As billions of people around the world prepared to gorge themselves this weekend on molten fructose and handfuls of chocolate eggs – cleverly wrapped in thin pieces of metal to prevent you from overdosing – many Christians in the United States made it clear they hadn’t forgotten the real reason for the Easter holiday.
“God, guns, and ol’ glory hell yeah. That’s what Jesus was all about back in the 1700’s when he crossed the Potomac to save the Second Amendment from Obama,” says a large man, wearing a shirt that says ‘If you can read this you’re in range,’ moments before giving a visiting reporter conflicting instructions to depart his lawn while simultaneously committing a sexual act.
At a church just down the road here in St. Louis – a city of 311,000 people, of whom at current rates 1,000 can expect to find their lives ended by gunfire – a local pastor is giving an early Good Friday sermon that would be familiar to a time-travelling visitor from any of the nearly 2000 years since Christ came to earth so he could arm teachers and start our calendar.
“For God so loved the world,” the pastor at the Holy Super Church Of Moar intones, squinting at the ceiling like a man trying to remember where he put the keys to his S-Class with the oxblood interior and Burmester surround sound system. “That he gave us the AR-15, that everyone who carries shall not perish, but instead have a real chance of making it worse. Beautiful words my friends, beautiful words. Now let us bow our heads in an active shooter drill.”
The super church isn’t alone in taking time this weekend to recognize the enormous sacrifice Jesus made to ensure that every man, woman, and child could arm themselves to the teeth; and erect enormous at walls at great expense to stop others from entering a landmass they took from some other people.
Across the United States, many Christians say they plan on using the holiday to closely follow the biblical teachings of their eponymously named religion.
“Hate your neighbour, that’s a biggie,” says Sandy Small of Corpus Christi, Texas, through the partially open window of her car as she heads out on her self-appointed rounds as a citizen border patroller. A bumper sticker on the rear fender says ‘Go Dream In Your Own Country.’
“That, and if someone slaps you on the cheek always turn to them the other clip.”
In the passenger seat a man who says he is her husband stirs to wave his wife onward, saying they don’t have time for all this chat, the country is being overrun as we speak. As they depart he wishes us a happy easter, before leaving behind a final thought to swirl in the dust as the car pulls away.
“If Jesus had a gun, he’d still be alive today.”