Apr 22, 2011

Law & Order: Nazareth

All the “good” Christians are observing Good Friday today. It seems, and I admit the Internet is my sole source of research here, their day began with mass followed by relentless message-boarding about Lady Gaga’s un-Christian use of the word “retarded” (while, no doubt, salivating over photos of her meat dress on this day of fasting and abstinence).

But last Saturday – a day not as good as today since no one was nailed to a cross by an angry mob – a group of God-fearers in Richmond, Virginia held a reenactment of the sentencing phase of the blasphemy case against Jesus Christ. This “trial” was held at the Church of the Holy Comforter which, I was surprised to read, is not the same thing as my bedroom.

The U.S. Attorney who came up with this nonsense said, basically, that the purpose of this exercise was to call attention to the non-Christlikeness of the death penalty. Apparently, there was no Internet message board on which to do this, so the church arranged for this “trial” instead. Note they did not convene to actually work to abolish the death penalty or get involved with some Barry Scheck-ish free-the-wrongfully-sentenced-to-death project. Clearly, it’s a much better use of everyone’s time to play moot court Jesus and then gather in the multipurpose room for a meat-free pot-luck.

Ah, but this was no amateur hour passion play. While the jury was made up of church members, the “court” was comprised of actual legal professionals. Since the real-life Jesus was indigent, the mock trial Jesus got a real-life Public Defender. And who stood in for Jesus? A black man! However, if you think that casting decision had anything to do with the fact that historical Jesus (as opposed to the Renaissance Art edition) was most likely dark-skinned, check yourself. In the words of the Public Defender herself – “Most of my clients look exactly like this young man...”


Needless to say, the “jury” concluded that the young black Jesus of Richmond not be sentenced to the death penalty (or, as I say, murdered by the State). He got life.

Yes, a jury full of church members dedicated enough to give up their Saturday to participate in this bullshit sentenced their Lord and Savior to LIFE IN PRISON. But, again, this “trial” was in Virginia - the state so eager to institute capital punishment that it executed its first felon prior to becoming an actual state. And he was black to boot. So, perhaps we should view this as progress.

Happy Easter, everybody.

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