Jesus Was A Vegetarian

05-07-99 ยท The billboard read "JESUS WAS A VEGETARIAN." It was put up in Amarillo by a fringe animal rights group. I'm sure most meat-eating Christians (approximately 97%, if they are representative of the population at large) were disgruntled by this cheap co-opting of the Christian symbol of God's love by a secular special interest group.

It's not that sacred symbols haven't been used or misused before; the San Francisco gay community's satirical adoption of Catholic nuns, wholesale flag burning by protestors and, some might even say Clinton or Nixon's imitation of a president. But as serious as these affronts are, they are merely a continuing example of the public's growing indifference.

Does this mean that we might soon see a commercial depicting a long-haired man in a robe debarking a bus in the desert saying, "Hi, I'm Moses. Next time you wanna cross the wilderness in less than 40 years, call Greyhound!"

Or how about David doing a spot for the NRA, "If we had had slingshot laws in force back in my time, the Philistines would control the NBA today."

You can imagine the sort of endorsements the Virgin Mary might be offered were she here. What's to prevent some feminist group from using her image on a T-shirt saying, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

Others we could expect:

Robin Hood proclaiming he was a Democrat . . . Beethoven doing spots for Public Radio . . . Buddha hocking Weight Watchers . . . Cleopatra promoting Coppertone sunscreen . . . Delilah joining Club Med . . . and the ultimate billboard, "God Smokes."

But back to the "JESUS WAS A VEGETARIAN" billboard, why couldn't the local cattlemen's association put up a billboard right beside the animal rights billboard that depicts da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper. Except the plates would each contain a big T-bone and the disciples would all be wearing bowling shirts. Jesus is saying, "After a big game, there is nothing we like better than a good steak . . . Beef . . . it's what's for supper."

What's to stop the cattlemen from doing it?

Nothing, I guess, except a sense of decency and respect. More to the point . . . it's not the cowboy way.

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