If Jesus had lived in America

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In Alternate Universe 947, wherein George Bush was elected to a third term, it happened that the Son of God did not get around to being born until 1979. This was regarded as a plus by many angels, as it was felt that Jesus would have an easier time in a democracy than he would have had in say, the Roman Empire of 2,000 years ago.

George Bush's third inaugural speech, Alternate Universe 947.

But you know how dumb angels are.

Through the generous donation of time from the good folks at CrossTime Inc. we have a series of newspaper clippings describing the Savior's appearance in an America that is for all intents and purposes our own.

Bethlehem, Idaho, December 1979[edit]

The Department of Children and Family Services were called in by a concerned citizen who noticed that a family was staying in a barn. Upon arrival, they took into care a minor child, Jesus Nazarene, who had been placed in a feeding trough by his mother, Mary Nazarene. The intervention was not without some incident, as the boy's father, Joseph Nazarene attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several farm workers and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to assist the minor child, but were all restrained by the police. It was noticed after the fact that the local hotel, which was nearby, had "NO VACANCY" lit, and the rooms were indeed all occupied.

Mary Nazarene - Too young for motherhood?

The ICE and DEA is seeking more information about the three foreigners, as they were found without papers, and in possession of gold and drugs.

Meanwhile, the Hotel Manager who owned the barn is being questioned, and faces possible revocation of his license for the inadequate accommodations. Civil authorities are also investigating the zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially zoned district.

The location of the minor child will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case seem small. Asked about when Jesus would be returned to his parents, a DCFS spokesperson said, "The father is unemployed, the mother underage, and while they claim to be married, Lord knows who authorized that! We are petitioning to have him arrested for statutory rape - I mean, the mother's only 14! Further, the mother has not coped well with the emotional strain, she claims she has never had sex, and that the child's father is a god - clearly she has some denial issues."

But it may be more than that. Shortly after Joseph was in fact arrested on molestation charges, local police escorted Mary to the psychiatric wing of Bethlehem General for a 72 hour evaluation. "I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe", said the psychiatrist on duty, "but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others, in this case her child, we must consider her a danger to others. The drugs at the scene didn't help her case either, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regimen we can get her back on her feet."

The intervention of two Federal Agencies, a State Agency, local law enforcement, and several business regulatory agencies at all levels seems overwhelming for one family of three, but as a spokesperson for the Governor's Office said, "Who knows what was going through their heads? The people in the Lehigh Valley are all nuts anyhow. But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening. We seem to have kicked over a stone here, and for the sake of the child and the public, will pursue this one to the end."

Jerusalem, Idaho, August 1992[edit]

Unidentified man caught with underaged boy.

A local cult is under suspicion of kidnapping when it was found that a runaway child, Jesus Nazarene, was in fact in their "temple" surrounded by a crowd of older men. While they insist that they were doing nothing wrong, nor holding the 12 year old boy against his will, local agencies are suspicious. "They said the kid was 'teaching' them.", said a State Trooper spokesperson, "But what these middle aged men were learning from this boy is more than I care to dwell on."

This is the second time young Jesus has been the focus of such attention. He had previously been taken from his parents in the Christmas Eve Debacle in which several agencies were involved investigating his parents, their friends, and a local Hotel owner, for suspicion of a variety of local, state, and federal charges. He was ultimately reunited with his mother when she was released from a local hospital having completed therapy for drugs and co-dependency.

His father, Joseph Nazarene, though the mother denies he's the father, received one year for statutory rape, and has since divorced Mary and moved to his hometown, where he is a member of the Carpenter's Union.

Joseph Nazarene refused to comment.

Jerusalem, Idaho, June 2010[edit]

Jesus Nazarene is in the news again after an 18 year hiatus. Jesus, now 31, has come under investigation from a variety of agencies for his recent outbreak of bizarre activities. He has been under investigation from the Alcoholic Beverages Commission for the illegal distilling of spirits which he then distributed at a wedding party, with no liquor license. He is under fire from state regulatory agencies and the AMA for practicing medicine without a license.

A local law enforcement agency is also investigating reports of Jesus creating a new cult, one in which people are encouraged to abandon their wives, husbands, parents, even children. "You must hate your parents if you follow me.", Jesus is reported to have said. He has also been looked at as the source of labor unrest in the area, allegedly encouraging several fisherman to conduct a 'wildcat strike' and join his cult.

Tax and Business agencies are also looking into how a man with no visible means of support has supported catering endeavors of up to 5,000 people, feeding them all, at no charge - and with no license to do so, nor permit for doing so outside.

