the final testament of the holy bible-james frey

“can i borrow it?”

“yea, you can borrow it.”

this was the only question i publicly asked last year-sadly, it was a promise unfulfilled. but where the man slips, the library follows through. i only asked because frey decided to do a limited press on this one (with good reason). i’m glad i finally got my hands on it, as it truly is a good book. i never got past numbers in the bible bible, but i can see enough of the parallels to that collection of stories to recognize the amount of research and effort that was put into this work. as crazy as the rapture theory was last year, it (and the recent deluge of superhero movies) was indicative of exactly how desperate folks are for a saviour, and how fitting that the messiah would tell us to buck up and make the most of our lives. (oh, and he does so by fucking us sense-full):

“Kissing like we meant it, like we was in love. And he lifted me outta that chair, like I weighed nothing. And he took off my clothes. And he put me on the table. And he licked me, and sucked me, and fucked me till I couldn’t see straight. Lying right next to my drugs. He showed me how to what it felt like to feel good. He fucked me, and he loved me, and when he came inside me, it fulfilled more than any person, school, church, book, or God had in my life.” (223-4)

it would be easy to dismiss this as blasphemy, or focus on the racy bits, but i hope that folks pay attention to the message. werd.

oh, and this continues the string of looking like i’m reading religious texts on the subway. it also kind of freaked out my date last night-but we had a great conversation about it.

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3 thoughts on “the final testament of the holy bible-james frey

  1. jesus talks (his words appear in red):

    The past doesn’t matter. People cling to it because it allows them to ignore the present. I asked for you because I need to talk to you about the present. Something happened to me, or is happening to me, and I don’t understand it, and I don’t want it, and I’m scared of it. (107)

    The Bible was written two thousand years ago. The world is a different place now. Stories that had meaning then are meaningless now. Beliefs that might have been valid then are invalid now. Those books should be looked at in the same way we look at anything of that age, with interest,with an acknowledgement of the historical importance, but they should not be thought of as anything that has any value. (201)

    Do you live in a two-thousand-year-old mud hut with no electricity, no heat, no running water, pissing and shitting in a hole in the ground? Do you go to an open-air market in a wooden carriage with stone wheels, being pulled by an ox? Do you pay for your food in trade with whatever you’ve grown in your backyard? Do you cook your meals over an open fire made of wood you collected and started using a flint? Look around you. This world is not that world. That world is dead. Those books were written for that world. Those books are dead. They should be taken out of every church on earth and recycled, o at least they might do some good in this world. The oldest and most beautiful copies are historical curiosities and should be put in museums. (202)

    They are the words of writers. Men telling stories. No different than writers today who craft mystery stories, or adventure stories, or war stories, or stories of the apocalypse. Biblical stories were written decades, and sometimes centuries, after the events they supposedly depict, events for which there is absolutely no historical evidence. There is no such thing as God’s word on earth. Or if there is, it is not to be found in books. (203)

    Love and laughter and fucking make one’s life better.
    Worship is just the passing of time. (259)

    Your Bible also says, in 1 John 4:20, if anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (353)

    The Bible is a book. Books are for telling stories. They’re not for denying people the right to live as they choose. Live by what you feel, and what feels right to you, not by what some book of stories tells you. (353)

    There is no such thing as sin. Only control and guilt. (353)

  2. jesus walks:

    “We had a car waiting. We had gone first-class. A long black stretch limousine, with a driver in a uniform and a hat. Just like my daddy used to ride in sometimes. We had three Bibles inside and hoped to read with Ben as we drove back. We had chilled water and juices. It was first-class all the way, but Ben did not want to get in the car. He wanted to walk back to Queens. He wanted to walk across the Devil’s Island and breathe its polluted air and mix with its deviant citizens. We tried to talk him out of it, but he just walked away. There was no choices but to walk with him.” (191-2)

    “Ben didn’t seem any different; he was fresh as a daisy. I wished he was in nicer clothes, or cleaner ones, but the Savior makes his own choices. I did not believe I was one to question them.” (195)

  3. one of us:

    “No one wants to die alone, even though that’s how it happens for all of us, even though we pretend there’s some other way.” (32)

    “I started to say I’m sorry, as if apologizing to a dead man would mean something, though it seems that’s how it works most of the time; we say the things that matter to people when it’s already too late.” (34)

    “Trauma is survivable, but often not much more. It kills you while allowing you to still live.” (68)

    “We did what people do all the time, we told ourselves something we did was right and we found a way to justify it, even though we knew it was wrong. We told ourselves God would allow it, but not because of the Laws of God, but because we wanted to do it.” (85-6)

    “I came to understand that it’s no way to live, and that living is all we have, and all we will ever have, and that is not to be wasted. That love is life. That life isn’t worth living without love. And that the Catholic Church, filled with celibate men who have no experience with it, has no right telling other people how to love or who to love or what kind of love is right or wrong.” (269)

    “Dreams are for people who can afford to make them come true. For someone like me, and for most normal people, dreams are just things that keep us going.” (272)

    “Love is the only place in all of humanity where there is security. And even love doesn’t work for very long. Love always disappears or vanishes. Love is always killed or destroyed. Love always changes into something that isn’t really love. Moments of true, pure, unconditional love are the rarest and most valuable things on earth. If we have two or three of them over the course of our entire lives, we’re lucky. Most of us have none. Most of us live with the illusion of having love or seeking love or knowing love, but what we have or seek or know is desire and possession and control. What we know as love doesn’t really make us happy. If anything, it makes us suffer more. It makes us more unhappy and more violent and more oppressive and more miserable. It increases our suffering.” (331-2)

    “And while I thought about all of this, I let myself doubt it. Any faith, any true faith, involves doubt. If you say your faith is unshakeable, you have no faith. If you say you have no doubt, then you have no belief. The struggle of faith, the worthiness of faith, the value of faith, is holding true to that faith in the face of doubt. If you are to believe in God, you must allow yourself to doubt God. If you are to believe in anything, you have to doubt it.” (334)

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