August 25, 2015

Trolling Jesus

Gay couple for wedding cake. Picture by Stefan...
Gay couple for wedding cake. Picture by Stefano Bolognini. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You are all familiar with the concept of Internet trolls. There are many different types of trolls, each of which operates in somewhat different ways and may have somewhat different aims. Still, I think it might be safe to say that what most have in common is the desire to agitate, upset, and stir up trouble for their own amusement. The skillful ones know just how to push your buttons to achieve the sort of response they seek.

Not all trolling is malicious; in fact, some is both harmless and quite humorous. I suspect you've all seen atheists cleverly trolling creationists as a way of highlighting the absurdity of some of their beliefs. They aren't generally doing it to be mean but to reveal some of the more ridiculous aspects of what the creationist believes. Recently, you may have noticed some on the political left rooting for Donald Trump. For some, I suppose that could be considered a form of trolling even if others of us are more serious about supporting his candidacy (maybe).

I have an idea for what might be an interesting form of trolling that would require someone willing to endure the sudden fame that comes from what would be almost sure to be a ton of media attention. Now that same-sex marriage is legal, we need a male atheist willing to become an overnight celebrity to step up and gay marry Jesus Christ. I don't think our male atheist needs to be gay. After all, there isn't much reason to believe that Jesus ever existed, making his gender relatively trivial. And even if there was a historical Jesus, he's long dead which would seem to make gender even less relevant.

Oh, come on! One can't marry fictional or long dead characters. That would be silly. It just happened in Indiana. A 38 year-old theology teacher named Jessica Hayes married Jesus in a large Catholic wedding. And when one really stops to think about it, would an atheist man gay marrying Jesus really be any less absurd than this whole "consecrated virgin" nonsense?

If a male atheist were to gay marry Jesus in a large church wedding, I suspect that the local news media could easily be persuaded to cover it. And as long as our male atheist could refrain from making it too obvious that he was trolling, I could imagine that the reach of such a story might spread beyond the local media.

If this idea sounds completely ridiculous to you, I'm not surprised. That is kind of the point, isn't it? Done well, trolling has the potential to take down some "sacred cows" by helping people see some of their beliefs in a new way (i.e., as others see them). I have little idea if something like this would accomplish anything positive, but it seems like it could be a lot of fun for someone. And it is difficult to imagine that it would not provoke some strong reactions from some Christians.

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