Better Than Breaking Kneecaps

Could it really have happened in the way that this humorous analogy suggests? We don’t know, but the author sure nails the mentality behind Semites and their religions.

by Arch Stanton

SAUL/PAUL was a Temple Jew. The Temple was the Jews’ first central bank (think Federal Reserve Bank) and like its modern counterparts, its administrators were well paid for services rendered. In fact, it was the best job in Judea. Saul/Paul’s role was analogous to mafia muscle that made sure everyone towed every jot and tittle of sacrificial law.

Along comes Jesus to “become the final sacrifice of the Paschal lamb,” legally absolving all the sins of the Temple’s lost sheep. With the loss of its sacrificial revenue, the Temple is thrown into disarray with various factions warring for control over its decaying remains.

Seeing that his days of breaking kneecaps for the priests are numbered, Saul/Paul realizes he will soon be out of a paycheck. So what’s a Jew to do? Why it’s as obvious as the schnozzle on his face: Grab the first healthy horse galloping in the opposite direction.

Jesus’ efforts left the shewbread table empty among a people hungry for god. So while others try picking up the pieces, Saul/Paul realizes the best way is to pick up where the successful victor left off.

So while on the way to what was likely his final job for the Temple bosses, he has a vision — yeah, that’s the ticket! — a vision of Jesus telling him to pick up where he left off by starting a new religion in his name. What’s more, instead of being mere low-level muscle for the boss’s old religion, now he will be the boss, the high priest, the kohein gadol of the new religion. So, you see, Christianity was not a clever, devious plan to undermine Rome, it was just another greedy Jew trying to keep his pockets filled with shekels.

Here is how the event actually occurred as seen on the History Channel and soon to be a YouTube video!

* * *

Hey boys and girls, what time is it?

It’s time for another edition of Uncle Arch’s Theater of the Absurd.

Today’s episode is “On The Road Again” starring Jesus as the irrepressible Jesus and Saul/Paul as the zany Saul/Paul.

* * *

THE SIGN read: “Sheol city limits — population rising hourly.”

That blistering hot day on the road to Damascus, Saul’s shiny new vehicle, an Italian Deluxe Special Edition Carpentum Elite, had begun running rough. He speculated one of its four snazzy, one-horsepower engines had a bad shoe.

As the Carpentum slowed, Saul noted a lone rest stop shimmering in the intense heat. He passed a billboard with a large picture of a smiling, bearded man. The words underneath the image read:

“Why do you persecute me? I’m not the problem; your Temple is the problem. Call Jesus — Galilee 777. Open seven days a week.”

The Route 666 Camel Stop was located in the middle of nowhere. Ordering the driver to pull in, Saul thought, Christ! Not another flat hoof and me with all these writs to persecute! Caiaphas is going to be hopping mad if I don’t flog at least a few Christians today.

Saul slouched in the Carpentum’s plush leather seat, noting that the faded, flashing sign out front had the same face as the other sign, this time with words framed in flickering neon. It read:

“Why persecute me for forgiving your sins? Baptism closeout special, sins forgiven while U wait!”

Underneath, smaller letters held forth a promise of “Blessed wine served chilled.”

Saul thought, Yeah sure, where have I heard that before?

Suddenly he sat up straight, exclaiming aloud to no one in particular, “Jesus Christ! What have I been thinking? I’m playing the wrong side! This guy has it right. The Temple’s structure is crumbling and I’ll soon be out of a job. What Jews need is a new focus! I need to talk to this Jesus guy.”

Saul got out of the Carpentum and walked into the shack serving as a rest stop. “Anybody here? I need some service. Hey, is anyone home!?”

The man whose face graced the sign out front strode in from a back room, wiping something brown and nasty from his coveralls.

Saul held his nose and cried out, “Gawd almighty, what is that awful stench?”

The man replied, “It’s just hot excrement. My Jewish doctors have me sitting in a vat of it down below; they say it cures what ails ya, and that time on the cross made my bones ache. It’s not my idea of a sauna, but you take what you can git.”

Wiping a hand on his stained coveralls, the man extended it to Saul. “Hi, name’s Jesus, what can I do fer ya?”

Still holding his nose, Saul replied in a nasally whine, “I think one of my Carpentum’s engines threw a shoe. I was wondering if you can fix it.”

“Sure thing, buddy. I specialize in miraculous repairs, but changing out a bad shoe isn’t that miraculous. Bring it around back and I’ll take a look.”

Saul walked over to the driver, “Pull the rig around back, so he can take a look at that shoe.”

Unharnessing the horse, Jesus put it up on the rack. Taking hoof in hand, Jesus looked up at Saul, “Yep, here’s your problem. It’s a bad shoe, all right. I can have it fixed in about an hour.” Jesus yelled back to a helper, “Hey lil’ Satan, get out here, this gentleman needs his horse fixed, get right on it, will ya?”

Lil’ Satan stopped tormenting a lost soul, put down his pitchfork, and ambled over to look at the shoe, “I can fix it boss, but I dunno how long it will take.”

“Well, get right on it, will ya?” Turning back to Saul, Jesus lamented, “Ya know, these days ya just can’t get good help here in Sheol. Come out front and we’ll have a glass of chilled wine while we wait for that shoe to be fixed.”

