September 17, 2007
Warning: NSVLP. This article contains strong language and profanity. Reader discretion is advised. Sensitive readers should read here first before proceeding with caution.
Christians, frankly, are so discombobulated in their otiose attempts at balancing a “modern scientific world view” and “faith” that they hardly know whether they’re coming or going. so here’s something on cosmic comings and goings: The Immaculate Conception (Divine Coming) and the Ascension (Divine Going).
Let’s start with the “going”… The Ascension.
A quadrillion miles through the vacuum of space. On a cloud. Clothed in a loose fitting jellaba. Not even Monty Python could come up with a skit like this! I amaze myself sometimes at my halcyon disposition in the face of such consummate folderol.
Rudolf Otto (1869-1937) identified two indispensable elements without which no religion can survive: mysterium tremendum et fascinans – (a continuing experience of) awe and wonderment… like gods, readily churned out by believers.
Sitting pretty on a hill near Jerusalem, Jesus suddenly, according to certain wowsers (pecksniffian puritans), was taken away on a fanciful journey we can easily appraise in lumine sicco: he started in the troposhere, the part of the atmosphere that is precious to us hairy bags of salty water because it contains just enough warmth and oxygen to keep us yauld (strong, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed). This band of sustaining air, however, becomes rapidly inimical to life as one rises up through it. Without protection many people become dangerously ill at 4’500 metres; at 7’500 metres, the so-called “Death Zone”, bodily distress is a virtual given – confusion, nausea, exhaustion, frostbite, hypothermia, migraine and the like are near certain afflictions. At about 11 kilometres, given a launch somewhere from Palestine, Jesus would have hit the stratosphere… and the proverbial mud would have hit the fan, in a manner of speaking. Had Jesus been travelling at the speed of, say, a modern high rise elevator, he would have reached the tropopause (the invisible “ceiling” of the troposhere, from the same Greek root as menopause – and not to be messed with!) in about 20 minutes – in dire need of oxygen, shivering at minus 57 degrees Celsius, and suffering debilitating cerebral and pulmonary edemata (swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue). Beyond this diaphanous floor of the stratosphere (yes, I am deliberately attempting to discombobulate you, we’re dealing with Christian dogma here!) the temperature makes like a roller coaster: it rises, due to the absorptive effects of ozone, to around 4 degrees Celsius, only to plunge to minus 90 degrees Celsius in the metosphere and rocket to 1’500 degrees Celsius in the erratic thermosphere, previously known as the ionosphere. No man, not even one allegedly having survived a cursory visit to Hades (a relatively cool maximum 444 degrees Celsius by Revelation 21:.8 – a lake of molten sulphur demands that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point of 444.6 degrees Celsius), antecedent to a supposed resurrection, can possibly survive such a journey and Jesus was, to be sure, so the theologians hold, completely human. Yet, even assuming Jesus’ survival of this break-out into outer space, high-energy solar particles would have gotten him and torn his DNA to tatters.
This is probably the reason why Jesus, having solemnly promised his followers that he would return expeditiously after a brief visit to dad, had not been back – he had not survived the ascension. He’s dead.
And now, the Coming of the Lord… The Immaculate Ejaculate, a Fucking Miracle.
“I’m pregnant, daddy!”
“Pregnant!? You’re only 12 for crying in a bucket! Whaddaya mean ‘pregnant’!?”
“Calm down, dear…”
“Don’t you ‘calm down dear’ me, woman. My 12-year old daughter is in the pudding club, up the creek, pu the elop, knocked up, clucky, ‘in the family way’ and infanticipating, and you want me to ‘calm down’?”
“Don’t you ‘daddy’ me! It’s that Roman legionary, isn’t it? I knew it! Never trusted him. Never liked him. Told your mother. It’s him, isn’t it?! It’s whatsisname – Podex!?”
“There! I told you! Didn’t I tell you… what!? ‘No daddy’? Whaddaya mean ‘No daddy’? It’s
not that sawdusted Joseph Carpenter wimp, is it?”
“‘No daddy’? There’s more… more… ‘visitors’!?
“What’s with this incessant ‘No daddy, no daddy’ shit? ‘No’, it’s not Podex; ‘no’, it’s not Woody Woodpecker, ‘no’ it’s not another. What are you telling me – it’s a fucking miracle!?
“‘Yes daddy’. Whaddaya mean ‘Yes daddy’?”
“An angel came to me, daddy…”
“‘An angel came to me daddy’? An angel!? What, are you meshugge? And what did this angel do – come ‘to you’ or come ‘in you’?”
“There, there, dear, is that really necessary?”
“Quiet woman! I need to hear this. What did the angel do, Mary?”
“He spoke to me…”
“‘He spoke to me’… He spoke to you!? What, did he have a comely voice? An ‘angel’? What am I, a klutz?
“Enough already with this ‘No daddy, no daddy, no daddy’ business! What did the angel do?”
“He told me that I will become pregnant.”
“And a right bloody Maskil was this angel! Of course you’ll fall pregnant if you cavort with concupiscent, prurient, lickerish, lubricious soldiers and carpenters – if it’s not a spear or a chisel, it’s Bethlehem steel, but poke they will poke!”
“‘No daddy, no daddy, no daddy’… will you stop already! Who did it!?”
“The angel said God would make me pregnant…”
There is a long… pregnant silence. Then:
 I am inbedted to Bill Bryson for much of the scientific facts in this paragraph. See A Short History of Nearly Everything, Doubleday, 2003, Chapter 17: Into the troposphere. “Up the pole”: Black slang for pregnant. Clucky: Australian slang for pregnant.
 Podex, Latin: Asshole.
 Meshugge, Hebrew: Crazy.
 Klutz, Yiddish: A clod; a clumsy, slow-wiited, graceless person; an inept blockhead.
 Maskill, Hebrew: Those who followed and furthered the Haskala (the movement of enlightenment, intellectual emancipation…) called themselves “enlightened ones” or Maskilim (singular: Maskil).
 Bethlehem steel, US black slang for an erect penis – an obvious anachronism, but I simply could not resist “Bethlehem” steel. Who could’ve?
 Aidem, Yiddish: son-in-law.
 Aynekel, Yiddish: Grandchild.
 Chachma, Hebrew: Wisdom. Occasionally, chachma is used to describe tricks, subterfuges, clever evasions, unrevealed meanings, or wily, casuistic hocus-pocus.
 God is great!