Divide & Conquer


“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke 12:51)

The Prince of Peace? Yeah, right. Peace on earth, good will toward men? In your dreams, baby. Take your whirled peas and toss them in the compost pile. If there’s one thing the Son of God did not come to do it was make nice. Contrary to popular Kitschianity, that savior knock knock knocking on your door is packing some heavy artillery.

So what’s the master plan? Pretty simple, actually. Here’s the scoop from the Boy himself: “From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Not exactly family counsellor material. Apparently Jesus thinks it’s his business to screw things up. Take your nice happy suburban family unit, throw in a flaming Messiah cocktail, and watch the whole thing blow to smithereens. Now that’s some good news, eh?

Jesus has a problem: he’s a truth-teller—a freaking psychopathic dope dealer of the first order who can’t leave well enough alone. The system may be working just fine, thank you very much, but Jesus feels compelled to call a spade a spade, kick a few tables over, spit in an eye or two, and “woe to whomever” himself right out of the running for Mr. Congeniality. Worse, his targets for his T-bombs are the nice people who just want a little goddamn peace and quiet. His cross hairs (get it?) are tattooed on the foreheads of every Dick, Jane, and Spot who have a coexist bumper sticker on their SUV or Volvo. It ain’t nice.

But this contentious Christ is not to be confused with the frothing self-righteous, Bible-thumping banshees that plague the land today like boils on the ecclesiastic butt. Jesus, may have been a dentist drill darling, but to his credit, he hated that part of the game. “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!” It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

When black and white has gone all gray, nobody finds his way home. So Jesus shows up with the acetylene torch of truth and burns his way through the god goulash. There ain’t no Middle Earth when he’s finished, only a narrow way and a toxic yellow brick road. You want fuzzy comfy? Ignore the guy at the door. You want bone-jarring exactitudes? Open up and take your chances. As the prophet Malachi promised, “You will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Good luck with that.

Hello Samurai Savior. Good bye yellow brick road.


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