King James, Phillipeans and the Talking Snake

I have always loved stand-up comedy. I even kind of tried it once when I did a spoken word routine and told the story of when my brother and I got arrested for breaking into Wrigley Field. I have my list of the best comics ever and at, or at least near, the top of that list is Bill Hicks. Bill’s dead now, but when he was alive he contributed to the comedic canon some of the best routines I’ve ever heard. One of these is his bit about a capturing a Gideon. I won’t go into the whole routine, but I will provide this one snippet that’s just great:

“Who are the Gideons ? Ever met one? No. Ever seen one? No. But they’re all over the world putting bibles in hotel rooms. What are they ninjas, where are they?!”

David Cross also has a very funny bit about the Bible in which he addresses the abnormally long life span of so many of the Old Testament figures. There was a show on the History Channel recently that posited that maybe the guys that the Bible maintains lived that long were actually our alien overlords that spliced human DNA with that of the baboon and chimp to yield humans. A very entertaining show, I suppose, if you are a stoner Jimmy Johns delivery guy with the kind of time necessary to devote to a full episode of that show. But I digress.

I was raised Catholic and have 16 years of Catholic education under my belt. So whether I wanted it or not, I received a pretty thorough schooling of most of the Bible’s contents. I even took a class called The New Testament in college. So I’m not a biblical scholar per se, but I could answer quite a few questions on Jeopardy and giving the average evangelical preacher a run for his money.

Side Note: It always amuses me when people identify themselves as Christian as though they have something over on me. Hey buddy, I’m Catholic alright? We invented you. I especially have fun when I tell them that as a Catholic, all I have to do is cross myself and ask God’s forgiveness right before I die and Boom. Kingdom of Heaven for me! Gets them pissing brimstone every time.

I like many of the stories in the Bible. One particular one is the story of Saul/Paul and how he became a disciple of Jesus (I just looked up “apostle” and “disciple” at dictionary.reference.com and they say the two are interchangeable but I’m pretty sure “apostle” means one of the guys who followed Jesus around everywhere and were present at The Last Supper and when Jesus fixed lunch for a crapload of people and all that and a “disciple” was just someone who thought Jesus was pretty bitchin’ and the Son of God, etc.).

[Full disclosure: I realize that this post borders on heresy or at least would probably get me burned at the stake. Lighten up, Catholics, it’s a blog post. Besides, don’t the Catholics always boast about how merciful God is?]

A friend of a friend recently got wind of the fact that I dropped out of Vet Tech school. Her card was truly inspirational to me as she quotes Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Don’t even get me started on how or why Paul wrote and sent a letter to all the Philippians. I mean, did he have to copy it for every Philippian? How many Philippians were there?! What about the kids or the illiterate Philippians? Did they have the letter read to them too? Oy, the sad thing is I think about this stuff).

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

And she capped it with “Soldier on.” Pretty inspirational stuff, I must say. A truer sentiment than “Soldier on” you’d be hard-pressed to find. The funny thing is the same woman sent me a card which, before I started the Vet Tech program, was pretty ominous. She warned me against letting my heart sink in despair if this Vet Tech program didn’t work out. At the time, I thought “Hey lady! What’s with the disparaging passive aggressive encouragement?” Now, I realize what she was doing. Now, two months later, I just have to soldier on. Thanks Donna.

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