As I write this there are Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem thronging the Via Dolorosa, some of them lugging wooden crosses as their Savior reputedly did long ago, reliving his “stations of the cross” and all the bloody lore and gore of the foundational events of perhaps the weirdest eschatological narratives in the history belief—a renegade rabbi undergoing an ugly death to pay for the sins of all of those who would follow him. Weird, when you think about it? You bet. But at least we, if we don’t get eternal paradise on some cloud, we got Easter egg hunts, the thrill of biting the ears off of chocolate bunnies and, in my case as a young boy, my grandmother’s ambrosia Easter bread. We Roman Catholics also used to get a new outfit of clothes for Easter mass.
Now, if you want or dare, you can read another interpretation of these events in Sebastian Gerard’s just released The Babo Gospels: Essays and Parables on Faith and Reason. Not all of its 557 pages (hence $20 cost) are about the last days of “The Galilee Kid,” but you can learn that it’s now okay now to name your son Judas, and how that whole “three persons in one God” thing gave Jesus an identity crisis, among other blasphemies that would have earned the author an uncomfortable evening with the Spanish Inquisition.
I thought you might appreciate some of the early reviews.
I just knew in the First Grade that you would come to no good. I will have you know that I am in heaven now, ever since I keeled over at age 104 while polishing Monsignor Dolan’s’s Cadillac.
In your Babo Gospels you make fun of when I told you that heaven was looking into the face of God for eternity. Well, I will have you know Sebastian that I am in heaven now—except they changed the name to Mar-a-Lago. But what I said was true! I didn’t know back then that it would be only a picture of God, or that God looks a lot like that Donald Trump person.
Still, I love to look at that picture of him. I often ask the picture questions, but it just responds to “Make America Great Again.” And every few minutes its announces “Josephson, Josephson, table of 12; Josephson, your table is ready.”
I guess the Lord still must speak in mysterious ways. I wanted to ask Monsignor Dolan if he knows what it means but it seems the monsignor didn’t make it to heaven. I asked where he might be and they just say something about that business with the altar boys. I guess he went to the other place, and that’s where you are going to end up, you naughty boy, Sebastian. And you were so cute, in an Asian sort of way.
You get yourself to confession, right now!
[Transcribed from a message on my answering machine]
Actung, Sebastian Gerard,
It hass come to my attenzion via my vormer colleagues at Ze Congregation for ze Doctrine of der Faith zat you haff referred to me as “Ze Rat” in your your Babo Gospels. Now you are attacking ze dogma of Holy Mutter Church ass vell.
I am retired now but I still haff vays of dealing vis people like you und people who keep bringing up zat business about when I was in the Nazi Youth.
By ze vay, your teacher, Sister Ignatius was incorrect. I am writing a Papal encyclical announcing zat heaven iss not zimply a place vere one looks in ze face of Gott. Nein, heaven vill be like a big hofbrauhaus in ze sky, mit beermaids mit big bosoms, und Mother Theresa iss zinging “Pennies from Heaven” mit ze oompah band, und . . . und . . . ya . . . iss zompzing like zat. John-Pau IIl vill be there, too. He’s bringing ze sausages.
Just finished reading your Babo Gospels. Cool stuff. We think you’re just the sort of guy who might like to hook up with us. We don’t buy any of the heaven stuff either. But we do think that there are “friends” out there in the universe who want us to join them. And I’ve calculated that they will be coming by to pick us up on the 4 th of July from the rooftop of the Sycuan Casino. They’ll be using all the fireworks for cover, so that other people won’t be able to see their flying saucer.
Anyway, we’d like you to join us on this adventure. We won’t need any money where we’re going, so bring all yours and we’ll blow it in the casino before leaving. Oh, and our friends from space just want to be using our bodies, so we will have to be dead when they arrive. Don’t worry, I’m bringing the Kool Aid and cyanide.
See ya there,
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©2018, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 30.03.2018)