Just Because a Man Can Wear a Diaper Does Not Mean He Should Play Baby Jesus in the Christmas Pageant or Be President
Every year about this time, the men of our church begin the arduous task of growing beards for the annual Christmas pageant. Around Thanksgiving a few of the razor weary men will appear for early service – the younger men look rugged and scruffy, the older members of the gentry class appear hoary faced. By the second week of December, our congregation appears to be hosting a well dressed, hobo jamboree of Box Car Willie impersonators that like to jingle keys in their pockets.
Millard, a very devout Christian man in our congregation, is unable to grow a beard. Everyone agrees a luxurious beard is necessary for holy portrayal of a wise man. Millard is also unable to grow eyebrows or eyelashes, giving him a foreign and somewhat inhuman malevolent look. Each year he is heartbroken and overlooked for a holy and beloved male lead part in the pageant. Last year he played the inn keeper’s wife after Ulla Gayle came down with the croup. Reviews of Millard’s performance were mixed.
In prior years we have used a plastic baby Jesus for the Christmas pageant. With the chapel lights turned down low the not quite opaque baby Jesus glows from within due to a string of Christmas lights stuffed into a holy hole in His holy plastic back. The entire congregation was engulfed in a wave of communal horripilation when baby Jesus began to glow.
Unfortunately, the plastic baby Jesus was used this past summer in an anti-abortion rally and was spray painted black with glistening red tears streaming from its little eyes. While there’s nothing wrong or even Kenyan about it, the image of a black, anti-abortion baby Jesus in a nativity scene is just too strong a symbol for our Jung people.
The pageant committee has been trying to find an alternative to our glowy little Jesus. The company that made the original baby Jesus relocated to Southeast Asia and now uses a lead coated opaque plastic. The global economy has prompted an all out search for a new baby Jesus for our little community church. There are other holy plastic offerings on the web, but most portray a baby Jesus with the surrounding hay bale. Everyone agrees that we need a separate Jesus, not a foreign made hay-united Jesus. Bernice’s grandson likes to lick the pews when no one is watching. I think a lead coated Jesus also might be a health hazard if he doesn’t have his harness on during the pageant.
Millard seized the baby Jesus predicament as opportunity to fulfill his dream as a pageant thespian. During last week’s deacon’s meeting, Millard appeared unannounced, dressed in a puffy winter jacket and adult diaper to present his case for portraying the humble birth of our savior and lead our church into a new era of Christmas worship.
I, frankly, was gob smacked. Perhaps my sheltered existence has insulated me from these types of displays, but the vision of a fully grown and slightly rounded man in a diaper and silvery toupee was more than my Christian love could endure. I think time even slowed a bit and the lights became brighter as Millard handed out prepared outlines and a photoshop rendition of his vision for the Christmas pageant to our smiling deacons. He made some points that pierced my fog of disbelief in the spectacle. His long and devout service, his role as an idea man for the sanctuary decor and children’s cry room seemed to float by like one of those green sleep medicine butterflies.
I sat in my car for a long while after the meeting ended. What is next in this crazy world? I think that it all stems from when the country elected that President Who is Not President Bush. It seems like our tolerance levels for crazy have just gotten out of control. Millionaires on welfare, 99% of the people with 99% of the vote and a military that makes men shower together are just a few examples. The line needs to be drawn somewhere.
I would like to start by making it illegal for a full grown man, in a diaper, to play baby Jesus. It is time for someone to take a stand for decency and social justice.