People of Portland…c’mon! Last year we fell behind New Orleans, Sante Fe, and Austin…lousy fourth place…for the honor of being the weirdest city in America. Sure, we beat San Francisco, but Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day can do that with one drunk arm tied behind its back. So we stole the bumper sticker idea “keep portland weird” from Austin, who cares! We just need to live up to the noble moniker. But to get bested by Sante Fe? Really? They don’t have a tv show or naked bike rides. We just must not be trying hard enough. We’re resting on our laurels, guys…granted those laurels cover the bicycle seats where we put our naked, televised tushies, but still…we’re coasting. We need to pedal harder. So I have a suggestion. Sometimes you have to raise the bar beyond common sense. Therefore say I to all of ye, let’s not just try to beat New Orleans. Let’s go for it. Let’s try to be weirder than the weirdest weirdo to ever walk the earth…or…er….water. Let’s be weirder than Jesus.
Even by Stumptown standards, Jesus was pretty weird. He encouraged the payment of taxes and if someone hit him he’d turn the other cheek. Portland is pretty laid back, and if you hit someone, you might be safe from getting hit back; but if a cheek is turned it’s most likely going to be after someone drops trough and moons you. Heck, folks do that here just going through airport security; or, as already said, on bike rides.
People want to sanitize Jesus, mainstream him; but I’m pretty sure Jesus would be a stand out…heck, a stand alone…in any culture or era. Probably the weirdest thing about Jesus was how he unconditionally and unashamedly loved the unloveable, yet maintained a righteous personal standard for life. While you can’t say he tolerated sin, he never allowed sin to separate him from the sinners, though he himself had no sin in him. We usually do the opposite. Most of us do anyhow, and when most people do the same thing it’s called being normal. I think it’s time we start acting a little weirder.
And for the love of Portland, let’s keep Jesus weird.