Can Punctuation Be Blasphemous?

Trent and I were listening to Christmas music while we decorated our stockings (maternity leave is making me crafty), when we heard this, in the middle of a story about Jesus (imagine it with solemn, posh-British-accented intonation): "he had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood." Let that sink in for a minute. Are we really immature for laughing hysterically? Also, would you believe that I once wished I could enter the priesthood?

The liner notes call it "The Christmas Poem," but Google reveals that it was originally a sermon by James Allen Francis (1864–1928), and--get this--it was published in the Congressional Record in 1969. Now I am really tempted to go to the trouble of looking up the CR citation to see why our legislators are talking about Jesus' naked manhood.

The first time I heard this "poem"--we really need to change the CDs in the stereo--it was the last line that caught my ear: "nineteen wide centuries have passed and today he is the centerpiece of the human race." Really? That might surprise some people. And by some people, I mean most people. Statistically speaking. This is in the Congressional Record? Oy.

Sidenote: I asked Trent whether the possessive of Jesus should have an "s" after the apostrophe, and he informed me, without missing a beat, that traditionally, Biblical names are made possessive with an apostrophe alone. He then theorized that adding an "s" would be blasphemous because it would make Jesus and Moses just like any other man. I suggested that the phrase "Jesus' naked manhood" might be blasphemous without any help from punctuation.

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