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The Jesus Clown Car

The Jesus Clown Car June 28, 2013

clown-car
(This guest post by David Paul Kirkpatrick, the former President of Paramount Pictures and the former Production President of both Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.)

Someone said that civilization began to end when the media circus entered everyone’s living room in the form of 24/7 cable news. That non-stop phenomenon required more information than ever before: more news, more stories, more sirens, alarms, bells and horns. And today we not only watch that flashy extravaganza, we’re in it: we’re daily Tweeting, texting, and blogging our commentaries on the very stories we help to create.

Years ago, conservative President Ronald Reagan and liberal Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill met every week for a whiskey and a talk. Though possessing very different points of view, they met in private as men who needed to get things done. And hey, whaddaya know: they got things done.

Can you imagine that happening in our three-ring circus culture of today, with all the video screens we have everywhere around us—in our homes, in our cars, at the gas pump, on the subway, above our urinals, in the palms of our hands—constantly bombarding us with nothing so much as strife, angst, and all drama all the time?

Two men cooperating together for the common good?

Pfft. How is that going to entertain us while we’re pumping gas?

Gay at the circus

In Hollywood, it was easy to be gay; lots of people there were, and nobody really cared about it. I was “normal” there for thirty years. I was always invited to Thanksgiving dinners, to Bar Mitzvahs and baptisms. While at the time having none of my own, I was godfather to many of my friends’ children. (On only one occasion can I recall any overt prejudice being directed my way. When I was at Disney, it was once suggested by the top brass that I “take a beard”—that is, marry a woman who would essentially pose as my wife. I was, after all, making movies for the “family” label. I declined to take that suggestion, and Walt Disney Pictures did just fine.)

The fundamentals

The irony is that I didn’t really become aware of how hostilely so many regard gay people until a few years ago, when I became a Christian. Then the issue wasn’t about hating some abstract condition of sinfulness; then it was about hating me, personally. So I learned to keep my “homosexuality” quiet as I moved about within Christendom. In that quietude, I was unable to be real with anyone.

Yet when I searched in the New Testament for anything that Jesus may have said about homosexuality, I found nothing. The closer I got to God, the more I understood that His heart is my heart, His breath my breath. When looking at Scripture through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, I saw same-sex attraction as a gift from God, not an imprint from the fall. And understanding that meant I could rest easy, knowing that I was no abomination before God: that I was nothing more (and nothing less!) than one of His precious, dearly beloved children.

The Jesus Clown Car

The other day, I got run over by the Jesus Clown Car.

Ah, clowns. They can really get us going, can’t they? They are funny, with their white pancake make-up, their red noses and wide, red mouths. Yet there is also something menacing about clowns. They move unpredictably, and often very fast. An eerie danger pulsates in the air around them. It’s no wonder the kid in Poltergeist wanted the clown painting removed from his room. He was afraid it would come leaping out at him.

The circus clowns of Jesus certainly came leaping out at me the other day.

In the comments to a post on the website of a conservative Christian magazine, I made a humble appeal to my Christian brothers and sisters to live as the body of Christ.

Honk, honk! Beeeeeep!! From out of nowhere, rumbling straight toward me, sputtering and spitting noxious white fumes, came the Jesus Clown Car! It paused before me for a moment, and then kazow!—clown after clown after clown came tumbling out of the tiny tin claptrap of a car, brandishing rubber mallets, bright hammers, and buckets filled with who knew what. When fired, their comically oversized guns loudly unfurled banners with garishly painted words of sounds printed on them.

BANG!

You cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit and still have the desire in your heart for a gay lover/companion!

BAM!

The Bible condemns homosexuality. To say the Lord would ever honor a gay relationship is pure heresy!

TWHAP!

Precious, you are in for such a rude awakening. I would hate to be in your shoes.

ZAPP!

You live a filthy lie to condone your perversion! Try that one before the throne of God, and you will burn eternally.

BOOM!

When YOU enter into sexual sin YOU are uniting Christ’s body with a whore!

Predictably, such zany antics from the clowns brought forth from the peanut gallery applause and huzzahs aplenty.

Unfundamentalist Christianity

I am proud to say that I am an Unfundamentalist Christian. The Jesus clowns deliver nothing to the center arena but creepy cacophony and carloads of chaotic crap.

In a way that’s not at all funny or amusing, Jesus’ bellowing, bellicose Bozos do nothing but hurt people and diminish their humanity.

John Shore had it right when, one night while the Jesus clowns were all asleep, he stealthily replaced the vanity plates on their car with one that read, “Above All, Love.”

That’s the car I want to ride in—the one that says “Above all, Love.”

How I cherish the view from that car. It’s so beautiful.

And beauty—the beauty of love—makes the circus out there a whole lot easier to watch.

 

David Paul Kirkpatrick is the author of


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