We know that for some reason, many Christians really enjoy all the gory details of the torture and crucifixion of Jesus and can’t seem to get enough of it, as witnessed by the success of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ which I refused to see because I heard that it was one long continuous orgy of violence. There is a Christian theme park in Orlando, Florida (whose multimillionaire owners take full advantage of all the tax loopholes that the US gives to religious groups to enrich themselves) and that also wallows in the violence in staging the crucifixion scene several times a day with lifelike special effects as Jesus gets brutalized by the Roman guards. The audiences apparently love seeing it, which utterly mystifies me.
Melanie Hamlett visited the Orlando park and had an experience that might not have been quite what the creators intended. Hamlett says that she dropped out of Christianity at the age of 16 and her cluelessness of the religion is manifested early on when she displays ignorance of what is surely one of the best known myths in the Bible. She went through a giant purple whale exhibit and was baffled as to who the mannequin inside was supposed to represent until a small child piped up, “Look, its Jonah!”
When watching the obligatory gory scenes of Jesus’s death, she unexpectedly finds that she got sexually turned on by both Jesus and the Roman guards who torment him.
After about 50 of us pile into a cave made of fake rock, a man dressed in a pharaoh’s outfit hands each of us a cracker along with grape juice in a teeny tiny wooden shot glass. Within minutes, Jesus enters the stage, cave left, wearing a Madonna-style microphone and…. day-um this Jesus is h-o-t, hot.
With long dirty-blonde hair, blue eyes, and a beard, the Son of God looks like Legends of the Fall Brad Pitt, pulling off the rugged mountain man look quite well. He delivers a painfully long monologue about cannibalism, then instructs us to eat his body and down our shots of his “blood.” When he’s all done, Hot Jesus walks out into the crowd and starts touching people. I’m not even kidding. He goes around to each person saying, “Bless you, my child.”
Like someone in a snake-slinging revival tent, my knees buckle the moment his big ole man-hands connect with the spaghetti straps on my shoulder (I hadn’t been laid in a while). Unfortunately, our little moment together is ruined by the sound of my empty wooden shot glass hitting the floor.
All these women want to bang hot Jesus and to be honest, now I kinda do too. Whenever Jesus isn’t saving some damsel in distress, he’s hanging out in the streets of Jerusalem with his homies. He’s essentially the guy every straight white man wants to be and every straight white woman wants to screw. Is this how they recruit people to Christianity? Because it’s almost working on me.
The mood changes dramatically when a bunch of Roman guards charge Jesus, start kicking the shit out of him, and drag him off stage.
They drag Jesus over to meet Satan, who’s wearing a black robe with a hood like an evil wizard straight out of a Harry Potter book. He too gives a speech, but it’s met with booooooooos from the crowd. Satan smiles all smug, loving that he’s getting under everyone’s skin. When he finally shuts up, the guards rip off Jesus’ robe, leaving him in what’s effectively an ancient diaper, then they bind his hands to a wooden post with rope. Maybe this is some sort of old-timey S&M!
Every time a whip strikes Jesus’ back, the loudspeakers belt out a “crack” sound and more fake blood and bruises magically appear on his perfect body. With each lash he violently arches his back and moans, making the O-face. It’s oddly hot and I’m not even into BDSM.
By the time all the whipping is over, the hot guards are sweaty and jacked up on testosterone. They drag Jesus out into the audience and kick him in the kidneys repeatedly. Some of the kids in strollers are crying, while others are holding their hands over their eyes. Nobody seems to think this is the least bit inappropriate for them.
Eventually the guards put a thorny crown on Jesus’ head and make him carry a huge log, all the while continuing to beat him. Once he’s up on the cross, the guards pound huge spikes through his hands and feet and it seems so real I have to look away. The special effects at Holy Land are the best I’ve ever seen.
To be honest, I’m exhausted by this show and all the hysteria of the crowd. But not nearly as exhausted as Jesus, I’m sure. That was his second crucifixion today. And he’s a good actor! For a moment I fantasize about hooking up with J somehow. Sure, he’s way out of my league, but I’ve got zero competition since these good Christian women wouldn’t dare bang the Son of God, especially not in a parked car out back.
Besides making me horny as hell, maybe this park did actually open my mind and heart for a bit. At the very least, it helped put a face to these mysterious religious people that consistently tend to vote against the rights of me and most of my friends.
What surprised me was not the emphasis on blood and gore but that young children are exposed to these enactments. What are these parents thinking? They are probably the same people who strongly object to sex and violence in films and video games as corrupting for children.
This article is not complete without these two great movie scenes:
Marcus Ranum says
Well, if you want to think about the children, remember the christians paraded Giordani Bruno through the streets. I wonder what an impression that had on the youth of the day?
Christianity isn’t so simple. They label some things vices or sins but they don’t want to remove them. They just want to use them as a means of controlling their followers. Sex is the most obvious example but there are many others. In fact I’d go so far as to say the things where that is NOT true would be the exception.
Sex is bad unless the church blesses it via a marriage rite, then it’s fine. You have their permission to proceed in that case.
They’re fine with lies and improbable gibberish as long as it supports the church. All of the culture war nonsense they spew falls under this heading as well as numerous historical examples.
Murder is generally frowned on but there was that whole thing with the crusades and inquisitions. And modern christians will still vote to uphold the death penalty even when you’d think that one was a glaringly obvious issue for them -- their most defining central story involves a wrongful prosecution leading to execution!
Theft is also bad unless you’re doing it wholesale (prosperity gospel stuff) and/or to groups you can Other sufficiently first (insert local boogeyman of the day here). Then go right ahead as long as you contribute to the church afterward (or just flat our are the church).
Pride is bad for you and me because it makes us listen to the church less. Pride is fine for the church because it lets them justify hiding pedophiles and sweeping abuse under the rug so we don’t see anything but a well constructed facade.
Note: Some of this is not entirely fair. Christianity is not necessarily a monolithic entity, it only occasionally acts like that even to outsiders like me. But all of the above are true somewhere in my experience or in historical example and I frankly don’t see many christian groups speaking out against them. Also this is largely about churches. Individual christians are people like the rest of us and have their own viewpoints, they just also happen to support organizations that put forth ugly, hypocritical ideas.
Everything’s okay if you can cram Jesus in there somewhere, right?