Jesus Can’t Fly A Plane
(Editorial Comment from host RJ Evans on his American Heathen® radio show – Air Date 10/06/12)
I returned from my trip to Los Angeles last Sunday. Four separate flights. There’s no such thing as a non-stop fight on a shoestring budget. So, my publicist and I were at the mercy of one stop each way, changing planes, and dealing with the reality of flying blind. Yes, blind. Because the airlines aren’t exactly punctual or efficient at moving people around nowadays, you never know what might happen in the black hole of commercial flight. Surprisingly though, we didn’t encounter any delays or unforeseen circumstances that could have ruined our expedition. We sailed through the process smoothly. As for the flights themselves… Well, that was something that really set itself apart from the nether regions of air-travel. And tonight, I’d like to share with you some of my observations.
Jesus can’t fly a plane. Really. He can’t. Never mind that he doesn’t exist and never did. That’s immaterial to the fact that he can’t fly a plane. In fact, Jesus can’t drive a car, or a truck, or operate machinery. Assuming he’d existed, for the sake of argument, he would have been utterly baffled by the complexity of today’s machinery and electronics. But, back to the plane. Take offs and landings are the most critical aspects of human flight. Drones don’t worry about crashing. Humans, on the other hand, do. And it’s because we worry about this very important detriment to flight that we don’t let Jesus operate a plane. At least, I’m assuming we don’t, although I’m not sure whether the pilot turned the controls over to him after we took off. My guess is that even the pilot wouldn’t trust Jesus at the controls. But, I digress…
Takeoffs and landings are always a little unsettling for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to fly. But, I also harbor a deep resentment for, and fear of, crashing. So, I do my very best to steel myself to the possibility that something could go wrong with any of the millions of pieces and parts of the plane, the thousands of potential pilot errors that could bubble to the surface, or a pilot’s brain on Percocet and one too many martinis the night before. I resolve myself, and the future of my existence, to a simple method of controlling my fear. I clasp my hands in front of me and cut off all circulation to my fingers. I also look out the window to determine whether or not the angle of attack during take off and landings is indicative of an “Oh fuck I’m doomed!” moment. No prayers by the way. I’m atheist. No rituals of appeasement to any higher power. No chants. No looking for the elusive inner chakras. No lucky rabbits foot or horse shoe. I simply put my trust in a pilot who’s most likely half my age, probably thinks that he or she can party all night and still fly a multimillion dollar aircraft like a Harrier Jump Jet in the Eagle One video game. I trust that any of the hundreds of engineers who designed the plane didn’t spill a latte on their calculator, blotting out the decimal point on a critical figure for structural integrity. And I trust that a maintenance worker didn’t decide that the bolt and washer left over after the motor rebuild would make a great desk ornament. No pressure. I’m just fine. Really. I can deal with all of that. Just as long as Jesus isn’t flying the plane.
Jesus can’t fly a plane. I know this for a fact. So, I made absolutely sure he wasn’t flying them. I checked the planes over thoroughly, looking for what has become a ubiquitous indication that Jesus is, at the very least, sitting in the co-pilot’s seat. No bumper stickers on the ailerons. Check. None on the tail rudder. Check. Nothing on the landing gear doors or the nose. Check. I carefully inspected the flight attendant’s attire when I boarded. No “Jesus Is Our Co-Pilot” pins, buttons or patches. Check. No bibles in the front pockets of the seats. And no one passed around an offering basket. Check. Everywhere I looked, I could find nothing indicating that Jesus was in any way associated with the airline or the flight. There wasn’t even a single mention of Jesus in the safety brochure. Of course, I suspected that that was most likely due to the fact that any mention of him in the brochure would probably cause enough panic that TSA would have to intervene. No. Jesus wasn’t going to be flying the plane. I relaxed a little. Just enough to keep the blood pumping to my wrists. My fingers didn’t know it though.
Look, Jesus can’t fly a plane. I know this for a fact because of the diversity of passengers on board. There were Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, multiple flavors of Christians, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, blacks, whites, reds, yellows, browns… If Jesus was flying the plane, we would have most certainly crashed with such a diverse passenger list. And a lot of people would have been killed just so a bunch of other people on the ground, who don’t believe Jesus can fly a plane, might reconsider their foolish thoughts on the matter. Of course, if anyone did survive the crash, and happened to be a Christian, they would most certainly have to testify that Jesus was indeed flying the plane, and that they survived the crash because Jesus loved them more than everyone else. I guess that’s a last minute upgrade to First Class? Oh. That’s right. They were “blessed”.
Jesus can’t fly a plane. I know this for a fact. So many people, from so many walks of life, were gathered together inside those tiny flying tubes. No one was bitching, moaning or complaining. No one was praying aloud or preaching. It was actually quite peaceful. No heaven, no hell, no condemnations, no war, no killing, no torture… and no crash. Just a microcosm of the world packed into tiny little cylinders, removed from the fury of life on earth below, floating on an airfoil of peace, fueled by science, logic and reason… and under the control of competent human hands attached to human beings who apparently weren’t high, drunk, hungover, or otherwise stupid enough to let Jesus fly the god damned plane. Isn’t it amazing? When everyone’s life depends on human beings at the controls, everyone gets along just fine. I sure wish we had a country like that. Don’t you?