Jesus Christ, King of Kings, saw His career ambitions blocked last week when both the Guatemalan President and Archbishop of Guatemala City declined to promote Him to the rank of military general, despite a previous announcement to the contrary.
The declaration that He would receive imminent advancement was made by Father Orlando Aguilar during his Christmas Eve mass in the capital. Owing to Christ’s untimely death (and ascension to Heaven) some 2000 years ago, the symbolic rank was to be conferred to a symbolic representation of Him – an ancient statue known as Jesús de la Merced.
@MonsVianMorales El Párroco Orlando Aguilar MERECE EXCOMUNIÓN, expuso a Cristo Jesus a la burla y desprecio. pic.twitter.com/U8RSc6obeP
— Máximo (@Curruchich) December 27, 2015
Social media was soon abuzz with talk of the Savior’s prestigious new role, but high-ranking powers within the Catholic Church moved to dismiss it. “Brothers and sisters, as I have said and repeated many times, nobody consulted me about ascending Jesús de la Merced to the rank of general in the army,” Archbishop Oscar Vian said.
President Alejandro Maldonado was also quick to thwart the Son of God.
“As armed forces commander general I have not sought to grant this symbolic rank to the religious symbol.” He said, adding that any such promotion would first have to have the full backing of the church.
Christ, who continues to serve as a colonel in the military, may be unsuited to the high-level role, according to irrefutable documentary evidence known as the Bible.
In one notorious episode, it describes how Jesus Christ took direct action against the bankers of ancient Jerusalem, storming their business premises and calling them thieves. Branded a rebel and a subversive by the then Roman government, Christ, the wayward Son of God, apparently nurtured a deep-rooted contempt for authority… at least in its earthly, institutional sense.
Worse yet, the Lamb of God seems to have been ideologically opposed to all forms of violence, making Him an unthinkable choice for the role of General.
“I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also,” He reportedly said.
It is not known whether Christ was denied His promotion due to His background as a left-leaning peace activist, or due to mundane ecclesiastical politics.
A long overdue promotion?
The statue of Jesús de la Merced resides in Father Aguilar’s parish and features prominently in annual Easter processions through the capital. The year 2017 will mark the 300th anniversary since it was first blessed and local media has speculated that Aguilar hoped to commemorate the occasion with its promotion.
The last time Jesús de la Merced saw active military service was in the 1800s when He was promoted to colonel by then-President Rafael Carrera. He served in a non-combat role, healing the sick during a cholera epidemic.
Today, if Christ was promoted to the rank of General in the Guatemalan military, He would command spiritual influence over an institution whose historical record includes coups, civil wars, massacres, and genocide. To be sure, the role may be more suitable for the Prince of Darkness, but neither the church nor the government have indicated whether he is a potential candidate for the job.