Jesus Christ, M.B.A.: A Gospel for Our Times

By Donn Weinholtz, illustrated by David Weinholtz. Self-published, 2022. 72 pages. $9.95/paperback or eBook.

What will the year 2030 bring? Famine? Climate disaster? Population explosion? World War III? Whatever the apocalypse du jour, it will mark two millennia supposedly since Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, and we will be in deep doo-doo without his return.

Fortunately, the Weinholtz brothers are prepared for the inevitable, even if they jumped the gun on the Rapture by having Jesus re-appear during Occupy Wall Street (OWS) from September 17 to November 15, 2011. Of course, compressing Jesus’s ministry into 59 days makes sense in our digital age, even if the in-person direct democracy of OWS’s followers was a rebellion against the tyranny of the Internet, not to mention the dictatorship of the 1 percent.

Conventional wisdom says that if Jesus returned today, he would be branded a heretic, a lunatic, or a criminal. Yet Donn Weinholtz’s satire on the Second Coming imagines him as a rabble-rouser, who, instead of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, plunges into the political fray as an independent candidate for the U.S. presidency.

To establish a base of support, “JC,” as he prefers to be called, first infiltrates Morgan Goldman bank as a trader, with his newly minted credential, to transform capitalism from the inside out. (No doubt, his MBA stands for Messiah Back Again.)

With the world on the brink due to consumption that is so conspicuous we can hardly breathe the economic fallout, he pitches the captains of industry that capitalism won’t survive unless they embrace his brand of “Prophet sharing.”

When he fails to corner the market with his Green New Deal, they fire him. Naturally, JC turns the other cheek by appealing for the OWS crowd to “love your enemies,” which scares his former bosses into this reaction: “For God sake, he’s telling them to love us. It’s so damned hard to foreclose on people claiming they love you!”

This ability to play the gospel’s words for comic effect reaches its apogee when JC kills a cosmic comedy routine on The Daily Show, having made a name for himself by transforming a fly ball into a home run at a Yankees game and almost talking Mayor Bloomberg into giving all his billions to the poor.

After these first five chapters, the remaining eight proceed apace with gathering of his OWS disciples, more miracles, and enlisting a street urchin named “Maria” as his confidant.

As you can imagine, the more JC becomes a media darling on the campaign trail, the more he becomes a target for the “disloyal opposition.” As with the original gospels, Jesus’s end is preordained, but I won’t give away the Houdini-like finale that amounts to the same promise Christ’s Ascension began with: “To be continued in 2,000 years.”

Donn Weinholtz’s inventive narrative and wordplay are matched by David Weinholtz’s acerbic drawings of Jesus and his antagonists, which, with their captioned sound bites, magnify JC’s stature just as his sayings and parables do in the original gospels. My one quibble is that, perhaps (mistakenly) to appeal to a less than spiritual United States, Jesus over time substitutes left-wing rhetoric for the gospels’ eschatological incitement.

Donn Weinholtz, who (like me) is a convinced Friend with a Jewish name, makes the point that his Jesus is a Jew. I can only wonder if this JC’s tongue-in-cheek routine means that Quakers have learned something from all those Borscht Belt comedians whose jokes compensated for millennia of martyrdom (often at the hands of their monotheistic brethren).

Carl Blumenthal is a member of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting and the author of A Quaker’s Guide to the Cosmos, a collection of his writings for Friends Journal, New York Yearly Meeting’s Spark, and Brooklyn Meeting’s newsletter.

Previous Book Next Book

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.