Year 2004 was a mixed bag for Jesus. While the last day of His life on earth made for a very successful bio pic at the hands of producer/director Mel Gibson, he was also the subject of a whole lot of flogging at the hands of Frank Rich and the gang at the Times. And then in 2005, the Son of Man faced the ultimate indignity by being quoted frequently (and just as frequently misquoted) by Democrat National Chairman Howard Dean. But 2006 is already starting to look like His worst year since 33 A.D.
The prophets over at High Times ask in this month's issue, "Was Jesus a Stoner?" How else can you explain the fact that he healed all those people? Using an extract from cannabis called kaneh-bosem, we are led to believe, Jesus presumably brought little girls back to life and cured blindness. This leaves open the question why kaneh-bosem ever went out of style or why other would-be Messiahs didn't catch on to Rabbi Feelgood's Magic Formula. But the real kicker is that the author of the article, one Chris Bennet, claims that those who persecute marijuana users are, in light of this new discovery, the antichrist.
Viewers of NBC's The Book of Daniel might be forgiven for believing Jesus was doing a little something more than just casting our demons with the weed. The clever writers of that offensive little cultural blight decided to cast Jesus as a hippie-ish dude who fluffs off the sexual peccadilloes of one character by saying, "He's a kid, let him be a kid," and who appears completely untroubled by evil or sin in the world.
Hold on. It gets better.
The biggest Hollywood blockbuster in 2006 will surely be Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code, the cinematic adaptation of Dan Brown's wildly successful novel, which posits that Jesus of Nazareth wasn't so much the Savior of all mankind from sin, but rather a spiritual Jew who married this chick named Mary Magdalene and whose great, great, great, great, great grandkids set up the Merovingian dynasty in Dark Ages France. Oh yeah, and the Catholic Church has used murder and intimidation to cover up this marriage for almost two thousand years.
But all of these folks may have a big problem on their hands. You see, an Italian court will soon decide once and for all if Jesus of Nazareth ever even really existed or whether he was a collective figment of early Christians' imagination. A Signor Luigi Cascioli is suing Father Enrico Righi for "abusing popular credulity" by denouncing in the church bulletin Signor Cascioli's assertions that Jesus never was. In order to dodge his legal bullet, Father Righi is going to have to prove a Jesus in fact lived in first century Palestine. And the Gospels don't count because they have largely been misinterpreted, don't you know. The very fact that the court has taken up the case -- a case it had originally refused to hear but flipped when the original decision was appealed -- tells us in advance what the decision is likely to be.
Ah, Jesus. A pot-smoking hippie who married Mary and never really existed at all. The same yesterday, today, and forever.