Rodger McDaniel 2018 headshot

With 2020 approaching, potential presidential candidates are waiting until after New Year’s Day to announce. One chose the day the whole world was celebrating his birthday to throw his hat, or rather his kippah, into the ring.

It was a Galilean sage named Jesus of Nazareth.

“Hosanna,” they cried as his poll numbers went through the roof. Jesus quickly became odds-on favorite among Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and the Green Party.

Republican poohbahs were slow to warm to a Jesus candidacy fearing the wrath of Trump. Democrats supported him upon learning his followers sold their possessions, distributing them to all as any had need.

Libertarians, wearied by nominating washed-up, old Republican governors, saw Jesus as a chance for redemption. Green Partiers said, “Our last candidate dined with Putin. Maybe we’re better off nominating someone who dines with prostitutes and tax collectors. What do we have to lose?”

Evangelical Christian support was especially high, with 91 percent jumping on the bandwagon. The other 9 percent told pollsters they would await the Rapture.

Jesus disappointed them all, announcing he would run as an Independent. He quickly received an important endorsement. As soon as his candidacy was prophesied, the heavens opened, the Spirit of God descended on him and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus responded, “My name is Jesus, and I approve this message.”

Soon thereafter, Wikileaks hacked Jesus’s private email server and began funneling opposition research to reporters. The leaks raised serious questions about Jesus’s relationship with God. A whispering campaign started. Some were concerned about the fact that God had once destroyed the whole world. Others wanted to know more about God’s role in several massacres of men, women and children in ancient Israel.

They asked whether Jesus’s divine backer had entered into a secret pact with Satan to torture Job. Was it true, they demanded to know, that God once attempted to kill Moses? Was Jesus’s primary supporter guilty of slaughtering all the first-born male children of Egypt? Did he order the execution of a man for the seemingly forgivable act of picking up sticks on the Sabbath?

As the fake media continued digging into God’s past, politicians from all four political parties demanded that Jesus denounce God’s endorsement. “God has been with me from the beginning,” Jesus Tweeted in response. “God is my father. If I deny my father, I am denying myself. Why can’t we just talk about the issues?”

“Okay,” one of the scribes shouted, “what would you do about the homeless?” Jesus said, “Find them homes.” Asked what he’d do for the hungry, Jesus said, “Feed them.” Those with ears heard and asked, “With what? Wouldn’t everyone have to pay higher taxes in order to provide food and shelter for all these people?”

What about those foreigners seeking refuge in our country, reporters supplicated. “My platform is clear,” Jesus retorted. “The foreigner shall be welcomed and treated as though born here.” He reminded them that his own life had been saved when his parents took him and were granted refugee status in Egypt to avoid Herod’s sword.

Asked how he would reduce prison overcrowding, Jesus stayed on message. “Look, I’ve been nominated to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, healing for the sick, even those with pre-existing conditions, and to free the oppressed.”

That press conference proved his undoing. An editorial in the “failing” New York Times claimed, “Even his family thinks he’s crazy.” Jesus tried to revive his fledgling campaign by calling on voters to love their neighbors as they love themselves. Conservatives who had LGBTQ neighbors bolted. Liberals feared Jesus’s platform would eliminate the need for government programs and regulations.

His campaign chair promptly resigned, telling anyone who asked, “I do not know that man.” Near the end, his advisers gathered around Jesus. “It is finished,” they said. There was no choice. He needed to withdraw from the race. “If you don’t,” it was agreed, “they will crucify you.”

Rodger McDaniel lives in Laramie and is the pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne. Email: rmc81448@gmail.com.

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