It’s good (…) that we’re representing what happened when Jesus was alive.
~ Joseph Salvage, actor and church-goer
The quotation above comes from Joseph Salvage, the lead participant in a Brighton, UK, crucifixion re-enactment on the occasion of Easter Good Friday celebrations, in a story carried by the local press.
Joseph is all of 12 years old.
I don’t even know where to begin, with this one. For one thing, perhaps the headline.1 The kid wasn’t “crucified”, of course, or else he’d presumably have been a lot less sanguine about his starring role in this mummery. To be really pedantic about it, he would also need to have been roundly flogged prior to the crucifixion, and skewered with a spear, you know, just for historical verisimilitude. Re-enactment flogging and skewering, of course.
A twelve-year-old is not a “teen”, and is of an age at which the faculty to fully think through the significance and ramifications of one’s actions is a long way yet from being developed. The parents are conspicuously absent from this story, too – but it’s probably safe to say they aren’t atheists.
If the kids in these situations have been taught in anything like the way I was in my childhood Sunday school classes, they will have been fed drastically bowdlerised, almost romanticised versions of the Gospels. Sit them in front of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, however, and see how happy they are then. Or their parents, for that matter. How strange the system of belief that whitewashes the atrocities and brutalities that form a part of its core literature.