FEBRUARY 10, 2020 BY COURTNEY HEARD
Yesterday morning I got this note in my inbox:
I saw you speak of your non-profit work on Instagram. I just thought I would write to you to tell you that you’re the sort of person Jesus would want to befriend. If you open your heart and accept Him, He’ll be the best friend you ever had.
Either way, He will always love you,
Um. So, coming from a non-religious background, this note is equally as insane-sounding as one that read like this:
Yesterday I was speaking to Abraham Lincoln, and he wanted me to tell you that he wishes you were friends. If you would open your heart and let him in, Abe could be the best friend you ever had.
Here’s the thing about dead people, anon: they don’t make friends. Even in fiction, dead people don’t make friends. In the Walking Dead, they’ll follow you around for a morsel of flesh. In every horror movie, they make life miserable for you after a particularly idyllic moving day. Even Lestat wants to suck your blood, charming as he may be. The dead simply do not make friends.
But, for the sake of conversation, let’s pretend that “Jesus wants to be your friend” isn’t as insane as saying, “Kellyanne Conway really makes me think.” Let’s pretend that Jesus is out there somewhere wishing I was his friend. This begs the question, why the heck would I want to be his? Here are just some of the issues I would have to put up with:
1. Victim complex. Jesus wants us to thank him still, 2000 years later, for taking a weekend retreat in a cave. Imagine what the weirdo would be like with the flu? Or a hangover? You think man-flu was unbearable? Wait until you see son-of-god-flu. I’d be willing to bet Jesus shuts down all your gripes with, “Oh, you’re having a bad day? Try being crucified”. When you got upset at him, he’d rub his thorny crown scars and pout, “after what I’ve done for you…”. This is about as appealing as a new season of Charmed.
2. No Game of Thrones. The first season is a glorious mess of full-frontal girl-on-girl, soft-core porn. This is something that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Jesus, however, would likely be brought to tears at the sight of drunken Tyrion in a brothel about to ride a carousel of full-breasted, toothless redheads. Not to mention the fact that the sexual frustration he’s already dealing with from being Daddy’s little good dude would be exacerbated, and who knows how it might manifest? I’d fear for my dog’s innocence, that’s for sure.
3. Delusions of Grandeur. How much fun can be had with someone who insists he is the son of god? It’s like how I imagine a friendship with Kim Jong Un might go. Always walking on eggshells, hoping you don’t say the wrong thing. I mean, in the back of your mind, you couldn’t help but wonder, when’s this nutter gonna snap and murder me with a crucifix? Imagine introducing him to your other friends and explaining it away:
“Sure, he thinks he’s the son of God, but wait until you taste his buffalo wings.”
3. Confusion as to what constitutes “wine.” I can just picture us now, sitting at the bench at Sushi Kojo, waiting for our steaming bowls of red ramen. Suddenly his holiness grabs my water glass, waves his hands about like an interpretive dancer and then shouts, “voila!” He slides my water glass back to me, winks and says, “enjoy your wine!” The thing is, it’s still goddamned water because, as you and I are fully aware, miracles and magic are not real things. How do I order a real wine in that situation without triggering his insecurities and sending him into a spiral of despair? No, thank you very much, but I think I’ll stick with my friends who bring a real bottle of wine everywhere we go. Heck, sometimes it’s even Fireball, and we all know how Jeeby would feel about his new buddy sipping the elixir of the devil. Too much drama for me, thanks.
4. He’d question my clothing choices. I like cleavage, you like cleavage, you like my cleavage, I like that you like my cleavage and I’d love to see your cleavage. The subtle hint of boobie brings great joy to the world around us, but if Jesus is my buddy, you know I’m getting turtlenecks for my birthday. I’d get so sick and tired of him grumping about the female form being detectable that I’d appease his asinine wishes. Or I’d tell him to bug off. I think you know which choice GM would make.
5. Constant magic tricks. Have you ever been out with a budding magician? You know the sort I’m talking about… the kind that can’t help but ruin a night at the pub with his constant, “Pick a card, any card…”. The sort of fella who thinks his underwhelming tricks are going to get him laid, with that smug look on his face, but you know that everyone around him is just cringing hard? Yeah, that’s what a night on the town with Jeeby would be. Between pints, this Daddy’s boy would insist on slapping down a raw fish where the breadbasket used to be or dragging the crowd out to the river to watching him “walk on water.” Everyone would be able to tell he’s just strategically placed himself, thinking he’s created an illusion. The groans and moans all night would lead to the truly enjoyable people checking out with a “Well, I gotta bounce. I have a thing in the morning!”. The next day, you wake up to a dozen texts that read, “What’s that guy’s deal?” and every outing after that would be met with all the same people asking, “Is Jesus going?”. Nope. No one needs that friend.
6. He would not appreciate my language choices. I mean, aside from my heavy use of cuss words, I use Jesus’ name in vain a lot. I’d say a good ten times a day, I can be heard shouting, “Oh, for the love of sweet baby Jesus in a birdbath!” or “F**cking Jesus, son of Mary mother of F**cking Christ.” My creativity with cursing and blasphemy is a point of pride. Nothing else works to vent my frustration at toe stubs, coffee spills, nicking my finger while chopping mushrooms, etc. I really don’t think Jesus would appreciate that, and I’d expect to be smote on more than one occasion. I can always tell who my real friends are by who joins in on the blasphemy.
7. Pre-Deodorant Era. In all the Jeeby pictures I’ve seen, the guy looks like he smells. Let’s face it, the dude comes from a time when sanitation was not a thing; when deodorant was 1800 years away from being invented; when there wasn’t even shampoo. Does the guy adjust to the times? According to all the likenesses made of him, the answer is no. So, we’re talking about a 2000-year-old dead dude who never once wore deodorant or appropriately washed. Yeah. No way I’m hittin’ the Olive Garden with that freak.
8. Open-toed sandals. I don’t like toes. I don’t like your toes; I don’t like his toes or her toes; I don’t like their toes. I especially don’t like the toes of a dead man. Sorry, Jesus, but I just can’t get down with your dead zombie toes hanging out all the time. If it even crosses your mind to cover them up with the Nickelback of footwear, socks and Birkies, you’re dead to me. Wait…
9. He would demand worship. You see, this is simply not how friendship works. When one friend worships another, this is a power dynamic, not a friendship. I’d no sooner worship my friends than I would leave my kid alone with a priest. A relationship between friends requires give-and-take, and I don’t consider losing a weekend 2000 years ago much in the way of giving. Jeeboner, you’re going to have to try better than that, I’m afraid.
As you can see, it would be pretty tricky for me to be friends with Jesus for various reasons. Of course, none of these trump the most important reason of all: Dude’s been dead a bit, and dead people struggle with making friends.
Sorry, Jeeby! Friendship’s off!
Why can’t you be friends with Jesus? Tell me in the comments!
I’m writing a book addressing the many reasons believers distrust atheists. I’m around 40,000 words in! If you want to help me get it done, you can support me by donating here or becoming a patron here.