Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!

By Capt. Fogg

Or maybe he's already here, if you believe that the man actually looked anything like the Northern European, straight haired, wispy bearded image painted since the Renaissance. Like the people who hear God speaking in their heads using King James' English, our ideas of divinity are like funhouse mirrors reflecting our distorted preconceptions. The real Jesus might have been as bald as Paul, his persecutor. We'll never know.

Of course if you see a bearded face in a glass darkly, it's going to look as much like your favorite idea of your favorite divinity as possible, but Vishnu or Krishna sightings don't do much for newspaper sales or TV ratings, so there might be more gods lurking in rust stains, grease films, burnt toast and dirty windows than we know. I've seen plenty of Buddhas as well as beasts in the cumulo-nimbus clouds of summer, the man in the moon looks down at least once a month and that bobcat who ran across my lawn yesterday could well have been a manifestation of some central American jaguar deity - who knows?

But anyway, the man from Nazereth was seen in an Orlando Hospital yesterday and everyone has his personal interpretation. Is he there to cure some patient or to reassure the relatives that death is a ticket to a magic land other than Orlando, or is he here to herald the visit of Pope Benedict? Maybe he's here to tell him off instead, or to blow us all off the map, kittens, puppies and unbelieving babies included. Maybe it's the image of Plato or Moses; maybe it's nothing more than the built-in mechanism that searches for faces in random patterns.

One thing I am sure of is that if Jesus, whether by divine intervention or Einsteinian space-time contortion, appeared in Times Square at high noon, nobody would notice. He wouldn't look a damned thing like him.


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Blogger Unknown said...

Of course, if there is an all powerful, omnipotent God would it not make sense for him to appear in a visage that his believers would be expecting? Does it matter, if God does exist, how he makes himself manifest? Yes, he would have to make himself manifest in a manner that would be conceivable to his followers. That is what "making manifest" means. That you are a skeptic is a good thing, but that you are closed minded is pitiable.

2:20:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nice catch Fogg. I love these sightings myself. I've always had a fondness for the supernatural.

5:15:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh donny boy - what's pitiable is that you don't know you just called yourself closed minded because you don't think stalagmites in a cave are really the penis of Vishnu. They are, you know - Vishnu told me and if you don't believe it you must be closed minded. It's your reasoning, not mine.

By your pathetic light we should just believe anything - and sure that little cloud is the bunny god revealing himself to us - in the form we expect.

Go believe in a god of grease stains and burnt toast for all I care, but if God can't do better than I can, he's a sad sort of God and a very useless one that appears only in an Orlando Hospital or an occasional highway underpass instead of doing anything worthy -- like telling arrogant and deranged imbeciles who can't pose an argument without assuming the conclusion, not to call reasonable people stupid names.

10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fogg, everybody knows that Jesus looked just like Jeff Chandler.

10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I still can't get over the idiocy of saying that an omnipotent being wishing to contact us would choose to appear on a potato chip or greasy paper bag. I confess that my trigger finger gets twitchy at statements that one can only understand these things "in faith" which is simply an algebraic rearrangement of the statement "it's true because I (want to) believe it" -- and which in turn means either that all things are true or that the antagonist is himself omniscient. To be called pitiable by a deranged liar is to begin to understand the evil of faith.

As to what Jesus looks like - it's been heavily influenced by the painter Albrecht Dürer who painted his own face on Jesus - and by the Shroud of Turin which some say is the face of Leonardo. Of course he says, means and looks like whatever one wishes him to for the purpose of exalting one's own self or oppressing someone else. I always pictured Marty Feldman.

9:07:00 AM  

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