Madison Avenue Jesus

Dear Jesus,

It seems to me that you have no conception of decency and good manners. Apparently you have never really understood the white man's religion. If you had, you would not have begun your public ministry by calling for repentance. I mean, repentance is radical change, a recognition of guilt, a reversal of its past, an about-face. You can't expect that from people.

You must have read the multitude of studies that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that no means of communication can do more than make very slight changes. But you talk about "rebirth." What nonsense! And all this talk about the Holy Spirit is so much childish superstition.

You ought to focus on smaller changes that might reasonably be expected. But no. You make outrageous demands that force people to conclude that you are irresponsible. The only other thing they could conclude is that the entire present world order is fundamentally wicked, and that is preposterous. Your whole position is so extreme that either you or they have got to be stark raving mad.

And you demand! You don't simply request or suggest. Who are you to make demands on people? You must recognize your place. You should come, hat in hand, and tactfully discuss what you feel is needed.

Listen: We're in the midst of a national crisis, and we just can't afford to indulge ourselves in utopian idealism and emotional tirades. What we need are not wild-eyed prophets but hard-headed technicians who are willing to compromise their principles occasionally.

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