The last time we saw our mythical hero, the guy whose momma proclaimed him the son of god, he was riding triumphantly into

Dodge on a donkey preceded by a bunch of happy hippy friends tossing palm leaves before him.I hope they were also mouthing make-believe trumpet sounds and tossing fragrant flowers at his feet.

Sadly, this funny put- on turned nasty. Fast. According to the story some bad Temple Guards, helped along by a traitorous disciple-he had twelve, one of whom was a woman-turned him in for 30 piece of silver and our hero was arrested.

Here begins a really terrible part of the story. Our poor hero is found guilty of blasphemy and another of his disciples, Peter, of the rock and shoes of the fisherman Roman Catholic Popish fame, denies him, too.

We move on with all kinds of awfulness. Flogging by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, who, later, washes his hands of the whole business. Pilate declares our hero to be innocent but, for political reasons, turns him over to a bunch of Roman thugs to be crucified.

Now crucifixtion is an absolutely horrible way to die-and we’ll talk about that later- because, at the moment, our hero is being marched through town dragging a heavy wooden cross, wearing a crown of thorns-the town’s people throwing rotten eggs and stuff-and ends up nailed to the cross he’s carrying…

…what kind of nightmare writer wrote this Grimm’s Fairy Tale anyhow?

Even worse, let’s roll time out a bit, some religious folks today have kept our poor hero hanging in effigy  for over two thousand years! In their rites on this day, in some neck of the woods, they even reenact the story. Carry crosses. Walk the walk. In my neighborhood, in a church- goers parking lot, there is a huge white marble-well, it looks, like marble- statue of our hero on the cross.  His Mommy, his brother, the son of the old Carpenter we may assume, and his girl friend and disciple, Mary Magdelane, stand at his feet. Every time I drive by, it hangs there 24/7, I want to drive in and physically haul him down.

Do you know how one dies of crucifixtion?  Your feet are nailed to a board, your hands are nailed to the cross beam. Your feet start to hurt, the nails, remember, so you lift yourself up with your arms and your hands start to hurt. When your hands hurt, you put your weight in your feet. Unbelievable agony and it can go on for days.  Fortunately a Roman soldier comes along and saves the day, our hero does not die of crucifiction….

…but before this it is written that our poor suffering hero looks down at the figures below and says, “Woman behold thy son. Brother behold thy mother.”

That says it all, don’t you think? I mean, it’s a pretty clearly stated summation of the entire affair and this, dear readers, is the expurgated story of Good Friday (?).  Sounds like a perfectly dreadful way to spend a Friday afternoon to me. To be continued…


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