[Reader-list] The Christmas Mail

Anand Vivek Taneja bulle_shah at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 25 02:12:26 IST 2002

There is no Christmas tree in the central square of Bethlehem this year.
Just heard the news on CNN. 

...And so?

... So, well, nothing. Christmas Eve without a public, non-denominational celebration in the town of Christ's birth.
Tanks and guns and bombs instead of Christmas trees.
A Christmas under siege - In Palestine, in India, wherever you care to look.
One can't help feeling that Jesus would be more familiar with Christmas of this sort, rather than the imported, pagan, European idea of yuletide.
Armoured Roman patrols in the streets of Bethlehem and Jerusalem would be more up his alley.    

And Jesus and his crucifixion seems all to familiar at the end of this year.
The innocent, the weak, and the conscientious objectors are either already crucified or getting there.
Forgive them, they know not what they do...
So they/we bear the crown of thorns, as they/we wash our hands in despair, as us/them nail us to the cross with the most painfully contrived of accusations.
Like being guilty for being Muslim, for talking on the phone in Kashmiri, for teaching Arabic.
Yet another bearded man has been sentenced to death on accusations baseless. 
They say Jesus went to Kashmir after the resurrection...
... And messing with myths is a dangerous buiness...

But then the Jesus crucified, turning the other cheek, as Longinus thruts his spear in, is too familiar to miss.
This Christmas I wish for the other Jesus.

The Jesus who stormed into the temple and threw the moneylenders out.
The Jesus who raged in righteous wrath.
The Jesus who railed against those who turn God/religion into a profitable business.
The Jesus who was hung up along with common criminals for his pains, as the law of the land was circumvented.
Let's remember him, the Jesus who raged against the dying of the light, not the Jesus who forgave as he was killed.
For there is nothing much left to forgive. And they know exactly what they're doing. 
And Atal Behari Vajpayee shares his birthday with Jesus... 
And it's all so complicated, and yet so terrifyingly simple...
That Hitler worshipped the spear of Longinus, the spear that pierced the side of Jesus.
That the RSS and its guru Golwalkar worshipped Hitler and his extermination of the Jews.
That Atal Behari Vajpayee has publicly admitted to belonging to the RSS first, and being the Prime Minister of the country second.
That in the name of Jesus, Jews and Muslims got kicked around Europe.
That now the Jews kick around Muslims and Christians in the Palestine of Jesus.
Oh, Jesus...       

Jesus won't you take the time 
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on earth...

In the hope of the Jesus who threw the moneylenders out of the temple.
In the hope of a Happy New Year.


Come, let us weave a dream tonight
Otherwise the darkness of this hard age...
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