(PU) After two thousand years of looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ, Christians were extremely disappointed today to learn that their born-again Lord and Savior had died again, this time at the hands of author, talk-show host, and entrepreneur Glenn Beck. News of the “Messiah-cide” leaked out this morning when Mr. Beck was arraigned in federal district court in Manhattan.
“Go ahead, give me the chair,” screamed a flushed and tearful Glenn Beck to the judge, while TV cameras rolled and reporters crowded in. “But I did this country a favor. Americans thought Jesus was about divine justice — I found out he’s for social and economic justice. He wants total socialist global domination over the entire globe. May Day, May Day, there’s a coup going down!”
Using a chalkboard to illustrate his points, Mr. Beck drew a goose-stepping stick figure of the Son of God, sporting a Che Guevara mustache and beret. He explained that, according to the plan Jesus had imparted to him, the coming Millennium would entail no Rapture, no eternal damnation; only a “Thousand-Year Plan” of complete societal and material equality. This rampant egalitarianism, surmised Mr. Beck, would destroy the profit motive and, with it, civilization itself.
“You see? Those loaves and fishes?” panted Mr. Beck, beads of sweat popping over his round, pink face as he scrawled overlapping circles to signify the food items. “Jesus gives a bunch of welfare cheats free loaves and free fishes, and the American people lose their homes. He heals the sick, and YOU get socked paying health insurance. He tells you, give away your private property, help marauding foreigners find a better life. But that only destroys the Constitution and your God-given right to get rich. Face it, judge, Jesus doesn’t like white people.”
Mr. Beck, who was raised Catholic and became a Mormon in 1999, went on to say that, while Americans should still be guaranteed freedom of religion, the freedom of a real-life avatar to dwell among Americans should be severely limited.
“If everybody actually lived in a state of Jesus-endorsed ‘love-thy-neighbor-as-thyself’ enlightenment, our country’s place in the world would go down the toilet,” shouted Mr. Beck. “Stand up, America. Don’t let some spiritual brown-shirt tell you you’re no better than the average Pakistani drone-attack victim. Death is for losers, baby.”
Asked to recount the events leading up to the killing, Glenn Beck said that he first learned of Jesus’ comeback a few weeks ago, sitting in his living room, after becoming enraged at Rachel Maddow on TV. “I got so mad I kicked the leg off my coffee table. ‘Jesus Fucking Christ,’ I cried, ‘where’s a goddamn carpenter when you need one?'”
Mr. Beck then described a sudden radiance that permeated the room, while a longhaired, bearded Middle Eastern man took on physical form. “At first, I thought he was Al Qaeda,” said Mr. Beck, “but after he healed the leg back on, I knew.”
Mr. Beck spoke of his relationship with Jesus as at first “deeply fulfilling,” with Jesus fixing small things around the house in exchange for a mattress in the garage. The two enjoyed moonlit walks on the beach, marshmallow roasts, and tickle-fights. But Mr. Beck began to sense that Jesus was not interested in “the good life” when he refused to put on a three-piece business suit that Mr. Beck had bought for him. “Then the PC-thugs started dropping by. Jesus would hang out in the garage with these weirdoes, talking about supporting gay marriage and getting Troy Davis off death row. I began to wonder if Jesus was a secret Muslim.”
Noticing that Jesus spent hours on the phone, Mr. Beck had the calls traced, and found that most were to environmentalist and civil rights activist Van Jones. “I overheard them say how they were going to drive out the money-changers and abolish the capitalist system. There was lots of giggling, I remember. I thought, my God, how could all those ‘WWJD’ bracelets be so wrong?”
Finally, Mr. Beck decided to “reclaim the truth and justice movement” and made Jesus a poisoned falafel sandwich. “It was easy,” he concluded. “No nails, no violence. He just looked at me sadly. Then he died. Chump.”
At first, a tidal wave of rage and disbelief convulsed the nation, as Americans heard Mr. Beck confess that he had inconveniently re-slain a savior who had already been pre-slain for their convenience. Slowly, however, as the hours ticked by and Mr. Beck’s testimony streamed live on the Internet and TV, some people came to see a certain wisdom in Mr. Beck’s act.
Tea Party member Amy McPherson reflected, “I had wanted Jesus to wash away my sins and save me. But then I thought, what if Mr. Do-Unto-Others wouldn’t let me carry my Luger? That’s a deal-breaker.”
Even presiding judge Marvin Mandible expressed cautious sympathy for Mr. Beck’s act. “While the court finds illegality in the re-murdering of a loving spiritual entity, it nevertheless cannot endorse the intent of the aforesaid entity to prevent the court from refusing to hear cases involving the extraordinary rendition of torture victims. Lest we forget, terrorists are pure evil. I don’t think Jesus ever got that.”
Despite his professed support for the death penalty, Mr. Beck will probably face a sentence of life everlasting.
Susie Day is Assistant Editor of Monthly Review.