During my hermetic period (from my mid-20s to mid-30s), in which I probably read a couple thousand books, I read the Bible a couple of times. It's a great book, if you're looking for wholesale slaughter of innocent men, woman and children, or perhaps for rape and pillaging, or for a jobless carpenter who says he's a god's child and will kill a man's children if the man doesn't obey him, or for endless ancestry lineage with lots of weird names, or for the word "virgin" uttered often, or for a dude named Satan (not "satin") who kills only two people in the Bible compared with tens of thousands by his prime opponent, a dude named "God."
Fascinating stuff! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The jobless carpenter's name was, as I'm sure you've guessed, "Jesus," whose best parlor trick was turning a loaf of bread into 5,000 (why didn't this guy open up his own bread shop and get RICH?). There's been a lot of talk for a couple of thousand years on when he's going to return. People kinda sorta stopped asking this question when the 2nd millennia passed with nary a sighting nor word from the carpenter, whose bones surely must be turning over and over wondering when the hell all the millions of mystics will a) stop thinking he's a "god" b) stop whispering to him in "prayers" c) stop fucking young children d) stop killing people in his name e) stop pronouncing that the missionary position is the only valid position f) and stop proclaiming that he's about to return to Earth from wherever the hell he went to.
The last of these is especially disconcerting for some of us atheists because the Jesus-God guy is supposed to be omnipresent, so isn't he already here? Can he really leave anywhere when he's everywhere? Is he in my testicles this very moment?!
Oh well, of course I'm being too rational. When hillbillies begin talking about Jesus' return from somewhere to here again for the second time, I get a chuckle. But when the "leading conservative media since 1944" sends me (an online subscriber) an email with the subject line "Is Jesus About to Return," I realize once again that I am an alien who must've been launched in a spacecraft playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and showing Firefly episodes from a remote star system comprising rational people who exiled me here for saying "fuck" too much and for giving love pinches to the asses of beautiful women.
The "leading conservative media" is Human Events, which was Reagan's favorite periodical. Right after I received that troubling email, the doppelganger was complete when Human Events followed up with another email with a subject line that read "The Evidence of Life After Death," which confirmed and solidified my alien status beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you cannot quite empathize with my alien predicament of having two feet firmly planted in reality and two eyes always seeking fun and facts and never wishing for there to be things there ain't, perhaps I can offer you an analogy to help:
Let's say you wake up tomorrow morning and nearly everyone on Planet Earth is calling the color "blue" the color "yellow" and they look at you like you're crazy when you demand that blue is blue. Moreover, each of these people talks blithely to gremlins nearby that you cannot see, and they say that the gremlins are their dead ancestors, who had first morphed into flies, then cockroaches, then rats, then penguins before finally metamorphosing into gremlins with green ears and engorged labia.
You know how I feel yet? I do have friends who know that blue is blue, and I latch onto those friends with abandon. "Please, PLEASE don't every leave me! PLEEEEEEEEASE!" When we get together, we look around and know that we are surrounded by the gremlin crowd, the Jesus crowd. We've seen what they've done in history, the murders, the lynchings, the rapes, the spousal abuse, the bullying, the pogroms, the tortures, the missionary position, the suppression of freedoms because they are not intellectually free, the immense robbery via taxation, the artistic oppressions, Newt Gingrich.
We know that those sitting next to us may think Jesus might have his parachute on and is coming. But if he's not, the mystics will get antsy again and look over at me and my friends and just KNOW that we ain't part of the gremlin crowd. Their eyes will turn to slits.
That's usually our cue to smile and finger our Glocks.