Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dorothy Sayers on Christ

"Christ himself was no household pet, for pale curates and pious old ladies, but God made flesh, a shattering personality... a dangerous firebrand... hero and victim...."

"True, He was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers and humble before Heaven, but He insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites... He went to parties in disreputable company... He drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; he cured disease by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people's pigs and property; He showed no proper deference for wealth or traps, he displayed a paradoxical humour that affronted disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb..."

"I believe it to be a grave mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offense in it... we cannot blink the fact that gentle Jesus meek and milk was so stiff in His opinions and so inflammatory in His language that He was thrown out of church, stoned, hunted from place to place, and finally gibbeted as a firebrand and a public danger. Whatever His peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference."

"He was executed by a corrupt church, a timid politician and a fickle proletariat... His executioners made vulgar jokes about Him... flogged Him with the cat, and hanged Him on the common gibbet... If you show people that, they are shocked. So they should be... If the mere representation of it has an air of irreverence, what is to be said about the deed? It is curious that people who are filled with horrified indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear the story of the killing of God... and not experience any shock at all."

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