For those of you who don’t read the Bible, I have some information for you. The story of the birth of Jesus is depicted a number of times throughout the text of the New Testament. None of the accounts describe the occurrence with extensive detail. The tales inform us of who was there and how they came to be there, and the setting is explained, but not much else.
I’m guessing that from the time that Mary’s holy water broke to the time a manger cow licked the baby Jesus clean, at least twelve hours should have passed. Add in the travel time to Bethlehem by all the characters involved, the post birth celebration and the gift presentation by the three kings that weigh the same, it must have been at least two full days before the manger nurse kicked everybody out for violating visiting hours.
It seems to me that the birth of Christ is one of the most defining events portrayed in the Bible, but in each of the Books that chose to describe the incident, the authors could only belt out a few paragraphs to venerate the miracle. First he’s born and, all of a sudden, John the Baptist is giving him a sponge bath in a river. What the hell happened?
As an author wouldn’t you expect your readers to want to know more about such a significant happening as it relates to the rest of the plot? I know when I was reading it, I wondered how Mary handled the delivery, was Joseph worried about the manger bill and life insurance, was Jesus in danger of contracting Lyme disease or some other insect carried bacterial ailment, who signed the birth certificate, did Joseph have to legally adopt Jesus, did the Wise Men have the decency to provide gift receipts, how did the Holy Spirit live with itself knowing he let another man raise his son, who ate the afterbirth, did an episiotomy need to be performed, did they have to order out for food, was all this covered in the HMO - even the neonatologist, etc.? The questions pile up with no answers in sight. The stories are suspiciously lacking.
This leads me to believe that the truth of what happened in the manger is not known or, at least, it was not made known to the common folk. It makes one question the validity of the entire Christian belief, not to mention the very existence of the Little Drummer Boy. Why would the authors omit such important information? Were they trying to hide something? You bet they were, but what?
To find out we must trust our faith and read between the lines. I have done this for you, so there is no need for you to waste your time trying to figure it out. What I have determined is remarkable. I understand why Matthew and Luke and Pat Robertson and the others chose the conservative approach to their retelling.
It turns out that the tiny infant Jesus could talk. True, he was part deity, part mortal, but he had to learn his human skill just like any other child. But, God wanted him to begin "spreading the word" as soon as possible, so he blessed Jesus with the power of speech. The unfortunate part, and I’m not saying God screwed up, is that God did not bless Jesus with the power of tact and courtesy. These were human skills that JC would have to be taught - an unexpected responsibility for which Mary and Joseph were not quite prepared the first night on the job.
Being a newborn, Jesus had a lot of questions and thoughts that an immature (non-existent) super ego could not restrain. If recorded, these first words of the savior’s wisdom would have scarred Christianity until forever. Had the authors included this scrap of history in their narration, the religion would have had a difficult time getting off the ground, attracting only the most vulgar and uncouth followers (like me). For those of you interested in starting your own religion, if you want it to consume the world, start by attracting the popular people, like movie stars. Then the more abundant mopes will follow. Look how well the Church of Scientology is doing. I’m still waiting for my application to be approved so I can finally give Tom Cruise a foot bath.
As the notion of a speaking baby Jesus was denied print, so too was any dialog that may or may not have occurred. After months and months of research, I have unearthed a snippet of his first words of wisdom. Here is a sample of what transpired:
Jesus: Pss. Hey Joe!
Joseph (dumbfounded): What? Who said that? Is that you, God?
Jesus: Well, sort of. Down here, dude.
Joseph (looking down at the child): Holy Shit!
Jesus: Oh, you can smell that? Sorry. I couldn’t find a bathroom.
Joseph: You can talk!
Jesus: Mom didn’t tell me you were a genius. Of course I can talk! But don’t tell anybody. I want it to be a surprise.
Joseph: It’s a miracle!
Jesus: You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Just wait until I stop shitting in my pants.
Joseph: Now, son, I don’t approve of you using that foul language.
Jesus: Look, before you start getting all heavy on me, let’s get something straight. I know you are not my real father, so can the orders, pops.
Joseph: I am you worldly father. It is my duty.
Jesus: Duty my ass. You haven’t even done the nasty with my mom yet. From what I’ve heard, you were the only guy hard up enough to agree to this gig. Where’s your self respect, man? Can’t you get a chick without divine intervention?
Joseph: I do not intend to discuss my personal life with the likes of you. You may be the savior, but you must respect your elders.
Jesus: Take it easy, big boy. I’ll go easy on ya. Hey, what’s that? (Jesus eyes a donkey standing in the manger.)
Joseph: That, my son, is an ass.
Jesus: Can I have it?
Joseph: Yes, I suppose so.
Jesus: Oh, goodie! I got myself a new ass. I love my ass. It’s a big ass, too. I love my new, big ass.
Joseph: Yes, Jesus, you are very lucky.
Jesus: That ass is sure hairy. I've got a big, hairy ass. Take a look at my big, hairy ass, Joe.
Joseph: I see it. It is very impressive.
Jesus: You know what else? It’s kind of smelly. Don’t you think?
Joseph: I’ll agree that there is some pungency wafting our way from that direction.
Jesus: My big, hairy ass is smelly. I’ve got a big, hairy, smelly ass. What’s a boy to do with a big, hairy, smelly ass?
Joseph: You can try washing it.
Jesus: I think I want to shave it. Joe, can you do me a favor and shave my big, hairy, smelly ass? Please?
Joseph: Ask your mother.
Jesus: I think he’s hungry. Maybe he wants a carrot. Hey, Joe, go get a carrot and stick it in my big, hairy, smelly ass. That should make my big, hairy, smelly ass feel better.
Joseph: There are no carrots to be found.
Jesus: I’d like to take my big, hairy, smelly ass for a ride. But I can’t. I'm too little. Wow, if I could ride my own big, hairy, smelly ass, I would never leave the house. Maybe you would like to ride my big, hairy, smelly ass, Joe. You look like the type.
Joseph: Maybe in my younger days, but I’m too old for that now.
Jesus: Did a little experimenting in college, huh, Joe? Oh, well. My big, hairy, smelly ass is standing kind of funny. Maybe he’s sore. I think my big, hairy, smelly ass is sore. Joe, I need you to rub my big, hairy, smelly ass. Could you do that for me? But don’t rub too hard. I don’t want my big, hairy, smelly ass to start bleeding. There is nothing worse than a big, bloody, hairy, smelly ass, don’t you think?
Joseph: Enough already! I’M SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT YOUR BIG, BLOODY, HAIRY, SMELLY ASS! NOW SHUT THE HELL UP, YOU LITTLE BASTARD!!!
Mary: Did you say something, Dear?
Jesus: Uh oh, somebody's in trouble. Yo! Melchior, what did you bring me...
As you can see from this depiction, the true story does not lend itself to the creation of a successful religion whose major premise is faith. It’s tough to convince people to have faith in a snot-nosed kid with a potty mouth. The authors may have done right when they chose to overlook this part of history. Otherwise, their religion could have gone that way of the Davidians and Jonestown. And what kind of Christmas would that leave us? I shudder to think of the possibilities.