Jesus led Saul to the front room of the rest stop’s dusty, dirty confines where he pointed to a table. Saul pulled out a chair as Jesus ambled over to a noisy cooler rattling out its last days in the corner. Jesus pulled out a couple bottles of cold wine and handing one of the bottles to Saul, wryly commented, “Here ya go, you know what those Roman ads say, ‘Things go better with vino!’”

Finally accustomed to the smell, Saul had become curious about this Jesus character. “Say, aren’t you the guy they crucified on the cross a while back?”

Taking a long pull on the bottle, Jesus replied, “Yep, that’s me, Jesus of Nazareth, in the flesh.”

Saul examined his bottle, “Say, what vintage is this anyway?”

“Bottled last week. It’s new wine, it’s just in old bottles. Sheol vintners have been running short on bottles since the strike closed down the plant last month. Workers say it’s too damn hot to be working in there. I tried telling my disciples about the problem, but those ninnies never paid any attention to anything I said. Quote me wrong all the time.”

Saul carefully took a sip, “Say this isn’t bad, just a hint of Hyssop. Anyway, I thought you died on the cross.”

“Not really, that was just a minor setback. Some of the boys from the monastery revived me, so I’m back. Been thinkin’ about going to India.”

“You’re the renegade priest that caused all the problems. I got a stack of writs of persecution out in the Carpentum that I’m supposed to serve on your followers in Damascus.”

“No kidding? A stack of writs, you say? What have they done since I left?”

“Your faithful followers have been nothing but a major pain in the tuchas for Temple authorities. We’re trying to suppress the opposition you created with your free offer to permanently forgive the sins of the Jews as the final blood sacrifice of the Paschal lamb.”

“Damn,” Jesus mused to himself, “that blood sacrifice crucifixion thing must have worked better’n I thought.”

“It worked, all right. The Temple is coming apart at the seams. The holy veil ripped, people are refusing to make their sacrifice to god with the excuse, ‘Jesus permanently forgave our sins by hanging on the cross as the final blood sacrifice.’ Because of you, the Temple has lost its primary source of revenue. Soon the priesthood will be bankrupt to the point the priests might actually have to find a job and go to work.”

“No way! Go to work, you say? Ha! Priests working, that’s a good one!”

“It’s not funny. Thanks to you, I’ll soon be out of a good-paying job.”

“Well, you know what they say — hot excrement happens. It happened to me and now it’s happening to you. Mebbe you should consider another line of work. Talk to my people in Damascus; it’s possible they can line you up with something.”

Leaning forward, Saul confided, “You know, I was thinking… maybe I could set you up as the new god for the Jews. You can replace YHVH and become the foundation of a new religious cult I’ll call ‘the church of Christ’ that replaces the old Temple. I can be the church’s new high priest, bringing your words to the Jews. Instead of sacrificing, I’ll have church followers tithe when they confess their sin! Yeah, that’s the ticket, a new god for a new Temple — er, church — with me as high priest. The problem is there aren’t near enough followers among Temple Jews to fill out the ranks of my new religion, so I’ll have to attract gullible, Gentile followers. I’ll have to change my name to something that sounds more goyische, like ‘Paul,’ yeah, that sounds better, Paul of Tarsus, I like it!”

“Whoa! Hold on there, buddy! I’m no god! I was just a renegade priest taking away the sins of the Jews. What’s more, I specifically commanded my disciples to stay away from the goy... er, Gentiles, but did they listen? I guess that don’t matter no more, no how. So now you plan on bringing back all that sin I forgave?”

“Jesus! You have to look at this from a profit angle; there is big money in guilt over sin! Thar’s gold in that thar sin! No one will remember you told your disciples to stay away from the Gentiles, especially the Gentiles, they are soooo clueless. Kid, I’m going to make you a star! No, better than that — I’ll make you King for the millennium!”

Framing an imaginary sign in the air with his hands, Saul continued pontificating, “Imagine this, Jesus the Christ, King — no, God! — of the Jews and Gentiles alike. Kid, with your name recognition and my brains, I figure we can make this thing go viral. Platinum religion — five years max!”

“I dunno, it sounds so Jewish. Look Saul or Paul, it’s none of my business if you want to start a new religion, but leave my name out of it, will ya? I’m up to my neck in excrement already over this religion thing!”

The two talked on for some time until lil’ Satan came out from the back. “Shoe’s fixed boss, she’s ready to go.”

“How much do I owe you?”

“Nuthin. This one’s on me.”

“Gee, thanks Jesus.”

“Don’t mention it. It’s all in a day’s work.”

“Well, I’ll be on my way then.”

Jesus escorted Saul to the Carpentum. Holding the door open, he assured Saul, “That shoe shouldn’t give you any more problems.”

Handing the stack of persecution writs to Jesus, Saul said, “Thanks. Now that I have talked to you personally, you can take these, I won’t be needing them any more. Thanks to you, Jesus, I’m a new man. You saved me from the perdition of job loss!”

“Hey! No problemo; salvation is what I’m here for; have a good trip.”

“I will and thanks to you, it will be a better one now.”

Jesus waved as the Carpentum drove out of sight. “Oh well, guess its back to the vat of hot excrement. Ya know, sometimes I think these Jewish doctors are full of it.”

* * *

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