It is quite common in the online atheist community, and possibly even in the liberal-Christian one, to refer to the god of Christianity as “Zombie Jesus”.
This name, besides being hilarious, is on the surface an incredibly apt and accurate way to describe the god that around 80% of Americans say they believe in. After all, the Jesus character is written to have died and returned from the dead, and is deeply linked in some circles with the eating of human flesh. What could be more ghoulish than that?
But rather than simply using the title “Zombie Jesus” like all those before me, I thought it would be prudent to actually research the issue.
Is the Jesus character a zombie? Or some other member of the living dead? A vampire or Frankenstein-like monster, perhaps? How can we tell?
Simple. We turn to the font of all zombie knowledge. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.
A zombie, according to Mr. Brooks, is not a supernatural or magical creature. It is a human that has been infected with a virus that kills the body and mutates the brain into a new organ:
Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. … This new organism is a zombie, a member of the living dead.
Alas, this criteria does not seem to apply to Jesus. According to the story, he was killed by Roman soldiers by being crucified. Presumably, he bled to death. No indication is given that he suffered a bite from another zombie, or was infected by the virus in any way.
Still, the biblical story holds that Jesus comes back from the dead.
So let’s look further.
Another aspect of the zombie is that it eats the flesh of humans. There are certainly no writings that indicate any of the apostles were eaten upon Jesus’ return. And yet, Catholic and some Protestant traditions hold that Christians are supposed to eat the flesh of their god.
Could this be a form of zombie eating? Not according to Max Brooks.
Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores), however, results in permanent death rather than infection. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic.
The fact that there are not whole masses of Catholic dying due to infected zombie flesh seems to suggest, at least, that Jesus’ zombification may be exaggerated.
Still, one is always served by keeping vigilant. Christians will often speak about Jesus returning once more. If this is the case, we best be on our guard.
Jesus may not be a zombie. But if he is, don’t make the same mistake that the Romans made. Crucifixions don’t work.
You can only stop a Jesus by destroying its brains.