I am a Christian

There are a number of reasons that people choose one faith over another, I guess. Mostly, though, it’s hardly faith, it’s ethnicity. Your great great grandparents are Catholic, every one you’re related to is Catholic and Surprise! you’re Catholic. There was a time when your religion was your people, and now the whole idea of ethnicity is so muddied, we’re all such mongrels (not Mongrels, I suppose) that we call it a faith or some-such.

So, everyone gets to pick and choose. There are Catholics out there that are pro-choice, and that makes sense to them. There are people who are basically agnostic, but they’re *POSITIVE* that Scientology is crap. Everyone is inventing their own rules about this stuff, so I get to as well.

On our first date, Jordana asked me what my favorite childhood story was. Apparently, she’d been told that you can tell a lot about a person by their favorite nursery rhyme, and she thought it was an interesting thing to investigate. Although our first date was actually a passover seder, I told her the truth, which is that the most powerful nursery story I was told was the story of Jesus Christ.

We were raised on it, even though our parents had no religion. My dad was totally disdainful of religion, openly mocking my mother’s Mormon relatives. But our lives have been shaped by the Christ story, totally and completely.

Every Christmas, for years, I spent almost all of my time singing carols as part of a choir. From the age of 15 until I was about 23 I performed every single Christmas, and a large chunk of that was the standard fare. God Rest Ye, Here We Come A’Wassailing, that kind of stuff, and every year we had to sing “Little Drummer Boy”. And every year, at some point, if it was during the 13th or 30th or 300th concert, I would listen to the treble voices tell the story while I rum-pummed my way through, and I would cry.

I recorded some 1800 or 1900 songs over the course of ten years. Songs from every influence, songs that I loved, songs that I *wrote* even. And these songs moved me to some degree, sometimes quite a bit. But when we were recording the Christmas album, when we recorded the songs my mom wrote about the Christ child, I actually had a hard time with it. She asked me to sing the Stableman’s Carol, a song about the man who ran the stable, who tried to keep the animals quiet so the baby would sleep, and I couldn’t record for about ten minutes because I couldn’t stop crying. It had never happened before, it has never happened since.

I don’t know what it means to have someone die for your sins, and it makes even less sense pre-emptively. I don’t know why hate-filled controlling monsters call themselves Christians, I honestly don’t know what the hell they are reading. Jesus didn’t hate homos, he didn’t hate Jews and Arabs, he didn’t say a word about abortion, and he didn’t say anything about taking over America. I don’t know where the hell these people are getting it. If they’re getting it from the Old Testament, they should check out the part about “I came to complete the law…” Or maybe I should just butt the fuck out of it.

I’ll tell you why I’m a Christian. The story goes thus; a baby was born of two poor people, and a kindness was performed. The shepherds came and stood watch. The inn-keeper gave them room when there was none. The kings brought gifts. I don’t know that the child would have been the messiah if he had not been loved, but he was. His is the example, that kindness can bring peace.

This baby, it could have been any baby. It could be Skylar or Polly. It could be Lucy. The child is born the child of God and the more love it gets, the better chance it has to save the world. I’m a Christian because I believe in that hope, in the hope that love creates love, that love makes people better. If the shepherds had turned away, if the kings hadn’t followed the star, then who knows. Maybe he wouldn’t be Christ.

I’ve been saved by the love of the people around me. It doesn’t matter how late it starts, it doesn’t matter. If you are 50 years old and you haven’t yet been loved completely, then you are still the child waiting to be born. And even now, no matter when it happens, someone’s love can save you, and your love can save other people.

The last entry was about Puppetry of the Penis, and I promise you, there will be more like that. But I just want to say, the allegory for me, the reason I am a Christian, is because I believe in the promise of humanity, I believe, firmly, that the love I’ve been shown has made me able to love others more and better, and the gifts that the shepherds and the stablemen and the kings gave to Jesus made him able, later, to cure the sick and heal the blind and gave him the courage to say “love your neighbor and pray for those who persecute you”, and that as soon as you love someone else, it comes back to you ten fold. That is the promise of heaven, that’s what he means when he talks about the kingdom of his father, about the kingdom that doesn’t exist on earth.

When I hear the Little Drummer Boy, it makes me cry, because that boy made Jesus into Jesus Christ. And if it makes me cry, then I’m a Christian.