Friday, June 10, 2016

Bible Backspace

Bible Backspace

I've decided to rewrite The Bible.

Oh, I know, some of you are already thinking, "Oh that damn blasphemer ..."

But wait.

I'm not planning to change the story of Christianity, and I'm definitely not planning on attacking or minimizing God or Jesus or any of the Apostles and certainly none of those great characters, like Moses or David or Jonah. I love those guys and their crazy adventures.

No, I just think the Big Book needs a bit of an edit. I mean the way it is now, it should have a R-rating for violence and sexuality. I'd change all that — make it PG or even get it down to a G-rating, since we're getting kids to read it.

For example, take all those parts where everyone seems to be begetting everyone else. Some of that begetting seems pretty hazy when it come to considering the family lines and everyone's respective gene pool. If the human race sprung from two (Adam and Eve), then I sense that brother and sister must have been a little more familiar with one another than we would allow today.

So, I was thinking that maybe we could write in a second garden, and call it the Garden of Deliverance. It wouldn't be a garden per se, but more like a working farm, where God created Shep and Shirley, simple folk who had dozens of kids to tend to the chores. That way, when Adam and Eve get the boot from Paradise and come wandering over to Deliverance, the beginning of the human race would have a more diversified population and a more socially acceptable start to it. Let the begetting begin, so to speak, just not with your brother or sister.

Then there's that whole bit about destroying the human race with a huge tsunami or flood or whatever God cooked up. Sure, Moses built a giant ark and loaded it up with two of every species of animal, his family, and maybe a few shady friends on the side, but mass destruction? Maybe we could tone that down a bit.

Maybe, instead of killing everyone with a flood, we could just have a kind of cleansing rain. Let it rip for 40 days and 40 nights so that everyone gets a good soaking, and in the process, all their bad habits and evil debauchery would be washed away. It would be like a mass baptism, a purification by water, not really an uncommon notion in The Bible.

If by chance, some blokes didn't quite get enough of a shower and continued their evil ways, well, we could build a whole bunch of prisons in a land called Penal Envy, where we could lock them away and make them thrash and moan about how they were missing out on the good times outside their suburban dungeons. OK, we'd give them Wi-Fi, but that's it. OK, cable TV too, but no more. OK, tax-free living with three square meals a day, but enough already. Those damned places might very well get crowded.

I might also have a go at the story of "David and Goliath." Now, don't get me wrong. I think this is one superb story. I love how David was the underdog in his fight against Goliath, but that slingshot bit could use some reworking. In the original story, Goliath and the Philistines are always trash talking David and the Israelites, and before long, David is called upon to fight the giant Goliath one-on-one. David uses a sling to knock out Goliath with a well-placed shot between the big guy's eyes. Then David takes the giant's own sword and cuts Goliath's head off, after which the Israelites chase down and plunder the Philistines.

Instead of having David and the Israelites slice and dicing Goliath and the Philistines, I'd simply have David meet up with Goliath in a Pay-For-View wrestling extravaganza, sort of like WrestleMania or UFC LXIX or some such thing. During the match, David could call on his faith to lift Goliath up over his head, and body slam the guy, before jumping on his chest and getting the 1-2-3 pin. Game over, David is the winner by a knockout, but hey, nobody dies. None of this having David hacking off Goliath's head. Good grief, far too gruesome. Instead, Goliath simply skulks away in shame, never to be heard of again, other than doing a short stint as Shaquille O'Neal.

As a kid, I loved the story of "Jonah and the Whale," but I suspect I had it confused with Pinocchio. Anyway, this guy, Jonah, disobeys God and ends up on a ship with a bunch of scallywags that you'd think were from that nightmare-inducing book, Treasure Island. When the ship gets in a bit of trouble at sea, Jonah blames himself and tells these Pirates of the Caribbean to throw him overboard.

Fair enough. It's a nice gesture, but what the heck? They actually do throw poor Jonah overboard. As the original story goes, Jonah then gets swallowed by a whale. Now, that is where I draw the line. I mean, we're not writing Moby Dick here. Let's leave the poor whales out of it. Whales have suffered enough bad press over the years, and even today, the Japanese seem to think that whales and sushi are synonymous. From what I can see, whales are wonderful creatures and create a good deal of cash for whale-watching communities. So, no whale. Instead, I'd have Jonah get picked up by a submarine. No, not a Nazi U-boat, a Yellow Submarine, because apparently we all live in one anyway.

I'm afraid I might also have to do a little something with the whole Jesus crucifixion scene. The poor guy has a great meal with His best buds, and the next thing He knows, He's got prickly pears in His hair, and He's being hoisted up on a cross to die a most ignoble death.

Maybe there's a way we can avoid the death scene. It is, after all, pretty horrifying. So, I think that I would just have Him sent to that Guantanamo Prison for a weekend. If we need a little torture, like maybe a day of waterboarding, then fine. After a couple of days, we can let Him out and arrange a Resurrection Tour, featuring Jesus and The Apostles, sort of like The Eagles' Farewell Tour, but maybe with discounted ticket prices.

Finally, I'm a little troubled with the Apocalypse story in the "Book of Revelation." Quite frankly, this story could have been written by James Joyce, whose novels are the ultimate journey into a kind of symbolic Hell of unimaginable chaos.

In the "Book of Revelation," there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven spiritual figures — well, as you can see, far too many sevens. You'd think we were shooting craps in a casino in Vegas. So, no sevens. There's these Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an anti-Christ, some nasty Harlot who lapdances a scarlet Beast with seven heads and ten horns, a dragon of some sort, great balls of fire pouring down on even the low-rent, subsidised town houses, and all manner of frightening events.

Goodness. If the world has to end eventually, let's do it without being quite so obsessed with punishing the human race for being so damn crappy all these long years. Surely, there is room for a little more pride in what humanity has accomplished. Oh, we've had our bad asses, but we've also had a few good folks as well. Dwelling on the negative never got anyone anywhere.

So, I would write that the world ends in a Beach Blanket Bingo Party. There would be lots of girls in bikinis and tons of guys in Speedos, a late-night weiner roast, with S'mores, a whole lot of Beach Boys' songs with some serious jive dancing, turns groping Gidget in a sleeping bag out in the dunes, and by the next day everyone would be happy to board a spaceship, get an ET-lightbulb-finger autograph, and travel off to find the New Jerusalem in the stars.

Well, I guess that is a great deal of information to absorb. Quite honestly, however, too many people are flocking off to a whole variety of the wackiest dime-store religions these days, and I can't help but think that The Bible, in its current form, may be partially to blame. So where's the harm in changing a few things around?

If nothing else, those damn hippies will stop playing that song, "Imagine," and encouraging us to "imagine no religion" if we are ever going to "live in peace." Little do they know that John Lennon was a terrible speller. He didn't mean to write "live in peace" at all. What he wanted to write was that we should all "live in place." In other words, if everyone knew his or her "place," then, yeah, yeah, yeah, we might truly live in "peace."

God, do I have to revise everything???




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