The Man. Amen.
By Charles P. Pierce
Originally Published by GQ in 1997
Currently Hosted by Esquire.com

OK. Golf joke.

Jesus Christ and Saint Peter go out to play golf. Saint Peter steps up to the first tee. He's got the sharp designer vines. Even got a brand-new yellow Amana hat. (Amana sewed up a sponsorship deal long before anyone else, and Nike couldn't even get in the door.) Clubheads that gleam in the heavenly light like stars on sticks. Takes out a golden tee. Puts down a fresh Titleist Balata. Smacks it down the fairway for a clean 265, dead center. Ball sits in the green grass like a distant white diamond. Allows himself a little smirk as he steps out of the tee box. Listens carefully to hear if a cock is crowing.

Anyway, Jesus up next. Old robe. Sawdust up to his elbows (somebody needed a coffee table finished that morning). Got a black rock tied to a cane pole. Got a range ball with a red stripe around its middle and a deep slice up one side. Hits the ball with the rock, and it goes straight up in the air. It is plucked away by a passing pileated woodpecker, which flaps off down the fairway toward the green. Stiff head wind blows up. Woodpecker begins to labor. Just over the front fringe of the green, woodpecker suffers a fatal heart attack. Drops the ball onto the back of a passing box turtle. Ball sticks. Turtle carries the ball toward the hole. At the lip of the cup, turtle sneezes.

Ball drops into the hole.

Saint Peter shakes his head.

"You gonna play golf?" he asks Jesus. "Or you gonna fuck around?"

Is this blasphemous?

Is it?

Truly blasphemous?

Truly?

And what would be the blasphemy?

And what would it be?

The punch line? That Saint Peter is said to be using a curse word as regards his Lord and Savior?

No, ma'am. Sorry. Please consult Matthew 26:73-74.


       And after a little while, they came that stood by, and they said to Peter, "Surely, thou art one of them, for even thy speech doth discover thee."
       Then he began to curse and swear that he knew not the man.
       And immediately the cock crowed.


Peter was forgiven.

And what would be the blasphemy?

And what would it be?

That our Lord and Savior would play golf?

That He would do anything within His admittedly considerable powers to win?

No, ma'am. Sorry. I believe that Jesus would play to win. I would not want Jesus in a $1,000 Nassau, not even with four shots a side. I do not like my chances at that. No, ma'am, I do not. I believe Jesus would take my money. I believe that He would take it and give it unto the poor, but I believe He would take it. I believe that Jesus would focus. I believe that His ball would not find the rough. I believe that there would be sudden windstorms. I believe that He would find no water, but that if He did, He would walk out and knock one stiff from the middle of the pond. I believe that he would go for the stick on every hole. I believe that the Redeemer cometh and He playeth to win, or else He'd have wound up as merely one of the foremost carpenters in Nazareth. I would not want Jesus in a $1,000 Nassau, not even with four shots a side.

Is this blasphemous?

Is it?

And what would be the blasphemy?

And what would it be?

That there is divinity guiding the game of golf? That the hands of God are on a steel shaft, the fingers of God overlapped and strong, and that the hands of God bring the steel shaft up brightly in the heavenly light -- but not past parallel; never past parallel -- and then down, hard, to smite the sinful modern world?

Is this blasphemous?

Is it?

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