Brand New Jesus

So I was sitting outside the Laundromat drinking a 40 and reading a Little Archie comic, when suddenly a thought came bustin' through my brain like a rhino on Rollerblades. And the thought was this: "What we need is a brand-new Jesus!"

"Whoooaaaaa! Hold on there, Wm.™ Steven Hump-Me!" I hear you cry. "Before you go giving Him the pink slip, maybe you should explain why a 'brand-new' Jesus would be better than the one we already have!" Why... it would be my pleasure.

First of all I'd like to say I have nothing against old Jesus personally. However, I do believe his effectiveness has been minimalized by... shall we say an "overactive" public relations team. The way I see it, the messages Jesus delivered were simple: "Don't be a jerk unto others, if you don't want some other jerk to be a jerk onto you." Or something like that.

And while an entire religion could easily be based around that one statement, Jesus' PR team had to ruin it by giving him supernatural powers! "Whoo-hoo! Look, everybody! Jesus is walking on water! Wowzy-woo! Jesus is risin' from the dead! Holy crapola! Jesus is feeding the multitudes with a loaf of bread and a can of tuna!" I mean, c'mon! With all the hyperbole, it's like the Bible was ancient Egypt's version of MTV!

Unfortunately this means that instead of practicing their religion, most Christians spend their time fielding questions like "Who would win in a fight: Jesus Christ or the Fantastic Four?" That's why we should give old Jesus a break and elect a brand-new Jesus. Besides--2,035 years is kind of a looong time for one person to be hogging a job.

And who exactly should be the "new" Jesus? Well, coincidentally enough, I happen to have a suggestion: Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. As you've undoubtedly heard, Mr. Rogers recently passed away after a short bout with stomach cancer. And while rewatching some of his old shows (seen every weekday morning at 11:30 am on PBS), I realized that while nobody is perfect, Mr. Rogers comes about as close to perfect as a person can be.

Every morning after putting on a sweater and sneakers, Mr. Rogers would take the complicated feelings children have and with help from the puppets in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, explain them in a way even dumb-butt adults could understand. And whether the topic was death, divorce, disease, or any number of evils adults are capable of dreaming up, Mr. Rogers was able to provide comfort to everyone who watched him with this one simple and direct message: No matter who you are, you are important and you are lovable.

Naturally, Mr. Rogers would turn down the job of "new Jesus" even if it came with a great benefits package. He's got far too much class to ever compare himself with the Son of God. However, if God ever needed a nephew--or maybe just a really good spokesperson--Mr. Rogers gets my highest recommendation.