Pop Culture
Aug 10, 2023, 06:27AM

Mascots for Jesus

A few mascot ideas to make church less boring.

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Lately I’ve had to regularly attend church ceremonies. This isn’t because I’m a practicing Christian (I’m a non-worshipper who believes in all faiths, and that includes agnosticism and atheism). If I attend church services it’s only due to special occasions involving my predominantly God-fearing family and neighbors. If not for my love and devotion to these people you wouldn’t catch me dead in church. Why? One simple reason: Christian religious ceremonies are by and large unbelievably boring. Here are the Top 5 ideas that’ll make Christian services way more fun and interesting.

Big Fuzzy Mascots: The polarity of good and evil recurs throughout all Christian lore. The biblical fight between the two supposed moral opposites presents plenty of chances for the faithful to rally around their favorite saints and saviors with the fury of a sports fanatic. What better way to rally true believers than to create some big fuzzy furry lovable variations of Bible characters like, say, The Philly Phanatic. I can see them now, prancing across the altar with holy fervor, huge plush versions of Jesus, Moses, the apostles, Lucifer, The Beast, and all those mean Roman soldiers, complete with regal golden Christian-chomping lions. Disneyland meets The Greatest Story Ever Told  as produced by The Kroft Brothers—how can you not love this? The converts would beg to get a selfie with a foamy fuzzy Christ, and Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn meme.

Wrestling/MMA: Pro-wrestling features just as many polarized dynamics as The Good Book. Once again, a great way to rally parishioners around their beloved Prince Of Peace would be to use the tropes of big-budget athletics in creating a visceral drama based on the rivalry of Christ and The Devil. Get a bearded muscle-bound WWE star with long locks to rep Jesus. Marvel as The Savior leaps from the pulpit to crush an equally sinuous brute portraying a hell spawned villain. A mighty Crown Of Thorns glistens in triumph as a crowd of Sunday servants stomp and clap in time with the rousing chant, ”JEE-SUSS, JEE-SUSS, JEE-SUSS!”

Monster trucks/stock cars/drag racers: Okay, there weren’t any motor vehicles back in the days of The Bible. Nonetheless, if these dorky multi-media mega church spectacles can appropriate old pop culture classics like sketch comedy, talk shows, loud rock music, and motivational speaking, why not use these giant arena-like venues to host some sanctified funny car free-for-alls? A massive 4X4 dragster shaped like The Holy Cross. An XXXL hover craft molded into the shape of a chrome-plated Crown Of Thorns that bleeds whenever a mob of heretics riding robo-horses starts whipping the hell out of it. You thought Gravedigger was scary? What about Soul Stealer, the Satanic monster truck that spews fire while its booming stereo system blasts out the sound of real-life possession victims speaking in tongues? If the venue is open air, maybe have a flyover from a squadron of Stealth bombers painted sky blue and spruced up with decals depicting halos, crosses, puffy clouds, and big gilded letters spelling out “I.H.S.”(“Iesus Hominum Salvatore”).

Nudity/erotica: Christianity and many other Abrahamic religions take criticism for being prudish and sex-negative. While the sexually phobic/“no sex before marriage” stuff won’t be ripped from doctrine that doesn’t mean that abstinent worshippers should be ignorant of the lusty fun the rest of us heathens are enjoying. The Bible oozes sexuality and it’s ripe for re-creation on a glitzy mega church stage. Mary Magdalene’s pre-Jesus hijinx and the kinky foot play that ushered in the repentance of her sins. Salome and The Dance Of The Seven Veils. Adam & Eve’s live all-nude romps through The Garden. These are just a few sequences which prove the architects of Christianity knew juicy bits would snag attention. And what about all those orgiastic classical paintings of naked angels flying through the air? Dressed as angels, you could suspend limber fleets of strippers and other acrobatic hedonists in mid-air and have them descend upon the altar as the choir blasts out its most bombastic take on of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Bring Back “Touchdown Jesus”… as a ROLLER COASTER: When it comes to warped architectural Americana few landmarks equal the bizarre power of the Monroe, OH monument that was colloquially known as Touchdown Jesus. This Mount Rushmore-esque creation (made of mostly metal and Styrofoam) was completed in 2004 and annihilated by a lightning strike in 2010. The statue was supposed to show Jesus with arms outstretched in a moment of religious ecstasy. Instead, to the casual passerby zooming along Interstate 75, it looked more like the absurd image of Team Heaven’s star quarterback going out for long one, risking it all in the 11th hour of The Super Bowl For Your Soul. Either that or a Big J.C. giving the official NFL signal for a touchdown. Hence the nickname “Touchdown Jesus.”

Though it was never rebuilt, the majesty of this most ridiculous artifact lives on in the memories of anyone who got to witness its brief goofy glory. Its blueprints are still around somewhere, so some blessed soul should reserve green space at a popular church and resurrect T.J. as a base for the world’s first Jesus-themed roller coaster. Build some tracks around and across its gargantuan expanse and then get ready to zoom your brains out in a whirlwind turns that encircles his thorny crown. Hit zero G’s careening along the outstretched arms. Thrill to the exciting near-miss that brings you within inches of the most holy giant nostril ever known.


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