Bacon Hammer – The Arms of Jesus
Today is Easter Sunday, the day on which Christians celebrate the Resurrection of their Lord and Savior. Non-Christians, and most Christians, too, for that matter, celebrate the arrival of a large rabbit that scatters eggs around the house in a perverse re-enactment of an ancient fertility ritual. Children seek out the eggs and eat them, thus counteracting the fertility rite with an act of frenzied gluttony.
I grew up in one of those small southern towns where everyone went to church. It was a Protestant-heavy field of endeavor, dominated by Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians. A small but disproportionately vocal Church of Christ contingent insisted that every verse in the King James Bible is the True Word of God, with the possible exception of Leviticus.
My church, the First Methodist Church (there wasn’t a Second or Third Methodist, making the appellation a bit of a humble brag), never experienced an influx of near-strangers on Christmas and Easter; everyone was present for the service, every week, because that’s what folks were supposed to do. The experience neither warped nor inspired me because, like many of my fellow congregants, I didn’t take it all that seriously. The substance of the service didn’t matter; it was the going to church that mattered.
During each service I occupied myself by studying the stained glass windows. Ten windows, five on each side of the sanctuary, illustrated the Life of Christ. The first window, to the right of the pulpit, displayed the birth of Christ: an impossibly large and coherent child was adored by wise men, shepherds, and various farm animals. The last windows, to the left of the pulpit, showed Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and subsequent ascension into Heaven.
With ‘The Arms of Jesus,’ Bacon Hammer re-imagines what those windows would have looked like if Jesus had been packing a gun. The 32-round Uzi preferred by the Israeli Defense Forces — I’m sure Jesus would buy local — would surely have scattered the Romans.
If Jesus had a gun
I’ll bet all those crazy
Romans would have run
And the scene of Jesus driving the money-changers from the Temple would be taken to Die Hard levels as Jesus steps into the Temple and says Hey, Buddy. You didn’t give me the correct CHANGE before opening up on the assembled sinners.
Second Amendment Jesus has Born to Die for Your Sins tattooed on one arm and Nazareth – Loud n Proud inked on the other. He says things like, I know what you’re thinking: Did he fulfill six prophesies or only five? And I’ve got your original sin right here, punk. Bacon Hammer also ponders the impact of a firearm on Christ’s own followers.
If Jesus had a gun
I’ll bet the masses would have
Made more donations
‘The Arms of Jesus’ seems to have been sung by Tom Petty, but that’s unlikely unless he pulled off his own resurrection. Who knows? Tom brought his career back from the dead more than once.
Based in South Brunswick Township, New Jersey, Bacon Hammer self-describes as a revolving cast of sonic omnivores hosted by Greg Jarrow and committed to creating and solving musical problems. ‘The Arms of Jesus’ appears on their five-song EP, Songs for Easter, released way back in 2018.
Happy Easter, everyone!