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What would Sunset Jesus do?

March 22, 2012 | 12:55 pm

 

I saw Jesus this morning on Sunset Boulevard.

Actually, it wasn't the first time I have found Christ. He can often be found around Sunset, a few blocks from where the other superheroes hang out at Graumann's Chinese Theatre. A local fixture, he can  even be seen refusing money from Snoop Dogg in the above YouTube video. This morning he was parting the red-tail-light sea as he crossed the street in front of the Laugh Factory, which might not have attracted a second glance -- there are odder sights in Hollywood than Jesus on a typical Thursday morning -- except that it was only about an hour after sunrise on Sunset, and I happened to be riding my scooter due East toward the Times building in downtown L.A. That meant Jesus was backlit better than a Spielberg alien, with the head-high sun turning his shoulder-length brown locks into a blaze of glory that looked, for a split-second, almost supernatural.

This would have had a more profound effect on me if I weren't a Buddhist. But I think people of all faiths should be aware of a few basic facts about Jesus:

He walks to work. You will not find Jesus contributing to L.A.'s traffic problem or ravaging the planet's climate by burning fossil fuels.

He has a sense of humor. He paused to look at the Laugh Factory's playbill before moving on.

I've never seen Jesus proselytize, or try to change the nation's laws to suit religious ideals that may not appeal to all Americans; apparently, he just wants to be seen, as if his simple presence is all he thinks it should take to inspire others. Somehow, it seems like there's a lesson there for his followers. Then again, he may just be mentally ill.

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