Darth Vader Versus The Gullible Carpenter

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(This is the essay I read Sunday night, inspired by the image next to this text. Don’t hate me too much if you’re God- fearing. It’s satire.)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a slave woman on the desert planet of Tatooine suddenly became pregnant through the divine intervention of the Force, without the aid of any male humans in the vicinity. Her Force-given name was Shmi Skywalker, and her virginally conceived son would go on to become the roguish Sith lord we all know and love, Darth Vader.

Now, if we abide by the laws of space and time established by science fiction, and acknowledge the fact that the phrase “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” most likely means some time before the birth of Christ, does that mean that Darth Vader and his virgin mother Shmi stumbled onto virginal conception before Mary and the baby Jesus?

I am not a Star Wars historian. So I can’t actually say that baby Darth Vader in fact one-upped baby Jesus and beat him to the virginal punch, but I do plan on starting a blog to discuss the issue. And if anyone out there is knowledgeable in the art of measuring Star Wars timelines against that of the Catholic church, I would ask that you find me later on tonight so we can exchange e-mails. The Catholic Church has laid claim to the tag of “original virgin birth” for far too long now. And it’s time to take it back.

I was brought up Roman Catholic, but I was raised on Star Wars. For quite a long time, I attended church every week, being told that Jesus’ father was God, and that he simply used divine will to make Mary pregnant. To be honest though, the church could’ve been telling us that Tony Danza was God and I wouldn’t have noticed the difference. I was too busy playing with the few Star Wars action figures that my mother allowed me to bring to church each week. Provided that I played quietly and kept my galactic duels out of sight from the other church goers, Ben Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker were free to take the place of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I never took it as far as the people that entered “Jedi” as a religion on their census forms, but I’ve definitely given more credence to the teachings of the Jedi than I ever will to the Holy Bible. Thanks in part to Mom, the totally awesome play room at St. Clement’s Church in Matawan, NJ and George Lucas.

But I digress. Virgin birth, Mary and the baby Jesus. According to the bible, Mary remained a virgin throughout her life. Now if I’m struck by lightning before the end of this paragraph is over, we’ll know that God actually exists. But I can’t help but think about the other proponent of this story. The guy that essentially made Jesus’ life possible: gullible, sex-starved, Joseph. Listed as a foster-father by the church to Jesus, Joseph carted a pregnant Mary around, probably helped deliver Jesus in the stables and then supported the family through carpentry work for Jesus’ first 12 years.

First off, Joseph and Mary don’t consummate the marriage. And life goes on, until one day, Joseph notices that his new wife is obviously pregnant. He knows he didn’t do it, cause they haven’t had sex. But still, he listens to his wife’s explanation, which is something along the lines of “No, I haven’t been sleeping around. This is divine intervention and I’m pregnant with the son of God,” only spoken in Aramaic. Joseph actually believes her, and sticks with his pregnant virgin wife, bringing home the biblical bacon and remaining loyal. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but in the history of mankind, there has never been and never will be a hard-working, blue collar male in his mid-20s that buys this explanation. Or stays loyal for that matter. If it were up to me, and I was friends with Joseph, I’d have to lay it all out for him: “Look dude, she’s cheating on you. And unless you wanna kick the ass of every fisherman in Nazareth that bears some resemblance to Jesus, I’d suggest you take a swig of this here wine and fire into that Mary Magdalene chick instead… Look Joseph, you’re young, you’re not a bad looking carpenter. If she’s not putting out AND sleeping around, it’s just not a healthy relationship.” Of course, if someone had given Joseph that advice, the church probably wouldn’t have the same issues it does with divorce today. As it stands though, I can’t help but think that the whole village of Nazareth was laughing behind Joseph’s back. Essentially, he was the Rodney Dangerfield of Nazareth, someone that wouldn’t last ten minutes in a biblical Judd Apatow flick.

And being as how I’m still standing, I guess it’s safe to say that God doesn’t exist. But just in case you do man, this is sarcasm. And so was that whole spiel about me playing with Star Wars figures in church… Same goes for that time I saw Slayer in concert and told all my friends that it was awesome.

You’re way better than Darth Vader, Joseph is totally awesome, and oh yeah, I love you man.

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