And they marched and rallied by the millions across the land, shouting to be heard with the flag of their dream home in their hands. At the same time, word got out that a new book had surfaced after years floating on the ancient artifacts market and sitting in a safe deposit box in a bank. Not just any book, the Book of Judas tells us that he was Jesus’ favorite pal and that Jesus went to him asking to be turned in. Jesus wanted to be ridded of his “clothes” so he could get at the real truth, is what the new book says. Meanwhile Gettysburg debated a casino’s arrival to town. No Casino. Yes Casino. No because, well, No…it’s a moral thing of sorts. Yes because the casino will bring jobs. Besides, we won’t have to run to Atlantic City to get our gamble on. Si se puede. Yes we can. We are here. We work here. We do the jobs you won’t do. Your economy will falter without us. We can’t pay them honest wages. Immigration reform would kill our business. Say the wealthy white owners, hiding bigotry—let’s be honest—behind a few lousy excuses. Cha-ching. Cha-ching again. The dollar signs start dancing in the head. I’ve hit the jackpot. Cha-ching.
Jesus looks down from the crucifix at the Easter crowd and scoffs at their clothes. Nice hat. Judas. Judas. Thank you my brother. But look what has happened. I’m full of despair. Why is there so much boredom in the air? Do they not see that I am not seen? That they cannot find me up here? Judas my brother how do we rid them of their clothes? Walk off the job, we’ll show ‘em who we are.
We are your toilet scrubbers, your dishwashers, your lawn manicurists, your babysitters, your dog walkers, your home builders, your food processors, your brothers and sisters in Christ. Wait. What did you say? Before you send us back, could you at least say thanks? Wait. What did you say? A perturbed Jesus wants an answer. We said we are one family in Christ’s name. Got a problem with that? Head hanging low, Jesus said no. No Casino, is that what he meant? Yes to No Casino? Or, Yes Casino? Jesus wants the casino? Do you think Jesus would like to gamble? Who knows? Your neighbors, your co-workers, your lesser until we flex our political muscle. Did you see us marching on Dallas, San Diego, L.A., D.C., New York? We wore white for peace and flew the stars and stripes. Stars and stripes forever. We’re here forever.
Many years later Jesus called Judas up on the cosmic phone and asked a big favor of him. Another favor, my brother, sure what’ll it be? Do me this favor my favorite apostle and you will know the true place of being. Go to that Casino in that Gettysburg town and help turn the frowns on those immigrant workers there upside down. How should I do it, Judas did say. It’s easy my Judas, the same ol’ way. His eyes got big and a smile filled his face. Yes my Jesus, I do understand. Good my Judas, now be a good man and go kiss the immigrant cheek so those good Christians, as they like to be called, who get no respect can find the freedom that the church has yet to detect.
And so Judas did, the immigrants were freed from their clothes, attaining a freedom that no government knows, as Jesus tried to teach us eons ago.
Note: When the votes came in, Gettysburg said “NO” to casinos.
(written 16 April 2006)