"What can I say?", said the Governor's spokesperson, "Look at his home environment, his upbringing, and the run in's he's been involved in before. He's a ticking time bomb, and it's amazing we haven't heard more from him till now." He referred to several bizarre incidents in Jesus's childhood involving drug smuggling, statutory rape, abduction by a cult, and regulatory offenses that surrounded Jesus, his parents, their friends, a local businessman, and a local cult.

Jerusalem, Idaho, April 12th 2012[edit]

Revolutionary terrorist, Jesus Nazarene, has been taken into custody, after a tense and armed stand off with his cultic followers. Peter Rock, an aide of this terrorist, was also arrested for cutting off an ear of a Federal Agent. Many law enforcement personnel were hurt, all with damaged ribs, from a weapon of unknown design and location, possibly ultrasonic. The tip to Jesus's whereabouts came from local man Judas Iscariot, who was given the $300 reward for calling CrimeStopper's toll free hotline.

An artist's rendition of the hotel maid's terrifying report.

Jesus Nazarene had entered the city early Thursday, causing widespread riots and unrest, as thousands of anarchic protesters littered the streets with palm leaves to show support. Notwithstanding his appeal to various disaffected elements in society, he and his gang quickly hid themselves in an upper room of a local hotel for a "Last Supper" - clearly expecting a confrontation to come.

A hotel maid interviewed tells horrific tales of this group of terrorists engaging in bizarre rites, first washing each other's feet in some unknown ritual, then pretending that they were drinking blood and eating raw human flesh.

Later, they went to an isolated area outside of town, where Jesus posted guards, who fortunately fell asleep several times, allowing law enforcement agencies to get their men in place.

Jesus, who has been reluctant to be photographed, was identified when Mr. Iscariot bravely volunteered to walk right up to him and "kiss him" - a bizarre ritual that would draw little suspicion from the rest of the cult.

It was then that violence erupted, when Peter Rock pulled a sword, and cut off the ear of Agent Malchus, who is recovering in a local hospital for injuries less severe then first thought. At the apparent signal of Jesus's hand, some unknown device then shot all the other law enforcement agents, though it was apparently a one shot weapon, for there were no further incidents.

Jerusalem, Idaho, April 13th 2012[edit]

Tried and convicted, terrorist and cultic revolutionary, Jesus Nazarene will be executed today, his last appeals ran out.

It had been speculated that his very open and public trial might result in an acquittal, yet when polled the jury unanimously desired his execution. This in contrast to the almost simultaneous acquittal of local activist Barabas.

The magistrate most directly involved, Senator Pilate, apparently had given Jesus every chance to explain his actions, so that he might be given leniency. An aide to the Senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, reports that Jesus attempted an insanity plea, claiming to be a god, and also was in contempt of court, often throwing the Senator's words back at him, saying repeatedly, "Ye have said so."

In spite of what might be construed as either an insanity defense, or a plea of "Nolo Contendere", Jesus Nazarene was ultimately convicted under the Patriot Act, and the Homeland Security laws, for obstruction of justice, fomenting rebellion, creating labor unrest, inciting to riot, vandalism of a temple, recruitment of a militia, espionage, assault on federal agents, and the commission of innumerable regulatory offenses from the illegal serving of alcohol, operating a catering business without a license, practicing medicine without a license, and failure to file tax returns.

Jerusalem, Idaho, April 14th 2012[edit]

Agent Saul Tarsus, with a license to kill...Xians!

At midnight last night, convicted terrorist Jesus Nazarene was executed by lethal injection. His last words, "It is finished", brought to an end an incredible tale of deception, violence, and cultic practices, that stretched all the way back to his birth.

While some followers of this cultic leader are still in custody in Guantanamo Bay holding facility pending further questioning, most are at large, including Peter Rock who may have been in the area at the time, but was unable to be identified, in spite of repeated inquiries. They have dispersed, it is suspected, to take up their seditious activities again.

At the request of many, who fear new outbreaks from the executed terrorist's cult, the Homeland Security Department has assigned an Agent to oversee the complete dispersal of all these terrorist cells. Special Agent in Charge Saul Tarsus will head the task force that handles the logistics of this assignment.

"I will see to it that America sleeps safe. I don't care where they go, where they hide, I will see to it that no more trouble comes from them, if I have to walk to Damascus myself!", said Agent Tarsus, refering to the town where it is suspected that some terrorists still reside and plan further terrorist activities.