Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jesus Christ
Jesus is no stranger to bling.

Rather than follow the formulaic modus operandi of Popes of the past, Benedict XVI has decided to spice things up a little: state the obvious. Don't worry, he's still going to state the not-so-obvious, too, such as the existence of God, and that he has the ability to quarantine your sins on the way to salvation. Maybe this is a new look the Church is trying out, or maybe it's the pot calling the kettle black. So what, exactly, did he say?

"Christmas is polluted by consumerism."

Oh, thanks Pope Benedict! I couldn't tell what with every commerical on TV coming nicely wrapped in a big red bow. And nor could I see the consumerism, being blinded by the mountains of special offer advertisements that inadvertently fall out of my newspaper every morning. With his astounding ability to see what is wrong with the world, he came up with a great plan to fix our greed-driven holiday:

"Put a nativity scene up."

Nativity Scene
Who needs money when you have
porcelain figurines?

So simple, and yet it took such a brilliant mind all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in Vatican City to come up with it. What a great way to make blank the thirty-page booklets of special offers from Wal-Mart! People will definitely stop coveting material objects immediately after constructing a nativity scene. What better way to remind them of the uselessness of physical possessions than reenacting the scene where supposedly the Three Wise Men came to the birth of Jesus bearing gifts? Jesus and his family rejected those gifts, right? After all, he is the Son of God and could have anything he wanted at any given time. No, they took them, just as any American would happily take the keys to a brand-new Aston Martin.

The Church is being a bit hypocritical in calling the holiday of Christmas too consumeristic. After all, it is the Church that is exempt from taxes. Subcutaneously, that's saying that the Church is higher than businesses big and small, and homeowning citizens that pay property taxes. And is it not the Church hierarchy that is laden in clothes made with the fanciest of threads and bearing jewelry that would make even a rap mogul green with envy?

It isn't consumerism that is ruining the holiday; religion is ruining the many different cultures on the planet, spurning battles since the beginning of time over who has the better imaginary friend. World Wars have been started over religion; the Palestine-Israel conflict is a neverending feud over supposedly holy land. What would actually make the holiday season better would be families who are not two or three members short because of a grenade thrown by a heretic.

Before pointing any fingers, the Church ought to clean out its closet full of materialistic, hypocritical skeletons. We all know every American worships the almighty dollar first and foremost, and there's nothing that the Church can do about it. Well, nothing except set the standards in greed and vanity. After all, they're the ones insisting you put your hard-earned dollar in the collection plate in exchange for an assortment of stories from the epic science-fiction novel, "The Tales of Jesus Christ and Friends!" or otherwise known as "The Bible".