“The Passion of the Christ(iansen!),” by Jesus Christiansen

Apr 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

Sometimes, when I sit and really think about it, I realize I’m a lot like Jesus. Not in the “I’m going to preach about love and peace to people who won’t listen in order to help the world” sense. More like, in the sense of, “Here I am, I’m not going to change, I’m here to stay, so deal with it.” (A good slogan for me would be, “I’m here, I’m Christ-like, get used to it!”) In summary, I’m very in your face about my “in-your-face-ness.”

Jesus and I have a lot in common. First and foremost, our names both begin with the letters J-E-S-U-S C-H-R-I-S-T, albeit my first name is pronounced the Mexican way, with a long “J” (I was conceived in a taco stand). Additionally, I am a carpenter like Jesus was, and my favorite animal is the goldfish. Also, my mom (who was almost named Mary!-she ended up Sylvia) was one of those born-again virgins with the restored hymens when she gave birth to me. (That must have hurt!!) So, as you can see, Jesus Christ and Jesus Christiansen?-not so different after all.

My friends all call me “J.C.” The “C” is short for either Christiansen or Clark, which is my middle name. (It works on two levels.) When they ask me for advice, I just reply with a big smile, “WWJD??” Then they say, “No no, I’m serious, if you were in my position, what would you do?” and I say, “I have been in your position, and what I would do is the same thing the other Jesus-the real Jesus-would do.” And when they say, “Which is?…”, then I just purse my lips and squint at them, and nod solemnly and tap my temple, to gesticulate that they would already know the answer if they would just think about things as deeply as the other Jesus or I did/do.

Then they say, “You know what, ‘Jesus’?”-and they do that pretentious quotey finger thing when they say my name, like it’s not my real name or something-“You’re a real d-bag sometimes. I wish you’d just give regular advice for once in your life like a normal friend.” And I say, “Fine, Barack, you know what I did when I was in your position? I took the under. There is no way, given the recent success of Minnesota’s bullpen and the anemic on-base percentage of Kansas City’s hitters, along with the weakness of the Twins’ offense in night games played on grass, that the teams will combine for more than seven runs.” And they would tell me thanks, that I’m a real “MVF” (“Most Valuable Friend”), a way better friend than David (a.k.a. “Axelrod”), Rahm (“Rummy”), Jon Favreau (“Swinger”), or Michelle (“Brownie”).

Then they would continue the list, adding that I am also a much better friend than Marty, Craig, Valerie, Warren, Jeremiah, Malia, or Sasha. Whoever they are.

Also, Eric, Arne, Lawrence, Zac, and Vanessa.

I would respond, “You sure have a lot of friends for someone who isn’t Jesus!” And they would tell me that that was sort of a rude thing to say, at which point I would remind them that things that might be rude for people not named for venerated progenitors of harmony and faith aren’t rude for people who are. One of the perks of being named after a legendary religious figure is that you can drop your name into just about any conversation and people don’t think you’re preaching. Only that you’re maybe a little conceited, which isn’t as annoying. That must have been how Muhammed Ali felt. Buddha also. It makes me hungry when that happens. I’m suddenly in the mood for Mexican.

Tacos, anyone?


Jesus Christiansen is the nom de plume, this one time only, of Michael Wolman, an aristocrat, blogger, poet, and lover in the mold of Lord Byron. (Several people say he “looks a little, but not really” like Johnny Depp “in the right light.”) If you didn’t like this piece, you would hate his blog, Winter on the Equator (winterontheequator.blogspot.com). Jesus lives in New York. And heaven.

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