by Aidan Chivers
A 2017 survey found that less than one in ten 18- to 24-year-olds describe themselves as Christian. JC, for centuries such an important figure in Western culture and thought, is going seriously out of fashion.
But all that tradition is out of date, anyway. The youth has found its modern version: let’s call him JC 2.0. He’s the newer, fresher model, who can rally the secular youth with rather pithier and trendier words of wisdom.
The 21st-century parables are on their way out. And JC 2.0 has chosen more effective preaching spots to have his words picked up by Momentum’s echo chambers. There are more ‘likes’ to be had at Glasto than on some godforsaken Mount. And the new JC’s got the right number of syllables in his name for a chant that can drown out the complaints of anti-Semitism, Momentum’s relentless bullying of more moderate MPs, or the sound of 17,000 members slipping quietly out of the party this year.
The original JC might have despised profiteering capitalists, too, and turned over the tables of the money lenders, but the updated version’s a little craftier: he’ll just take control of the whole Temple. And nowadays it’s only the Tories who are happy feeding an elitist gathering of 5000. That sounds suspiciously like the Few, and JC 2.0 is here for the Many.
Just listen to the leader, and he’ll give us God’s truth. After all, Hamas and Hezbollah are really only Lost Sheep, in need of a little love. We’ve just got to build our national house on the rock of Marx rather than all that sandy capitalism. And JC 2.0’s worked out his predecessor’s biggest mistake, too: we shouldn’t be praising that Good Samaritan who helped the beaten-up Jew, when the victim’s nation state is just an extension of Western neo-imperialist aspirations.
And the miracles would have come along, too, if only a few more had given him their vote. Have you seen the one where a man with two Es at A-level becomes prime minister? Or where we disband NATO, and Russia just decides to leave the Balkan states alone? Or where a ‘jobs Brexit’ takes on meaning and starts describing specific policy?
JC 2.0’s made one significant improvement, too – he’s got rid of all the embarrassing God chatter which we don’t need any more. Thankfully, though, he doesn’t need to promise eternal salvation, when he can just abolish tuition fees to guarantee loyalty. We can have Heaven down here on Earth anyway, as long as we don’t mind cranking up the national debt a little further. And who needs the old, clunky Hebrew Bible when there’s the much-improved pocket-size version, published in a more attractive red?