Wednesday, January 12, 2011

VAMPIRES, ZOMBIES, AND JESUS CHRIST

I’m not going to fool around with this topic. I’m going straight to the point.

Believers in Jesus Christ are vampires and zombies.

Yup, that’s right. I said it.

I know you’re saying, “Whoa, now. Hold up a minute, you blasphemer!” But hear me out.

I realize most people believe in God and therefore, most also believe in Jesus Christ. Not all believe in JC, but most. Some of those believers partake of the consecrated “body and blood of Christ” during Holy Communion.

So, just how far-fetched is the idea of a zombie when a person partakes of “the body of Christ” who was resurrected from the dead and became the “walking undead?” And how fantastic is it that someone “drinks the blood of Christ” who was “reborn” and “magically” appeared to many and disappeared like a ghost?

And the victims (followers) go off in search of more victims (followers) to suck or drag into their way of life. Blood-suckers and brain-devourers-R-Us.

Hmmmm.

I did some research into the beginnings of vampires and zombies just to get an idea of where the concept for them came from and how they may be tied to Jesus Christ.

Let’s begin with vampires. Although there are ancient tales of demons who are considered the forefathers of the modern vampires, the lore of the vampires began in the 18th century with an flood of superstitious tales from European countries into Western society. However, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the granddaddy of the vampires we are familiar with today.

Bram Stoker was a protestant of the Church of Ireland. I’ll lay odds that he took Holy Communion at some point. And honestly, most great stories start with one, tiny, everyday (or out of the ordinary) occurrence. Something triggers a small notion that cascades into an entire conception. In Bram Stoker’s world, there were many strange things just waiting to be conspired. Drinking the blood of something people fear and revere is just a tidbit. Vlad Tepes was the catalyst; drinking blood a normal act of Catholicism or its offshoots. Old world legend dances with old-world behavior.

And a vampire was born from the blood of Christ. (Come on--it’s a little humorous).
Then there’s zombies. Oddly enough, the first reference to zombies, or at least the dead eating the living, was in the Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumarian legend. In the story, the goddess Ishtar promises:
I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,
and will let the dead go up to eat the living!
And the dead will outnumber the living![3]
The Epic of Gilgamesh has several parallels in the Christian bible including Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Noah and the flood, and the book of Daniel.

Technically speaking, zombies have been around longer than vampires or even JC himself.

The difference between vampires and zombies? One drinks blood, the other eats flesh. Neither are actually alive, but not quite dead. Both were “resurrected” from the dead as another form of themselves. Their victims (or followers of the group after the fact) become a part of them or a part of a group--a bigger whole--or they die. And JC? As I recall, he was resurrected and therefore no longer dead, but not formally alive. Depending upon the religion, his followers partake of his blood and flesh to become a part of him and a part of something much bigger. If you don’t follow JC, then you get to die and go to hell. No greater whole for you.

Similarities? Anyone?

Now, I know I am not (nor are the majority of people in the world) a crazed, flesh-eating, brain-devouring walking undead. Nor do I bow before a sexually appealing, blood-sucking, pale creature that is, for all intents and purposes, also the walking undead. That’s all just fiction, right? But what about those religious crazed, brain-dead, blood-sucking people who have no regard for others who go out and picket funerals or kill others in the name of Jesus? What about the Crusades? What about the Inquisition? What about the pagans who were tortured or killed if they didn’t convert to Christianity? Who were those crazy blood-sucking flesh-mongers? To me, they did more than spill blood or destroy flesh. They swallowed souls and left people walking around in confusion, cornered, and forced into concealment. Vampire and zombie victims.

So, the next time you take Holy Communion or it’s mentioned in a book you’re reading or a movie you’re watching, think about it when the priest or preacher says, “The body and blood of Christ” and puts the wafer or bread in the mouth and the wine or red soda is drank.

Hope YOU don’t become a vampire or zombie.

Amen.

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