Sunday, January 23, 2005

Low-Carb Jesus

The low-carb craze proceeds relentlessly in the US. Now every store sells low-carb pasta, reduced carb non-dairy creamer and of course nearly carbless bread. I’ve tried the low-carb bread with its extra chewy, spongy consistency. It’s a lot like the real stuff but not quite.

It looks and smells like the bread I’ve devoured since youth, but after three slices—dressed up with almond butter and apricot jam or faux turkey and soy cheese, it still does not satisfy, does not provide that starchy comfort, that real food feeling I crave.

It’s nothing new though; I’m used to this feeling of dissatisfaction.

I’ve consumed low-carb Jesus all my life.

I don’t mean those bone-dry wafers the priest adhered to my tongue during my Catholic youth. (I couldn’t even wash down those woodchip-like hosts with wine since the cup was reserved for the sole use of Father Justin and his altar thugs.) No, Jesus with reduced carbs is not just a Catholic offering. This low-carb Jesus transcends denominations. He is fed to the masses by the Baptists, 7th Day Adventists, Presbyterians, Methodists and most of the other Christian franchises that dot the landscape of America.

Here’s how it works.
They serve up Jesus, but they purposely leave out the carbs of Christ.
These churches offer his body, not only broken for us, but also stripped of any recognizable humanity, except of course the suffering. Anger, lust, passion, confusion, bowel movements, all removed so that we receive a colorless, spongy Jesus so unlike ourselves we despair of ever following him.

How can I, a human, a man, ever emulate the perfect, carbless drone of God?

Again, I am used to this kind of thing.
For years I had to put up with the skin and bones, fat-free Jesus.

They displayed before me every Sunday, the spotlessly clean and impossibly lean son of God. He hung pinned up in front of me like a bloody butterfly with wings splayed out wide.

Who wants to eat the undernourished sacrificial Lamb of God after they beat the shit out of him? That sort of meat always tastes gamey and tough. Toughened through suffering and holy living, not animal adrenaline coursing through he frantic body. No, their Jesus had no such physical reaction to trauma.

The Jesus they served me, the evangelical, fundamental, orthodox, catholic, Pentecostal Jesus was instead filled with divine power—a supped up version of humanity, no longer human except for the chaise. . How I longed for the bubbling over with cellulite and laughter, Buddha, the enlightened one, obscenely and hilariously obese.

No wonder for years I took and ate the gutted Jesus, drank the crystal-lite grape juice blood of Christ then ran out and sought other men to devour. The Jesus they gave me, sitting at the right hand of God, high and lifted up, larger than life yet skinner than a runway model always contained twice the God with only an eighth of the humanity. No fat, low carb, sugar-free Jesus. I never gained spiritual weight yet once I left church, I lived my life like it was an all you can eat buffet.

In an age when scientists, not grandmothers decide what makes a healthy, tasty loaf of bread, and church leaders conspire to reprocess an already over processed son of God, I say give me that old time religion when Jesus was a just a human, one filled with light and hope, but still profoundly human, and folks like me, mere handfuls of dust, could aspire to even greater works then his.

Cut out the crap; give me the real Jesus, carbs and all.