Having lived through the death and various conspiracy theories about two of our most vaunted celebrities, Elvis and Diana, I'm now beginning to believe that a similar thing may have occurred with the rock star from Nazareth. As I see it, four conspiracy theorists by the name of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John started publishing their little theories all over the Roman Empire, and blammo, the next thing you know, you've got a religion on your hand. A thousand years from now, Elvins and Dianans will be harassing and intimidating their non-believing fellow citizens into celebrating their founders' death days, which, suspiciously both supposedly occurred in August.
In the future, blowhards like Bill O'Reilly will be declaring those who don't celebrate the August holidays to be non-citizens, proclaiming that they need to go back to Israel. As usual, Jews will now be persecuted for not believing in the miracles propagated by the trucker's son from Mississippi or the kindergarten teacher who became a princess. After all, it's apparently the Jews' fault that Mel Gibson can't catch a break in Hollywood.
So, let me just go on record as saying that as is the case with Elvis and Diana, I believe that Jesus is dead. Just as the rest of us will be when we die. It's frightening to think there's nothing after death, but if heaven is a place where born-agains proclaim their moral superiority to the rest of us while Americans torture prisoners at Guantanamo, bomb children in Baghdad, rape children at Abu Ghraib, and allow our own citizens to lie homeless in the streets, well, I'd rather take my chances in whatever hell you can dream up.