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by Tim Shaw
What do you think would cause a 13-year-old boy to wake up, run into the kitchen, grab a pair of scissors, remove his underpants and cut them up into tiny pieces and painstakingly hide them at the bottom of the garbage can?
Drugs? Insanity? If you answered “Angry Jesus”…you win an unhealthy dose of religious guilt coupled with a mild form of obsessive compulsive personality disorder and ego-crushing sexual dysfunction well into your adult years! Welcome to living hell!
Who is Angry Jesus? Allow me to introduce him to you. Angry Jesus frequents the homes of fundamentalist Christians, heaping scorn and shame on the fragile, developing psyches of young people.
But Tim, you might inquire, isn’t Jesus loving and compassionate and caring and kind? You obviously didn’t grow up in my house. You’re thinking of “Loving Jesus.” Angry Jesus beat the shit out of him and put his thorn-covered, hippie head through my bedroom window by the time I was 8.
Angry Jesus took up residence in my room throughout my adolescence, taunting me. I’d be in bed with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders scampering and bouncing about in my head, when I’d hear a growl from the dark corner.
“Who are you and what did you do with Loving Jesus?” I queried weakly.
“I am Angry Jesus and play time is fucking over! Now, see that nub between your skinny white legs, worm?”
“Go ahead and touch it…no…go ahead…oh, look…it seems to be growing…that feels good, doesn’t it?”
“Well…yeah…” Hey, maybe Angry Jesus wasn’t so bad.
Angry Jesus continued, “Oh yes…it feels real good…and every time it feels that way…you’re one step closer to eternal hell! Now hit it with a hammer…and burn it with a candle…never let it feel like that again!!!”
“Ahhhhh! Why? Why? I want Loving Jesus back.”
“Ahh…fuck him! And stop thinking about booooooobs!”
So, each night, I fell asleep with Angry Jesus glaring at me from the foot of my bed. The visions of eternal damnation and winged demons ripping the flesh off my penis replacing the cheerleaders in my head.
I would drift off to sleep and later wake with a start. “Oh no…oh no…oh no…”
You see, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders made an uninvited return engagement in my dream, and this time, they brought along Charlie’s Angels.
I looked toward the end of my bed…and there he was.
“What have you done? Satan juice has squirted out of your demon nub, sinner!”
“It was a dream…I can’t control my dreams!” I cried.
“You’ve been disobedient to Angry Jesus!”
“But I thought the Bible said grace and not works get you into heaven?”
“Fuck the Bible! I wrote it! It’s not what it says, but what it means and it means you’re going to hell unless you cut those sin-stained underpants up and hide your shame at the bottom of the garbage can…now, run before your mother sees your shame! Let’s see some guilty tears!”
How did Angry Jesus come to live in our house? Well, my parents just brought him home one day from our new church, figuring that all that love, understanding and compassion I’d been developing might turn me into some sort of peace-loving, humanity-serving, justice-seeking, NRA-eschewing, pink tights-wearing Richard Simmons.
“Angry Jesus, this is our son, Tim. We think Loving Jesus has been a little soft on him. He seems to be developing his own thoughts and opinions, forging a sense of self worth and curiously, he exhibits almost no guilt and shame about his penis…in other words…he’s being rebellious. Maybe you can talk to him. We’ve tried everything.”
And they did. At one point, my parents forbade my brother and I from watching Scooby Doo. You know why? Because there were ghosts in it! And ghosts are part of the occult! That’s right…Scooby Doo was banned in my house.
Even at that age, I was like, “Mom, you are aware that those meddling kids and a talking dog always discover that the “ghost” is really the Harlem Globetrotters or Sonny and Cher or Shields and Yarnell or something, right?”
Angry Jesus would have none of this backtalk. “Let me talk to him! Stop thinking about Daphne’s booooooooobs!”
The irony…the hypocrisy…is that while my parents were imposing these rules on me, the TV was on in our house 24 hours a day. My dad still falls asleep with it on. And he always used to watch violent Bruce Lee karate movies. So, Bruce Lee pulling a man’s beating, bloody heart out of his chest, throwing it to the ground and stomping on it is okay, but Scrappy Doo and Charo eating Scooby snacks and solving crimes condemns my soul to hell?
My sister has taken my parent’s approach to a whole new level. She has three kids and she home schools them to protect them from the secular evils of the world. When we are all at my parent’s house, with the TV blaring 24/7, and some mild sexual scene comes on, she will scream like a crazy person, “Kids…avert your eyes!” And her kids are trained. They immediately stop playing, and place their hands over their eyes. And they don’t stop until she gives the all clear.
“It’s okay kids…you almost saw a boob…but everything’s fine now…it’s only a man’s head being smashed like a cantaloupe by Bruce Lee. Thank Angry Jesus, I caught it in time.”
And there is Angry Jesus, nodding approvingly, “Yes…yes…I love this movie! Tim, stop thinking about Bruce Lee’s booooooooobs!”
Time to go cut up my underwear.
Tim has solved the problem of Angry Jesus. He no longer wears underwear.