Michael Wolraich's picture

    Cheese Bread Jesus

    Once again, Jesus Christ has exposed himself to mortals though a tasty snack. This time, his vehicle of choice was toasted cheese bread.

    Jesus first started making appearances on starchy foods in 1977, when he imprinted his image on Maria Rubio's burrito tortilla in New Mexico. She built a shrine to honor the tortilla, and thousands flocked to see it. Since then, the faithful have discovered his holy likeness on a fish stick in Ontario, a potato chip in Florida, and a piece of chapati bread in Bangalore. Not to be outdone, Mother Mary appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich in Florida and pizza pan in Texas. She and Jesus later joined forces on a pancake, also in Florida, which seems to be a popular destination for the mother and son. Though she is less prolific, Mother Theresa has also made one notable appearance on a cinnamon bun in Tennessee.

    The phenomenon of perceiving significance in random patterns is known as pareidolia. Religious pareidolia is not limited to the Christian faith. Muslims often perceive Arabic script from the Koran in unexpected places, from cuts of beef to satellite photos of the earth. Jewish Talmud scholars search the bible for meaningful numerical patterns. Singaporeans have discovered the mythical Monkey God in the calluses on a tree.

    Of course, we can all laugh at the snack worshippers whom few believers take seriously. But I wonder, why is the notion of Jesus appearing on a cheese toast less tenable than God speaking from a burning bush or Jesus speaking into people's hearts? For that matter, what makes it more absurd than any of the miracles described in holy texts? For religious belief is an act of faith, and faith is not constrained by absurdity. To the contrary, doesn't the measure of one's faith correspond to the difficulty of maintaining one's belief? In that case, aren't the cheese toast devotees the most faithful of believers? Perhaps the roadside billboards should proclaim instead: HAVE FAITH IN CHEESES.


    I really like that God's sign that she should keep the cheese toast (though selling it was the first inclination!) could have been resolved with a phone call to technical support.  This leads us to the inexorable conclusion that IT workers are more powerful than God.

    Ok, so you know how I'm not really all that in to sharing personal details? The reasons maybe become clear to you as I relate this story. Please, no mocking.

    I spent last Saturday night playing a trivia game at a local church. (I SAID NO MOCKING-It was for charity.)

    One of the rounds was "Sold on eBay: Yes or No." Among the items included in the game were a pretzel shaped like the Virgin Mary and child and Jesus toast (sadly, no cheese). 

    Still, I suppose both of those items have more value than the imaginary friend somebody put up. Poor little friend. My feelings would be hurt if my friend tried to sell me on eBay.

    If this "cheese toast" involves a slice of processed American then I'll take my Jesus toast dry, thank you.

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