Jesus Christ was a magician.
(Or an apocalyptic leader, or charismatic healer, or philosopher, or egalitarian social reformer… a description I wish conservatives and liberals alike would look up before for claiming/criticizing the “Christian” acts of one another.)
He and Houdini had a lot in common–including the way that they died. Both were Jewish (although, we forget how one of them spoke Hebrew and looked that way…), both were skeptics of the status quo (Houdini with Spiritualism and superstition–Jesus with Judaism/Trinitarianism and the creation of Christianity), and both were performers.
Both were killed by the public whilst be asked to perform one last trick. Neither could. And neither let on to the fact that they were anything but super natural right to the end.
I was a believer, a follower, an evangelist growing up. Like most around the age of 13, 23 and 43–I was idealistic and convinced I knew something the world didn’t. I poked, prodded and found Christianity to be the most “sound” religion. No doubt the societal stereotypes and sheer infrastructure in the US helped lead me back to the ideals that I was brought up using.
And like that last big purchase that I’m “happy” with, or the amount of “fun” I had on the last trip, or how much I “love”…? I found myself soundly decided on a new type of confusion. Fully committed to telling myself one thing although I know or feel in my gut otherwise. I had a brand (read: religion) to latch on to. I had a coterie now to consult for this thing I didn’t understand… this thing that it seemed, no one understands. I asked questions that no one could answer. I said things that I was told not to repeat to other followers.
Organized religion had its time and place back when we were primal tribes that communicated in various grunts. Jesus happened to show up when we started writing things down but were still dumb. Houdini’s history is better recorded because it was more recent–but we were no smarter. It just means he couldn’t pull a suave move like immaculate conception.
That’s how we control our children today, right? We tell them stories, simplified truths, and blatant lies to exhibit the behavior desired. I suppose one could say the same thing about your management team at work, or your political leaders in the capitol. And who could blame them? It’s worked really well for thousands of years.
There was little other way to manage a civilization where the average person couldn’t read, write, or reference the breadth of knowledge and diverse experience that most everyone has access to today. Thank god for the accuracy and depth of CNN we have today.
I have a real issue with religion in any first world country today. It’s at the root of stereotypes, tradition, and ignorance that has long gone by the wayside.
Whether the stat actually exists I don’t know. But personally, I don’t know a single anthropologist or psychologist that’s religious–and yet I can’t think of a single politician that claims to not be. One is creating policy for the masses and the other studying and analyzing the very culture and presence we have on earth. Am I the only one who thinks that is backwards?
That said, I can promise this topic will show up again here. This is one of the most exciting things for me to write about because of how much I’ve researched and experienced; but not felt comfortable writing about in the past due to the societal and professional expectations that are attached to our names.
(And rather than wait for the comment… yes, the Romans used an eight day calendar–and the modern conversion of a holy day is Saturday evening as described in Acts 20:7.)