Review of: World Religions
Christianity: Ah, Christianity… I just can’t stay mad at you. I mean, sure, what with the Crusades and persecutions and religious wars and all, you’ve been responsible for the death of more innocent people than any other movement in history, but… Oh, come over here, you big lug! Come on! I just can’t stay mad! Gimme a hug! Ha ha ha! Noogie!
Anyway, here’s my favorite part of the New Testament. Matthew 12:1:
And it came to pass that Jesus went through the corn fields on the Sabbath day; and as they went, his disciples began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat them. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, your disciples do on the Sabbath day what is not lawful!
Yup. Jesus and his followers, walking through farmers’ fields and stealing corn. “Fetch me my rifle stick, Mama! That durn Jesus has gotten into the corn again!”¹ Hilarious. I was once a born-again Christian for six months (it’s a long story), and at one point I discussed this same passage with my pastor:
“…Hey,” I said, “you know in Matthew chapter twelve where Jesus is hungry and has no money and so he and his disciples steal corn from the fields?” And my pastor said: “Yes.” And then I said: “…Well, I’m broke and have no money, and today I shoplifted some ‘Power Bars’ from the Safeway so I would have something to eat. I feel really guilty about it, but should I feel guilty, since Jesus stole food too? And he stole from poor farmers; I at least stole from a huge corporation.” And my pastor said, and I quote: “Ummmmmmmmm…”
And eventually, after having dumb conversations like that for a while, I decided to drop the whole Christianity bit. So there’s that. Grade: B-minus
…So, but anyway, the thing I learned from being a born-again Christian for six months is that we’ve basically built a two thousand year-old religion that’s based on ignoring every single thing that Jesus ever said. Celebrating Christmas and being a pain in the ass to gay people? Not mentioned in the Bible. Giving all your money away to poor people and being nice to all people all of the time? Mentioned in the Bible many, many, many, many times. It’s like Jesus is this super-genius teacher guy and we’re all a bunch of learning-disabled retards with tinnitus—
Jesus: I SAID YOU HAVE TO BE POOR TO GO TO HEAVEN AND I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BEING MEAN TO GAY PEOPLE ANYWHERE!
Christian: Yessir! Got it! Celebrate Christmas, be mean to gays. Check.
Jesus: I DON’T EVEN MENTION GAY PEOPLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT!
Christian: Check. Burn all fags now. Got it.
Jesus: HELLO? …IS THIS THING EVEN ON?
…ANY-way, the mistake I made with my six month experiment in being a Christian (which is still too long of a story to explain) was in choosing born-again Christianity. Major, major bad call. Those fuckers are crazy! They actually believe all that weird shit in the Bible (well, except maybe for the parts about being nice). If I ever do the Christianity experiment again, I’m going with one of the versions where you don’t have to believe jack-shit, and you don’t have to do nothin’. What’s that version called again? Presbyterianism? Unitarianism? …Judaism?
Judaism: Well, my mom is Jewish, so that means, for better or for worse, that I’m Jewish too. Sweet. All the religions in the world to pick from, and my family picks fucking Judaism. It fucking figures. Oy.²
This isn’t even really a joke, but I have to say that even though I am Jewish, I’ve never really liked the word “Jew.” It’s kind of harsh and grating. Jew. Jew. Jew. Ugh. Me no like. Maybe it’s the “ew” in it or something, I don’t know.
Anyway, as we know, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all centered around the holy city of Jerusalem, and are still based there even to this day. As we also know, this has led to a few problems and tensions in the past, such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, two millennia of holy wars, etc., etc…. Well, worry no more! Problem solved. I’ve talked to a couple of other Jews about this, and we’ve decided to move the headquarters of Judaism to… Delaware. Mainly because of the lack of sales tax in Delaware. We figure that’s going to save the Jews a few bucks right there. Also, we figure that the people in Delaware will barely even notice us. …And finally, Delaware is a fine state, and is conveniently located next to my home state of Pennsylvania. So I can commute.
So there. The new holy state of Judaism is Delaware. Done. “Oh, thank you, Oliver, for ending two thousand years of cyclical religious violence.” No, no. No need to thank me. This is what I do. I’m a problem solver. I solve problems. Grade: A
Islam: Considering that you can be killed for even making fun of this religion, um, well… Congratulations, Islam! You get a super grade of: A-double-plus.*
*P.S.: Please send me to eternal heaven and give me my forty virgins now. Thanks, your good pal Oliver.
Taoism: The hardest part of Taoism is learning how to pronounce it. It’s with a “D.” “Dow-ism,” not “Tay-o-ism.” Anyway, once you’ve mastered that part, understanding the rest of Taoism, according to the books that I’ve read on the subject, is pretty much a snap. Grade: T. …No, wait. D.
Zoroastrianism: Yep! It’s a religion! Go and look it up, slacker! Or here, I’ll do it for you: “This faith is often claimed to be the earliest monotheistic religion, since Zoroaster requires devotion to the single God Ahura Mazda. However, Zoroastrianism also has a dualistic nature, with an additional series of six important angel-like entities called the Amesha Spentas. In modern Zoroastrianism they are interpreted as aspects or emanations of Ahura Mazda (the Supreme Being), who form a heptad that is good and constructive. They are opposed to another group of seven who are evil and destructive. By requiring its adherents to have faith and belief in equally opposing powers Zoroastrianism characterizes itself as dualistic.”
Whoo! That is some exciting stuff right there. The thing I like about Zoroastrianism, apart from its use of the word “heptad,” is the notion that this could be the One True Real Religion. I mean, why the fuck not? It’s got as good a shot as any!
Oliver (suddenly dying and arriving in Heaven): Jesus crud! I’m in Heaven! …What the zurg?
The Lord God Zoroaster: Greetings, pitiful mortal!
Oliver: Lord… Zoroaster? Is that you?
Oliver: So yours is the one true religion?
Zoroaster: Frankly, I’m as surprised as you are!
Oliver: So… I was right to spend all those years praying to Ahura Mazda. I knew it! In your face, other people!
Any-way… Dum de dum do. What the hell was I talking about? Grade: C
1) Actual guns and rifles not being available at the time.
2) My favorite part of the Old Testament: the part where it talks about all the angels that surround God at all times; for example the angels that have wheels instead of feet, and the angel chair that’s composed entirely of angels that God sits on because he likes to sit on angels. Sweet! An angel chair! Crunchy!³
3) Seriously, the angel chair thing is actually in the Old Testament. Go look it up; it’s in like the Book of Josh or something. And while we’re on the subject, how about a different name for the Old Testament? The “old” part makes us Jews sound like a bunch of fuddy-duddies! How about “Testament: Episode One: The Phantom Menace” or something like that?
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