Saturday, August 29, 2009

Exit 2 West Side Hwy Fringe Jesus

When my theater critic friend called wondering if I was interested in attending any of the FRINGE NYC theater productions, I jumped at the chance to be cool once more and I lit up the mood speakers in my Kia Soul ! and headed to the city.

I felt God smiling on me as he provided free parking and what do you know – right in front of St Anthony Padula, the official NYC patron saint of parking. Oh glorious day.

Tucked between SoHo and The Village, I was happy to find that Sullivan Street still hadn’t succumbed to corporate America as there wasn’t a Starbucks in sight. Instead there were three coffee shops all within a half block radius: Local, Once Upon a Tart and The Jean Claude CafĂ©. I chose my fair trade java at Local. After all, Grub Street NY reviewed, "Even people with hairy, unattractive babies can enjoy Local." So Local won out over Once Upon a Tart though O.U.T. had some really cool miniature Eiffel Towers on display. I think they were mocking Jean Claude but I couldn’t be sure.
As I made my way to the theater, I found this postcard: I just knew things were going to be all right. And showing at the theater? Billed as 100 years of Hollywood and 33 films starring Jesus…."Jesus Ride".

The first few minutes were promising enough with informative snippets from a variety of films ranging from The Greatest Story Ever Told to Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter to The Passion. Then the actor/playwright spent the next hour or so 1) bashing The Trinity Broadcasting Network, 2)portraying Christians as people who believe Jews are bad because Jews killed Jesus and 3) moaned and moaned about working for a Christian director/dictator from TBN. Gosh, if I wanted to hear someone complain for an hour, I could have just gone to my day job.

Numbers 11:1Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.


Gigi said...

Ahh...lots of laughs in this one, NJJ...thanks!

Siarlys Jenkins said...

That's a long rambling jaunt, so I'm just going to ramble a little too. I have a problem with "Jesus is Lord Parking." I was driving one day and saw an old storefront with a sign on the corner saying "Maranatha." I thought oh, a little storefront Pentecostal church. As I got closer, I saw under Maranatha it also read "Beauty Salon." What is the theology here, I wondered, "Hair is Risen"? Seriously, is it right to use God to market your business? When does that become a bit like changing money in the Temple? But, I once had a landlord who gathered a small church in her beauty salon on Sunday mornings. (A multi-tasking business woman, she was.)

I'm not so sure about those Jesus lights either. Sounds like its time to give a technological update to "I don't care if it rains or freezes, 'long as I got my plastic Jesus..." Its not the idols, nor the icons, that count, its what is in the spirit. But then, I find a nicely lighted Christmas tree spiritually inspiring, and is a Christmas CD fundamentally better than a lighted Jesus? Its all in how you take it.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I really have no problem bashing the Trinity Broadcasting Network. My favorite Christian magazine, The Wittenburg Door, did so all the time. However, if a vegetarian accepts employment at a steak house, they should not complain about having to serve large portions of meat to the customers.

NewJerseyJesus said...

Thanks for your comments. I do appreciate them!