Though Yeshua was a Jewish fellow whose intentions (and words) are still subject to debate, adherents to his interpreted teachings adopted him as a personal savior, toppled an empire and gave him a Greek name (Jesus). Motivated by a compulsion to convert heathens and infidels to "the one true faith," Yeshua's adherents created new empires by engaging in bloody conflicts all over the globe as the centuries marched on.
Current events confirm religious wars are not only still with us, but have taken on an even more sinister patina. With the modern addition of nation-states, capitalism, petroleum and covert operations thrown into the mix, it is way past time we adopt a new personal savior more suited to the challenges of the 21st century. After all, how long do we want to continue fighting a battle fundamentally unaltered for some 2,000 years?
With that in mind, I propose we follow the lead of those rabble-rousers who, during the French Revolution, rejected priests, papists and Church in favor of what they called Temples of Reason. The 18th century saw Reason replacing faith as the new god, but since we are several hundred years removed from Reason's heyday, and since Modern Times demand we keep up with change, there is only one logical replacement for those messy faiths that persist in bloodletting: It's time for Temples of Technology.
Even the most skeptical among us will admit Technology is the benchmark against which all Human Progress must be measured. A future of peace, prosperity, justice and liberty with everyone living up to his or her full potential can be realized not by faith, but by Technology. And with Bill Gates as the new messiah, such a rosy future will certainly come to pass.
Why Gates? Consider this: Unlike Yeshua--who probably didn't look much like the blue-eyed, straight-haired paleface we encounter in endless images of Jesus--Gates actually looks the part! I mean, can you get any whiter than Bill? Saviors, by Christian definition, don't come with even the slightest hint of a tawny hue.
And there's more. It's e-mail that connects us, not faith in a remote god prancing around heaven wearing white robes and sporting a backup chorus of hermaphroditic angels. And while the Christian god-version is perpetually engaged in a cosmic battle with Forces of Evil, Gates' more manageable and understandable conflict is with those commie Linux types.
Then there is the Internet. Was there ever a more beneficent technological wonder ever created? Worthy of awe, the Internet deserves a place of honor in the Temple. And who, despite false gods attempting to lead us astray, makes it possible for the flock to easily worship on the Internet each day? Why, Gates!
Though the Internet can claim a prominent position in the Temple, other technologies deserve recognition and reverence. Where the Stations of the Cross once served as a reminder of Yeshua's ordeal at the hand of those imperious Romans, the Stations of Information and True Knowledge provide worshippers with the opportunity to gather in awe and humble themselves before more handmaidens to salvation.
Too many wonder-inducing technologies exist to be listed here with the fulsome praise and elaborate descriptions they deserve, but enough are represented to provide an inkling of the experience shared by devoted users: a joyous swelling of the heart and a yearning to spend more time at play in the fields of Technology.
The splendid magic of Wi-Fi allows dozens of people to sit in a café, join the Online World and avoid potentially dangerous eye contact with the person seated next to them.
Music becomes all the more wondrous thanks to iPods, those nifty gadgets enabling users to revel in solitary rapture while shutting out the troublesome world.
A BlackBerry beckons those fortunate enough to own one with the promise of instantaneously answering any need one might have. Connect! E-mail! Download! Text-message! Organize!
And can there be anything more useful or uplifting to the human spirit than cell phones? Banish boredom. Call a member of your posse. Gossip. Exchange vital information that can't wait another nanosecond. Secretly photograph some hapless individual, then e-mail it so you and your friends can share a chuckle. What fun! Cell phones--with their capacity to elicit our most noble human behavior--deserve an exalted place of honor in the Temple of Technology.
But until the Temple is built, we recognize our true messiah and cerebral implants create a global network of truly wired individuals, we'll have to settle for the season and holidays surrounding Easter. Make them joyous, peaceful and kind, whatever your beliefs.