“Political Jesus,” by Neil Oatsvall

Apr 20th, 2018 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Republican Jesus

Republican Jesus rode into town on a beautiful Sunday on his brand-new luxury Mule-cedes. He had worked hard and deserved what got. Not everyone possessed his skills, like the totally earned water-walking ability. It was good to reap the benefits of his life.

As he rode, Republican Jesus saw destitute people spending money on palm fronds that they could have been using to help themselves. “The Lord helpeth those who help themselves,” he proclaimed. “Spend not thy money on frivolity, but instead invest in your own future. And why aren’t you at work?”

“It is Sunday, my Lord!” the masses proclaimed. “We’re totally cool Jews who realize that Sunday should really be the Sabbath, just like you’ll tell us in a week or so.”

Republican Jesus was not to be humbled, and he spake, “You think I don’t know that? It was merely a test. Keep on being holy.”

As Republican Jesus dismounted from his Mule-cedes, the people thronged about him. “Hey, lay off Republican Jesus’s threads. This is an Armani robe. Don’t get your poor on it.”

Others asked for healing. One woman had a child unable to walk. “Republican Jesus, would you please heal my child and help him walk again?”

Republican Jesus looked upon her with pity and kindness. “I know our fellow Jew Bernard hath told you to expect others to pay your medical bills, but this is not the holy way of doing it. Go get a good job that hath benefits, and from there your insurance, within a market system, will provide your needs.”

Perplexed, the woman asked, “Will this insurance provide physicians able to help my child walk again?”

Annoyed, Republican Jesus said, “No, of course not. They are totally lame.”

“My child is lame, my Lord. He cannot walk,” spake the woman.

Republican Jesus scoffed, “That was merely locker room talk. Thou cannot get so offended. Now beat it.”

Republican Jesus surveyed the crowd thoughtfully before speaking. Finally, his voice rang out. “I hath advocateth for the flat tax, but nay the Romans keep letting the free loaders squander the hard work of so many.”

“God the Father hath proclaimed His law, and verily so I say, ‘Let no man get free stuff, for this weakens the spirit. Instead, let all pay their fair share, because as I am just and fair make the Earth the same way.'”

The crowd asked him the proper way to make Republican Jesus’s commandments a reality.

Republican Jesus had an answer. “Thou needest a strong military! And lower taxes! And a smaller Roman government! The federal Roman government doth taketh away the liberty of my people.”

The crowd did not understand. “But, teacher! How can we achieve these goals?”

And then the Lord sayeth, “Strap up! So speaketh the Lord. Hast thou seen my new bump-hilt Gladius sword? It can stabbeth sixty times a minute, just as my Father intended. The cold steel of Republican Jesus will ‘redeemeth’ the non-believers. Get it?!” With that Republican Jesus gave the nearest crowd member a little nudge, and all laughed, assured in the rightfulness of a good Jew with a sword always being nearby to stop a bad Jew with a sword.

Then the Lord looked around. It had been a long day and He was tired. “Is there a Golden Corral nearby? This Lord runs on mac-and-cheese.” And with that, Republican Jesus rested on his miracles.


Republican Jesus spent the next few days wandering amongst the people, teaching via parable, and preparing for his great feast.

He lectured on the dangers of radical Islamic terrorism, saying that when the religion was invented in 600 years, “Shit will get real.” Republican Jesus also decried the latest Starbucks cup, because it was making everyone gay, or some other shit. “I love you all, though, no homo,” he proclaimeth.

And finally, He advocated for building a wall around Jerusalem. Some followers were confused. They asked, “You mean like the Wailing Wall, Republican Jesus? Don’t we already have one of those?”

“No,” Republican Jesus explained. “I mean a bigger one that will keep out the brown people.”

“But, Jesus,” they cried out. “Aren’t we the brown people?”

Republican Jesus quickly explained. “No, no. I mean the browner people. The ones who will come after we’ve already immigrated. They’re too late, and they’ll take all our herding and olive picking jobs.”

On the night of his last supper, Republican Jesus gathered his followers for a solemn feast. He hired someone to wash his disciples’ feet, while other servants anointed Him with oil. Smoking a hand-rolled Cuban cigar, Republican Jesus spoke to his followers, “Do I not providest thou with the best shit?” And verily they all agreed.

When it was time for the meal, Republican Jesus took a loaf of Wonder bread and handed each disciple a slice. Each piece seemed imbued with the weight of history. Then the Lord spake, “This is my body. Eat it often in remembrance of me. And we own stock in Wonder bread, so check the label. No off brands.”

Then Republican Jesus took the chalice and held it aloft, speaking with conviction, “This grape juice is my blood. You’ll notice it’s not wine, because alcohol is a sin, of course. Write that down so that people in the future know I mean it. Drink this often in remembrance of me.”

Then, as the dinner ended, Republican Jesus rose and spoke to his disciples. “Tonight, one of you will make a cuck of me. And it’s only happening because I’ve got this great destiny and everything. Don’t think anyone could make me a cuck without me agreeing to it, if I were into that of course.”

Judas Iscariot looked meek and replied, “You know, it probably wouldn’t have to be that way, hypothetically speaking.”

Republican Jesus flashed anger in his eyes, “I thought you could keep this shit cool, Judas. I never should’ve tapped my sandals underneath the divider into your stall that day. You don’t know how to keepeth things on the down low.”

The apostle Paul looked repulsed. “Teacher, are you saying that you… and Judas Iscariot… you know…”

Republican Jesus scoffed, “When you’re famous like Republican Jesus, God the Father lets you do it.”

