Jesus Was Crazy


(permanent link) added: 2011-03-15 17:16:13 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2011-03-24 03:35:19)

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Pilate: Look at your Jesus Christ. I'll agree he's mad. Ought to be locked up, But that is not a reason to destroy him. He's a sad little man. Not a King or God. Not a thief, I need a crime!
Mob: Crucify him!

While most works that feature Jesus Christ sticks to Jesus Was Way Cool, there are also works where he is portrayed as a bit crazy or even as clinically insane.

The portrayal can come from the narrative itself, of from a character.

Note that while "Jesus Was Crazy" and "Jesus Was Way Cool" are opposites, they can still show up in the same work. Either they contradict each other in some kind of point-counterpoint argument, or they blend together through some kind of Crazy Awesome or Cloud Cuckoolander characterization.

Also, a character who believe that Jesus was not only cool but also divine might feel that you have to chose sides: Either worship Him or hate Him. Such a character might be tempted to argue that Jesus Was Crazy as a kind of Strawman Political argument: Taking for granted that if you don't believe the parts of the gospels where Jesus actually ascended into heaven and all that, then you must still believe the parts where he claimed to be divine, and thus be obliged to consider him a megalomaniac. Of course, actual Atheists, Muslims et cetera who think Jesus was cool prefer to focus on The Golden Rule and that kind of stuff, assuming that the claims of divinity was added after his death - along with the walking on water and similar unlikely stories.


Examples

Comic Books
  • The Swedish comic "Personal-Jesus" (with the hyphan i the name) plays a lot with the lighter side of crazy. The name itself is a wordplay: The Swedish word "personal" means "human resources" and is pronounced differently from the English word that is spelled the same way. In this quite surreal setting, Jesus Christ can indeed walk on water and everything, but for some reason he works in an ordinary office and create genral mayhem - getting his coworkers drunk as he turns water into wine at the worst possible moments, and so on.

Film
  • The Last Temptation of Christ start out with portraying Jesus as a paranoid schizophrenic who start preaching because he hear voices in his head. The movie start with him working as a carpenter building crosses for the romans and rambling on about how he want to crucify all the messiahs. The story goes through many plot-twists, and the psychiatric perspective gets obsolete after a while - but Jesus being crazy in one way or another remains the only constant throughout the movie. and trying to live a decent life turns out to be the craziest thing of them all.

Literature
  • Michael Moorcock's Behold the Man is a definite case of this with a mentally retarded and deformed Jesus that the time traveler winds up replacing Jesus so that the stories come out right.
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is a corner case. Jesus isn't crazy (and in fact is portrayed as closer to Crazy Awesome) but he's distracted enough by the whole Son of God thing that he comes off as a bit loopy.

Live-Action TV
  • House once asked for a differential diagnosis on Jesus, and Martha comes up with schizophrenia. The episode itself was abot a patient that was very religious, and House believed that the strong convictions was caused by a medical problem.

Theater
  • Jesus Christ Superstar is (among other things) built like a point-counterpoint debate regarding who and what Jesus was. While Maria Magdalena and the apostle Simon represent two very different versions of Jesus Was Way Cool, Pontius Pilate goes down the Jesus Was Crazy road - trying to defend Jesus by arguing that he's insane. See page quote.
    • Note that the "cool vs crazy" debate is not about being for or against Jesus. Pilate is trying to save him, while Caiaphas who is trying to get him crucified subscribe to the "Jesus is cool" camp. In the initial scene, Judas is still loyal to Jesus, and yet complains about how Jesus is turning increasingly mentally unstable under the pressure from his believers.
  • The Clive Barker play The History of the Devil portrays Jesus as a complete lunatic who actually talks Satan into arranging his own crucifixion.

Web Original
  • Zinnia Jones clims that the biblical Jesus was way out of whack, for example in the episode The Meaningless Death Of Jesus.
  • The Onion: Jesus may or may not have had a good reason to convert to Islam, but the Christians interviewed about it sure thought he was insane to blaspheme against himself like that.
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