surprising specificity. Jesus wants us to use depleted uranium laser-guided munitions to incinerate crowded neighborhoods in Baghdad. He wants Fallujah and Najaf razed to the ground like a new Carthage. He wants taxi drivers savagely beaten to death in Bagram air force base for the amusement of our modern legionnaires. He rejoices in the needless death of Iraqi children because of fetid, contaminated drinking water and looted hospitals. He sneers at those who comment on the no-bid contract money changers in the Temple. Every smashed city, every young child whose life leaks out into the thirsty desert sands, every scream from the torture chambers brings joy and gladness to His heart.
We know all this because the Prince of Peace said it directly to George W. Bush. The Palestinian foreign minister met the Anointed One after the tank divisions had smashed into Baghdad and heard a first-hand account of how he got The Mission. "God would tell me, 'George, go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan', and I did. And then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq', and I did."
Of course Jesus didn't specifically say to "go and build human sex pyramids in Abu Ghraib," or "leave these countries a radioactive wasteland from depleted uranium munitions," or "invent some ridiculous story about drones of death spraying anthrax spores over Washington D.C. to get Congressional approval for My Holy War," but presumably He knows you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Jesus came to me as well in a dream. "No more of this namby-pamby Christianity," he said. "Times change. That was all two thousand years ago. We need to make a couple of textual revisions. Get a pen."
"Scratch out 'blessed are the peacemakers'. Let's change that to 'Blessed are the owners of Alliant Techsystems, who will manufacture 1.2 billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition this year so we can light up more evil-doers'. I'll give you a tip, kid--I'd definitely buy some stock in those guys, if you get what I mean."
"Get rid of 'Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man'. Let's change that one to 'Blessed are Rick Santorum and James Dobson for finally socking it to those filthy faggots'."
"'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...'" Jesus chuckled a bit at that one. "Boy, was I young. That should be 'Let my favorite gang of drug addicts, gambling fiends and sexual predators--Limbaugh, Bennett and O'Reilly--cast a whole bunch of stones without their glass houses falling in on them'."
"Hmmm... those ones about 'whatever you neglected to do unto the least of these, you neglected to do unto Me... blessed are the poor... easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle... . Did I really say this? OK, how about 'Blessed is Barbara Bush for pointing out to those good-for-nothing darkies sitting in the Houston Astrodome that they ought to be grateful that My storm set them free from their miserable hovels so they cold enjoy some classic Texas hospitality'? Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Really brings home the compassion in 'Compassionate Conservatism'."
I was a bit shocked. "But, Jesus," I whined, "these are awfully big changes. Are you sure you want us to run around the world raining death from the skies and creating a new global imperium in Your name? I mean, we're killing a lot of people here, and we've got bodies rotting in the streets of New Orleans..."
"Don't sweat it, kid. Stuff happens, as Rummy said. Now follow me and let's go have a cigar with George and Bandar, and let the dead bury the dead." He nudged me in the ribs. "Get it?"
This new Jesus sure is a hoot. I'll have to tell George to invite Him to next year's White House press corps dinner. He'll leave Laura standing.