Saturday, March 26, 2011

C'mere Jesus, I got something to show yah

I recently listened to the Godspell soundtrack. That really takes me back - I saw the movie with two of my brothers when it first came out. I was right on the cusp of atheism at the time. And when I watch some of the movie now (I couldn't make it through the whole thing) I wonder if the movie had an influence in pushing me towards atheism.

For example - the movie enacts the parable of the goats and the sheep. In the movie Jesus divides his follower-hippie-clowns into sheep and goats and brings the "sheep" into "heaven" and tells the "goats" in effect to go to hell.

But at the last minute - he relents and lets the "goats" into heaven too.

I don't think most Christians really consider the incredible cruelty of the traditional concept of hell, and the parable as enacted in the movie actually brings it home - these bright cute young people, were they really sinners on the judgment day, would, according to standard Christian theology, NOT be allowed into heaven, but instead would be tormented for eternity in hell.

The people who made Godspell couldn't stand to portray Jesus as he is actually meant to be on judgement day, per traditional Christian theology - a complete heartless douchebag.

But many of the songs are very good. And that John the Baptist guy is hot.

The song "Turn Back Oh Men" is quite strange. The woman seems to be doing a Mae West/New Orleans madam/flapper kind of schtick - maybe she's supposed to be Mary Magdelen? - and although it's not exactly risque, it sort of hints at risque. And she does say "c'mere Jesus, I got something to show yah." Whaaa--?

The music is very typical early-70s pop style - it sort of reminds me of early Sesame Street. But I have a real hard time with Jesus - I didn't remember Victor Garber's face from the movie and so my first awareness of him is his portrayal of a butler on Frasier. It's hard to reconcile that guy with this Jesus from Godspell. Maybe it's the fro.

And David Hyde Pierce is also in this clip. I hugged him once.