Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood in each one. All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 650 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By John Cappelletti
When making a decision or criticizing decisions made by others, some people have asked, “What would Jesus do?”
Since all of the candidates running for the Presidency, or have dropped out of the race, consider themselves devout Christians (except, of course, for Bernie), we should not only ask these candidates What would Jesus do? But also What would Jesus definitely not do, or say?
(The scene is a mountaintop near Jerusalem. Jesus looks out at the thousands of people who have gathered to hear him speak.)
JESUS: Look! What a multitude! We should really do well today.
PETER: I bet we rake in a multitude of shekels from these suckers. We’re getting five shekels a head for this speech.
JESUS: My speeches are worth it. They’re great, like me. Did you bring the loaves and fishes?
PETER: Did I ever! Mary Magdalene got a good deal on stale bread. Also, she got buckets of fish that’ve seen better days, but, not to worry, we cut the smell with spices so they should sell well at two shekels a pop, plus another shekel for our special homemade wine we call Gabriel’s Trumpet.
JESUS: You mean, the watered-down wine I made at that wedding?
PETER: Yes. It’ll take several wineskins for them to even get a buzz. So we should do well with the wine.
JESUS: You know, that wine miracle just gave me an idea for a publicity stunt. Let’s spread the good news that the people here were hungry but we didn’t have any food, so I took a few loaves and fishes, performed a miracle and filled the bellies of the multitude.
PETER: Great! That should get us quite a few votes. I’ll tell our writers to get on it. They like to play up that miracle stuff. Luckily, people will believe anything candidates say.
JESUS: And you know what else will get people to vote for me? A wall.
PETER: A wall?
JESUS: Yes, to keep out those spongers who want to hear my speeches without paying for them. I’m tired of yelling, “Get out, get out!”
PETER: And don’t forget the undesirables who keep trying to get into Palestine illegally. They’re a bunch of rapists, winos and spongers.
JESUS: They definitely won’t be contributing any shekels to this campaign.
PETER: Speaking of your campaign, the polls say you are a shoo-in to win the election and we can call you King of the Jews.
JESUS: That slogan must be working.
PETER: You mean, Let’s Make Jerusalem Great Again?
JESUS: Yes, was that your idea, Peter?
PETER: No, it was…uh, well, yes, actually, it was all my idea.
JESUS: Good thinking, Peter. You are the foundation, a rock, upon whom I will build my administration.
PETER: And another idea of mine was my spin on how you were born to a poor family, a lowly carpenter who worked at a low minimum wage. The poor can identify with that and there are 99 percent more poor citizens than rich ones. That’s a helluva lotta votes!
JESUS: Now we must find a way to get the rich citizens to support my campaign also. We want those Citizens United behind us and make huge contributions.
PETER: Just tell them that if they support you with their silver here on earth, you guarantee they’ll inherit the kingdom of heaven. And it will be easier for them to enter the kingdom of heaven because they’ve got the gelt to buy a camel to take them there.
JESUS: And they also have the gelt to build my wall to keep out those foreign spongers and anyone who disagrees with me.
PETER: The rich don’t like government spongers either so they’ll gladly split for your wall.
JESUS: Let’s tell them if they support me when I’m King I’ll name a nearby street after them. Say, The Builders of the Wall Street.
PETER: I’ll put Judas on it. He’ll fit right in with that crowd. He’s always looking for ways to put some silver in his pocket. You know, you could make speeches just for them, the Wall Street Builders. They’d pay you at least 225,000 shekels a speech.
JESUS: But won’t the people think there’s a conflict of interest, my getting paid for these speeches.
PETER: Naw, they can’t even put two and two together. Besides, we won’t reveal the text of your speech to them.
JESUS: Maybe I could create a university to teach them math. We could make an abundance selling seminars to them on how to get rich and buy their way into heaven.
PETER: Christ, you’re the greatest! The King of the Jews!
JESUS: Nix that. The Romans might not like the King reference.
PETER: Naw, they’ll go for it. Besides, they can only speak Latin so they’ll need you to act as their negotiator. Also, we could seal the deal by throwing a few shekels their way.
JESUS: But what if they’re honest.
PETER: Nobody’s honest these days. For it is said, God helps those who help themselves. So we’ll just have to help ourselves plenty! Hahaha. (As
PETER and JESUS laugh, they walk towards the cheering crowd)
(Shouts to the crowd) Let’s make Jerusalem great again!
(The crowd cheers wildly as some protesters are sucker-punched, pushed to the ground, kicked and forced to leave. JESUS salutes the crowd, raising his right arm. The crowd roars.)
THE CROWD: Let’s make Jerusalem great again!