Shabbat, Shalom
June 26, 2010
Thomas, a Retraction
July 3, 2010

Thomas a Kempis wrote The Imitation of Christ.
Thomas a Kempis can go straight to hell.

Which is sadly un-Christ-like of me, but it needed to be said.

Let’s have it, then–the truth, no holds barred. He should have written The Imitation of Jesus Christ, though he wouldn’t have done well at that, being obsessed with mortification of the flesh and abandoning our seas of physicality, and too much sex, and thinking thinking thinking, and so forth.

Jesus Christ, Thomas. Jesus Christ. We forget the man, we upend the miracle. And anyway, do you suppose the man came all the way down here to mill about among the poor for three decades because he was bored? Give it another go, Tom: there’s something to the fleshy, huggable, teary-eyed, weepy, bleeding, happy, smiling, who-loves-your-mother Jesus Christ. Can’t put my finger on it, myself, but there’s something there.

I tell you what. How would you have anything to stay about imitating Christ if there weren’t a Jesus to go along with it? You people and your “contemplate my way to heaven” theologies. Have a go at it, really. I’ll watch until the vessels in your forehead pop and you’re halfway to constipation.

Think and do. Jesus wasn’t all about stories, you know. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, the stories were about doing–out and about in the world. Not shunning it. Not stuffing it away in a canister of repression. It’s things like that that make Jesus squirm.

Sigh.

Well, you’re dead now anyway. Can’t hear much of this rant, I suppose. And even if you could, you’d still be Thomas a Kempis, and I’d be Jeff Steen. One of the names is slightly more recognizable than the other, and for good reason.

Until I take up the pen and write The Imitation of Jesus. Then I’ll have the last word and can quit my bitching.

Sorry, that wasn’t very Christ-like of me either.

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