Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dave and Blarney Discuss Jesus

Blarney: I know why the Christians hate the Jews.
Dave: What are you talking about?
Blarney: Well, you know how Mel Gibson let out that anti-Jewish tirade? He's the one who made that movie about Jesus. The Jews killed Jesus and so Christians hate them.
Dave: Blarney, you are so confused. Jesus was a Jew and it was the Romans who killed him. If Christians should hate anybody, it would be the Italians, not the Jews. But Christians cannot hate either of them.
Blarney: Why not?
Dave: Because it was all part of a plan to redeem mankind from Satan. You see, my sins and your sins are what put Jesus on the cross.
Blarney: Sin is such an outmoded term. And who are you to call me a sinner? That's pretty intolerant, if you ask me.
Dave: I included myself in the sinner group and, in fact, listed myself first. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's standard. That's the whole point of redemption.
Blarney: What's so special about Jesus, anyway?
Dave: Well, Blarney, that is one of the central issues for Christianity. Is or was Jesus God?
Blarney: I'm not sure how to answer that. I wouldn't want to offend you.
Dave: It's really a simple question with only two possible answers. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, I know that a lot of Christians think he was. I'm sure his followers at the time were really impressed.
Dave: Yes, Blarney, but the question is really about what you think. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, aren't we all gods in some sense?
Dave: Answer the question. Is Jesus in the same class as the one true God? Is He the same as God?
Blarney: Well, the Jews and the Muslims don't think so. He was a great moral teacher, though.
Dave: Again, it isn't about what others think. It is about what you think. And Jesus could not have been a great moral Teacher if He were not God. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, in the sense that you mean, I would have to say no. I'm sorry if that offends you.
Dave: I'm not offended, OK, so now let me ask you, did this Jesus, who is not God, think that He was God? Did He believe that?
Blarney: Well, how can you ever know what someone believes unless they tell you.
Dave: Work with me, Blarney. Do you think He believed He was God?
Blarney: Well, I can't really be sure, but I guess He did. I mean, yes.
Dave: OK, so this Jesus, who was not God, believed He was God. That makes Him insane, doesn't it?
Blarney: Well, maybe I was wrong. Maybe He really knew better, but just wanted to reinforce His teachings by letting people think so.
Dave: Sort of like Ward Churchill pretending to be an Indian so he could be an authority on Indian affairs?
Blarney: Yes, that's it.
Dave: Doesn't that make Him a fraud?
Blarney: You're being awfully judgmental.
Dave: See, Blarney, that's the point. Either Jesus was God, or He was insane, or He was a fraud. There is no other choice. "Great Moral Teacher" only applies if He were not insane and not a fraud.
Blarney: Ah, there's the flaw in your argument.
Dave: Excuse me?
Blarney: You assume that someone can't be a teacher if they are insane or a fraud. That's not true. Those are not things that disqualify an individual from teaching, or even being a college professor.
Dave: You can't be serious. And besides, the issue is not "teacher" but "moral teacher", even "great moral teacher."
Blarney: That's the trouble with you right wing types. You are so judgmental. We liberals would never stop someone from teaching just because they are insane or frauds.
Dave: {sigh}

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