Reverend Tiding's programming did not falter. Declaring this man Jesus would fracture his powerful church and could easily ruin his reputation. He never even considered seeing a crown upon Donald's head. The Rabbi and Mohammed, meanwhile, both had the same thought, "So what? Who is Jesus to me?"
The Bishop, however, loved Jesus. He had often stared at His drooping head on the crucifix and marveled that God was willing to become flesh and bear this pain. Here was God, saying, "I will take your pain for you. I will bear the weight of your suffering." And many times he had taken God's offer, when the pain was just too much to bear.
So the Bishop, when he looked into Donald's face, saw God looking at His own painful death. He made the sign of the cross and grabbed his rosary.
"He is the pawn of Satan," said Reverend Tidings. "They both are."
"Bishop Salacci," asked Miss Roc, "do you see his crown of glory?"
"I don't know. I see something."
"What? What do you see?" Miss Roc thought this was too good to be true.
"I'll leave it up to the Vatican," he replied, regaining his composure, momentarily letting his programming take over.
Miss Roc looked away disgustedly. "So, Donald, you don't know if you are Jesus?"
"I don't want to be worshipped," he said. "I don't want to exclude anyone."
"Exclude who?" asked Miss Roc.
"Non-christians. God is for everyone."
"Jesus is for everyone," said Dahlia.
"Ah," responded Miss Roc happily, "what do you say to that, Rabbi Handgould?"
"I say please let me worship in peace. I do not begrudge you your Jesus, but let me find God my own way."
"Rabbi," said Dahlia, "don't you await the Messiah?"
"He is here," said Dahlia matter-of-factly.
"Come on," said the Rabbi, "he is not even a Jew. Are you?"
"No," said Donald.
"He is not a Christian, either," said Dahlia, "or a Moslem. He is a conduit to God. And though there are many religions, there is only one God. I'm telling you that no leader of any religion can afford to turn his back on this man. If you have a living religion, then you must embrace the living God."
The Rabbi was invigorated by anger. "How many times throughout history have Christians asked us to embrace Jesus? And when we didn't, we were ostracized, marginalized, murdered! I will not embrace Jesus. I will not embrace the second Jesus. I will not embrace the fiftieth Jesus. There is no Jesus that I would embrace. Why would God manifest Himelf as the very symbol of our oppression, a religion that has rewritten our religion and told us it is no longer valid?"
"Please, Rabbi, all I'm asking is that you let go of your hatred and just look for yourself. Do not take it upon yourself to decide how God will manifest Himself. Open your eyes, that is all I ask."
But when Rabbi Handgould looked at Donald, all he saw was a blank-faced Jews For Jesus volunteer, stealing away his people.
"This man fulfills no prophecy," he said.
"The Word has become flesh. The prophecies are fulfilled."
"That's not a prophecy. That's a tautology."
"God is a tautology," said Dahlia. "God is."
Miss Roc heard a word she didn't know and decided it was time to jump in. "How about you, Jerry? You think he's Jesus?"
"Can I ask it a question?" asked the Grand Dragon.
"Go right ahead," said Miss Roc, smirking.
"All right," said Jerry. "Are you the Savior of the white race?"
"I can't save anyone," said Donald.
"'Thy faith hath saved thee,' Luke 7:50," said Dahlia, who seemed to know the King James Version as well. She reminded Sarah of a snooty translator.
"Well, then, you ain't my Jesus," laughed Jerry.
"Mohammed?" asked Miss Roc.
"I ain't bowing down to no white man."
"So, Donald," asked Miss Roc, "do you feel the crown of glory on your head?"
"I feel God rushing through me like a river. I feel like I'm being drowned in light."
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