Love Everybody or Die Trying

The Council to Come Up With A Suitable Meaning to ‘Love Everyone’ came to order.

“Alright, gentlemen, this is it. Emperor Constantius The Second has demanded that we come up with a working definition to ‘love everyone’ by the end of the day. If we don’t he says he will kill us all. What are our ideas?” Vilinius, the Council chair, tried to ignore the sweat forming on his brow. He didn’t want to wipe it off and bring attention to it. He took a deep breath and called on Hadrian, to his right. “Hadrian? Where are you on this?”

“Sir, I think ‘love everyone’ means we should only hate the Euetruscans and the Visigoths,” Hadrian said dutifully. “Oh, and the Jews.”

“I see.” Vilinius scratched his chin. “How about you, Kalpus?”

“I think love everybody is code for have sex with as many bodies as you can. Just slut it up, is the message of Jesus.”

“You think Jesus, who was celibate, is advocating free love?” Vilinius wondered why he had hired Kalpus.

“Absolutely, sir.”

Vilinius knew he didn’t have time to fire him now. “Ok, what about you, Antonious?”

“Actually, sir, I think we are putting far too much thought into it to begin with. It really doesn’t matter what we come up with cause we all know that we are working for Constantius the Second, when every body knows it is Constantire the Second who has all the say. All I know, sir, is things were so much easier before Christianity became the official religion, when we could live without definition.”

Vilinius frowned. “That is no attitude to have here. If we come up with something so perfect to define the message of Jesus, even Constatire the Second will have to listen to us.”

“Who are we to be defining the message of Jesus?”

“We are the The Council to Come Up With A Suitable Meaning to ‘Love Everyone’ ! That’s the very reason we were created! To define the message of Jesus! And today we are to come up with a working definition of his core message, ‘love everyone’ by five o’clock or we will all be put to death by a very impatient and unforgiving tyrant. So, no, I don’t think we are overthinking this, if anything we are underthinking it. Come on, we’re a think tank, think: what do you think love everybody means?”

Antonious shook his head. “We could say anything, it doesn’t matter, sir, relax. It’s not ours to say, so whatever we recommend, good, bad, or ridiculous, is going to be met with the same fate: ignored by the brother emperor with the real power. We could say love everyone means, ‘love everyone’, we could say love everyone means, ‘eat more meat,’ it really isn’t going to matter.”

“Wait, no, that’s good. Love one another means love one another. We define it in its own words. No one can argue with that. It’s perfect. Antonious, you’re brilliant. Even when you’re wrong you’re right.”

Hadrian spoke up. “Sir, all our necks are on the line here. I don’t feel comfortable going to The Emperor with the definition love everyone means love everyone. I think he’s probably looking for a little more.”

“No, I’m the Chairman here and I think this is our best way to go. Love everyone means love everyone. It’s tight because it’s absolutely true.”

“I was kidding,”Antonious, said, suddenly concerned that he had been taken seriously. He felt like Hadrian. He thought they should probably not mock the message, the Emperor might take it as mocking him.

Antonious and Hadrian were dead right, and when Emperor Constantius II heard his committee had spent one week to define love everyone as love everyone, he had the entire committee poisoned and then the Emperor took a steam bath with his harem and complained about how hard his job was.


6 thoughts on “Love Everybody or Die Trying

  1. granbee

    Wonderful, terriffic, stupendous job of showing how institutations and govenerments and committees have totally screwed up the message of Jesus! Hooray for you, dear Peter! GRRRR—you go get ’em, boy!

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Rose! I hoped you would like this one. I always try to ignore the gnawing doubt that chews at my guts when I write of religion. I write what I hear. I have faith in my reader’s sight to see what I post on my site, still… I need to take the oven mitts off to write of religion. I’m trying to tickle as much as to burn. Delighted to know we are reading from the same page, Rose!

  2. Steven Myers

    “love everybody” is something
    “or die trying”
    well, that’s Something
    like good intentions followed by the reality of
    dirt under the nails with your humor bridging the two
    and still the verdict is poison em all.
    this is better than apocalypse now,
    the horror for constantius.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      I really think I hit something here, because this is the first time I have seen you use a Capital Letter. ‘that’s Something’. I am flattered. The horror, the horror, indeed.

      1. Steven Myers

        i think the no capitals started as a mini rebellion against all the analysis of structure that seemed to get in the way of the words and meaning and now it’s convenient not having to push 2 buttons at the same time,
        and yes, you hit on something here and yes in my little way, this is a tribute to you.
        “die trying” carries so much punch and as granbee points out, “the message of jesus.”
        you treat religion with the subtlety of a surgeon’s knife and the result is a mended wound. i sincerely appreciate that. it’s inspiring to read your works and know that religion does not have to mess with our relationship with the creator or g-d or great spirit or whatever name we give it.

      2. cottonbombs Post author

        Though, you probably noticed, I put Capitals wherever I want, still, I can see the allure of simplifying. I find pronouns the most arrogant, he, she, you and I. I is so high and mighty standing over the lowly lower case. I’m all for simplicity in writing, very reason I spell American. Why waste the extra u? We’re surrounded by dumb Canadians who have no idea how much time they’re wasting adding that second vowel coloring every favour, flavour, favourite; I get twice as much done as any other Canadian writer, cause I’m not bogged down by vowels. I appreciate your words on religion. You write g-d, my Dad used to write: G*D, I write, God, but I am comfortable with Shiva, Allah, Yahweh, Tao, Krishna, Jupiter, Zeus, or any other word that is trying to do the impossible: define The Infinite.

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