Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday heresy

As far as some of my old time heroes go, it hasn't been that good a week. Arthur C Clarke, the Daddy of all hard science fiction writers, is no more. Paul Schofield, one of the great classical actors likewise. We will not see their like again.

As for today, I've always wondered why we call it 'Good' Friday. Although for most who do not work in the retail sector it comes as a day off, it has otherwise quite dark connotations.

'Good' Friday we are told, is the day we comemorate the death of a man, who to quote Douglas Adams "Got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to everybody all the time". I blame religion, although it isn't really the fault of the religious bodies really, it's the zealous amongst the 'believers'. These are the people who often demand that their religion reflect their own petty tribal prejudices and pointless blinkered hatreds. When their religion fails to do this, they go off and decide that the old way is no longer true, and that their new way is holy writ.

Maybe if God managed to speak to us all and said something along the lines of; "Come on guys - I didn't mean you should take it that seriously." It might do some good.

I prefer my heresy, which at least has the promise of a chuckle.
Around 2000 years ago, a man has been nailed to a cross and literally 'hung out to dry' for speaking out against the established religion. The establishment manage to fit the guy up, because he is young, full of ideals, and not all that bright outside of his own belief system. Now he sags, nails driven through his wrists and ankles by unsympathetic Roman Soldiers. "Stop wriggling and it won't hurt so much." Staring down in the baking sun at a small group of ragged losers of disciples who got him into this mess in the first place. "What are you looking at?" Says he.
Shame faced, one disciple steps forward and speaks for the group. "Er, sorry Lord. I mean we're truly sorry we let the Pharisees stitch you up like this. Is there anything we can do?"
"Yeah." Says the man nailed to the cross. "Something to get these sodding nails out, and a decent beer would be helpful."
"No need to be like that." Says the Disciple, and leaves with all his friends.
"Oh come on. I was only kidding." Shouts the man nailed to the cross. "Guys, come back. Hey! I was only kidding! Get me down from this thing. GUYS! Oh bugger."