I have been debating whether or not I will see Gibson’s ‘Passion of The Christ’ if it comes to town. I could easily refuse to see it based on the long held loathing I have for Mel as an actor and director. Have you seen ‘Ransom’? That movie was definitely a cry for help. Some of the interviews with Gibson have been disturbing, too, not by what he actually says–admittedly paranoid and scary stuff–but by what he doesn’t say. I don’t want to support a film that is anti-Semetic, but I remember the boycott of ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ by folks who hadn’t even seen that movie. I feel I should see it just to have an informed opinion. On the other hand, I think this Christ guy is overrated, frankly, because he can’t do anything about his rabidly self-righteous and twisted followers who pervert his message to enslave Africans, oppress gays and women, stifle thought and free speech, and promote intolerance. I know that isn’t the REAL Christianity. But the real Christians need to take back their religion from the mofos who ruining it for everyone.

I used to be a committed Christian in high school, a fact that surprises many people. I was required to take confirmation classes to join the Lutheran Church I attended. Most of the kids didn’t take it seriously, but I did. If I was going to spend every Wednesday evening talking about God, I might as well pay attention. I prayed every night. I struggled with the idea of Hell and judgment, with the idea of sin and forgiveness, and wondered what it meant to be Christ-like. See, that guy Christ was RADICAL. Much more radical than today’s Pentecostals would be comfortable with. A greasy flamer, a reject, a pierced punker with BO and facial tattoos. Christianity has made Jesus safe, turned his message around to suit their own petty prejudices. He turned the other cheek, man. Ever tried that?

Anyway, it became clear in college that Christianity was really a universal message, one I found best expressed in Buddhism. When you get down to brass tacks, even with the deity-less Buddhism, these religions have the same message. The Christians I have met since–at least the vocal ones who wear it on their sleeves–are intolerable. Hypocritical nimrods who use their religion to make them feel good about themselves. They should feel terrible. They are assholes.