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“Good afternoon sir, nice weather for this time of the year”, says the squinty-eyed old geezer clutching a Jesus sign and wearing a shoes that look like empanadas.

“Sure is,” I reply guardedly, “is there anything I can help you with?”

He forces a smile, and introduces himself as Bob Hutton, an evangelist from Kent in England.

“Well, sir, there’s something I may be able help you with. But first, may I ask whether you have embraced Jesus, and taken him into your heart?”

My eyes narrow. “Well, as a matter of fact, yes.  But, as there have been several, which one are you are you alluding to?”

Hutton looks confused.

I explain: “Whom you call Jesus, we who live in Spain pronounce “Haysoos”. Spelled the same way but with an accent on the ‘u’ – Jesús – a very common name among Hispanics.”

I add: “I have known several handsome Latino devils called Jesús – one of whom I most certainly took into my heart. My bed too, as it happens.

He had abs you could grate Parmesan cheese on, pecs like Batman, and nipples as big and hard as hockey pucks. Shame it was just a holiday romance, but fantastic while it lasted.

Panic flares in his eyes. “No, no! I’m speaking about the One True Jesus … Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died for our sins. He loves you, you know.”

“My apologies,” I reply, “you’ve lost me. I’m pretty much up on celebrities and pop culture, and stuff like that, but your friend rings no bells. So sorry for your loss. Was he on TV … RuPaul’s Drag Race …  Queer EyeAmerican IdolTop Chef or something like that?”

“No,” he snaps. “And he’s not dead. Jesus is very much alive, but not presently in this world. He’s with his father in Heaven. He’ll be back soon, though, to gather unto him the Saved and guarantee them a place in Heaven.”

“So you’re telling me that he died and came back to life. When did this unlikely event take place?

“He perished around 2,000 years ago at a place called Calvary. He was raised from the dead three days later and has been with his Father in Heaven ever since.”

“Pardon? Now you’re really confusing me.  Can we go over this again? A guy dies 2,000 years ago and you stand here telling me that, although he now lives somewhere on a non-earthly plane you call ‘Heaven’ and has never met me, he actually loves me?”


“Umm … well, before I agree to meet him can I ask a few more questions about this dead-but-alive Jesus geezer you’re trying to hook me up with?”

“Sure,” he says, smiling a little nervously.

“You say he died in Calvary. That’s Middle Eastern territory, Jerusalem to be precise. How old was he, and how did he snuff it?”

“Well, he was around 33, and he died after being nailed to a wooden cross.”

“WTF?” I exclaim. “What the hell did he do to deserve that?”

“He was accused by sorcery and blasphemy and other bad stuff. His fellow Jews were annoyed over his claim to be the Son of God and the Messiah, so they got the Romans to kill him.”

“Bummer,” I reply. “If this Jesus fella claimed to be the Messiah he was clearly nuts. I knew a stoner who claimed he was the love child of Mother Teresa and ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, but he wasn’t executed for that. They just locked him in a padded cell and put him on some pretty strong medication.

“Anyway, I need to know a bit more about your Jesus before I agree to hook up. What does he look like – and is he a top or a bottom?”

Before Hutton can reply, I explain my taste in men. “I tend to like slim, willowy smooth-skinned types, full-lipped and with blue eyes. But if, as you say, your Jesus was from the Middle East, he’s hardly likely to look like James Dean or a young Brad Pitt. Oh, and if, as you say, he was Jewish, he would have been circumcised – and probably quite hairy. Ugh. Not my type at all.”

“Well,” says Hutton, “he’s definitely portrayed as blond and blue-eyed … oh, and very handsome.”

“Ah, yes. I know all about ‘portrayals’. My experience, using dating apps such as Gaydar and Grindr, is that a lot of guys, in the flesh, look nothing like the pictures they put on their profiles.

I really don’t want to wind up spending an evening in the company of an orangutan with a mutilated dick and an aggravated God complex. Been there, done that, and I have no desire for a re-match.

Clearly quite agitated now, Hutton squeaks: “I’m not here to talk about Jesus’ looks. Nor his … um … tallywacker. I’m here to tell you that unless you repent and devote your life and soul to him, you face eternal damnation.”

My magnanimity evaporates. “That,” I growl, “sounds ominously like a threat, and I really don’t appreciate being menaced. If your Jesus really wants to bestow his love on me, then let him approach me in person, and not rely on some grubby third party to pimp for him.”

At that point I become aware of a stunning young hunk leaning nonchalantly against a nearby tree, looking at us with some amusement. He winks at me in a rather lascivious manner.

“Tell you what,” I say to Hutton, “I’m gonna take a rain check on Jesus. I think I’ve just found a far more attractive alternative. And he’s clearly not a zombie.”

If you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee – and boy, do I get through a LOT of coffee, please click on this link.

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Veteran journalist and free speech activist Barry Duke was, for 24 years, editor of The Freethinker magazine, the second oldest continually active freethought publication in the world, established by G.W....