And thus it was that Republican Jesus offered himself up to the Romans, was persecuted, and was crucified. He rose from the grave three days later with two automatic short swords and an eagle resting on his shoulder.

Or some other bird. Whatever the fuck it is they have in Israel. And looks badass. A sparrow or some shit wouldn’t do for a badass like Republican Jesus.


Democrat Jesus

It was a beautiful Sunday as Democrat Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on his Toyota Pri-ass. He liked the gas mileage, but more than that he thought of it as taking care of his Dad’s Earth.

The people came out just to get a glimpse of Democrat Jesus, laying palm fronds down in front of him as he rode into town.

“Are those local palm fronds?” he mused to one of his adoring throng.

“Yeah, dude, this is Israel. There are date palms everywhere. Are you blind?”

Never abashed, Democrat Jesus merely responded, “Just checking, my child of light. No need to be a downer to the Lord.”

Then Democrat Jesus dismounted from his Pri-ass and walked among the people. They came to him, beseeching his help. “Teacher! Teacher!” they called. “Could you please heal us?!”

One woman had a child unable to walk. “Democrat Jesus, would you please heal my child and help him walk again?”

Democrat Jesus looked upon her with pity and kindness. “This is the problem with the Roman government,” he spoke to the crowd. “They should be helping this woman and her child by providing healthcare to all. So sayeth the Lord, ‘Thou payest enough in taxes. Let the Romans divert some funds from the Legion to help the lowest amongst you.’ And thus it is right.”

Perplexed, the woman asked, “Do they have physicians able to help my child walk again?”

In far too bro-like a demeanor than would befit a mellow Lord and Savior, Democrat Jesus said, “No, of course not. They are totally lame.”

“My child is lame, my Lord. He cannot walk,” spake the woman.

Democrat Jesus nodded, scratching his goatee. “Right you are. That was insensitive of me. Here, let me do my Jesus thing real quick.” Democrat Jesus then laid his hands upon the poor boy’s legs, whispered a prayer, and said, “Arise, child of God, and go forth spreading God’s word with every step.”

With that, the young boy walked as if he had never had an ambulatory problem. His mother cried tears of joy. “The Romans never helped my boy, dear Lord. My thanks for my whole life. Hallelujah!”

With great sympathy Democrat Jesus looked her in the eyes and said, “Now, now, that’s just their culture. We cannot decry the Romans too much for that.”

Then the Lord looked around. It had been a long day and He was tired. “Is there a Starbucks nearby? The Lord could use a pick-me-up latte.” And with that, Democrat Jesus rested on his miracles.


Democrat Jesus spent the next few days wandering amongst the people, teaching via parable, and preparing for his great feast.

There was nothing wrong with Roman taxes, Democrat Jesus said. But He wished they went more toward helping the poor and middle class instead of the Roman Legion and large corporate olive farms. Democrat Jesus decried the Pharisees’ trickle-down tithing system. He lauded LGBTQ rights, telling his followers, “Democrat Jesus stays out of your bedroom unless he’s invited. Then party on.” And he disparaged the land’s concealed dagger permit system, saying that it was too easy for anyone to get a dagger, especially via the bazaar-show loophole.

On the night of his last supper, Democrat Jesus gathered his followers for a solemn feast. He washed their feet and they anointed him with oil. “But, Democrat Jesus, isn’t this just another example of wasteful liberal culture? Couldn’t that money have been used to help the poor?”

“Thou shalt not be a dick, Andrew. So sayeth the Lord,” said Democrat Jesus. “The poor will always be with you. Can’t a Jesus have some nice shit every once in awhile? Wash your own feet next time.” After their ablutions, it was time for the meal.

Democrat Jesus took the unleavened loaf and held it in his hands for a moment. It seemed ponderous within his grasp. Then, delicately breaking the bread, he said, “This gluten-free bread is my body. Eat it often in remembrance of me. The gluten-free is for you, Thomas, because this deity respects your dietary restrictions.”

Then Democrat Jesus took the chalice, with conviction, and spoke, “This locally-sourced, fair trade wine is my blood. Drink it often remembrance of me.” He passed the cup around and his disciples were happy.

After that, Democrat Jesus took the bowl and sparked the chamber. “This totally mellow bud, is my spirit, or whatever. Smoke it often because, you know, it’s good shit. You know that Democrat Jesus only partaketh of the good cheeba. But keepeth this on the down low, for my Father is a bit uptight about the smoke. Now don’t hog that shit, and make sure Democrat Jesus gets a few good hits.”

As Democrat Jesus and the disciples got stoned in the name of the Lord, as is right and good, He spoke to the twelve. “Okay, I hate to harsh everyone’s buzz, but one of you is going to betray me. I know, pretty bleak, but them’s the breaks.”

Judas Iscariot looked down at his feet, saying, “Aww, man, that seems a pretty insensitive thing to say, Democrat Jesus.”

Democrat Jesus barked back, “I already said, ‘Thou shalt not be a dick,’ Judas! Don’t push it!”

And thus it was that Democrat Jesus offered himself up to the Romans, was persecuted, and was crucified. He rose from the grave three days later with the munchies and a message for all believers.

Democrat Jesus spread his arms wide and proclaimed, “Be excellent to one another.”

“Didn’t you steal that from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?”

Democrat Jesus gave a side eye. “Shut up, Paul. Go deny some other Lord and Savior.”


Neil Oatsvall hails from the East Coast but has spent the past decade landlocked in the middle of the country. He did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina in Asian Studies (Japanese language) and history, and is therefore an unrepentant Tar Heel of the worst sort. He received his doctorate in history from the University of Kansas. He currently resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his wife, two young girls, and a cranky old black lab-border collie mix.

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