My Jesus Drinks Malbec
Cast: Kim 36, Laura's friend, Barry's wife
Barry 38, Kim's husband
Laura 36, Kim's friend
Cell Group Attendees ("Attendees") of various ages and backgrounds
Setting: Kim and Barry's living room, suburban Philadelphia.
Time: Early evening. The 2,013th year of our Lord and Savior: Jesus the Christ
Across a small table, which holds a cross and a hymnal, ATTENDEES sit and face KIM and BARRY, who stand. LAURA enters through the front door.
LAURA: Sorry I'm late.
KIM: You're fine. We've already introduced ourselves. You can catch up when we have our potluck afterward. Everyone, this is Laura.
ATTENDEES: Hi Laura. Hello. Welcome.
LAURA smiles, then sits in the front row.
BARRY: We welcome you in the spirit of Christian Unity and Peace.
KIM: That's my husband, Barry.
LAURA: Thanks. Hi.
BARRY: Let us bow our heads for intercessory prayer.
BARRY (CONT'D): Heavenly Father, we ask that you lead us in the true Christian way.
ATTENDEES: Amen. Hallelujah.
BARRY: Deliver us from false religions, and all depravity. Lord, some here need to be delivered from the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons. They're--
LAURA: Excuse me, what was that about false religion and Mormons?
BARRY: Are you a Mormon?
LAURA: That's not the point.
KIM: We weren't trying to offend anyone.
BARRY coughs loudly as he bows his head. All follow.
BARRY: Dear Father, keep us away from depravity---
KIM: We have families coping with gay rights, abor--
LAURA: That's not germane.
They look at LAURA.
LAURA (CONT'D): Really. It's not even Michael, Marlon, Tito, or Jackie.
Some ATTENDEES laugh.
LAURA: I don't think God is hung up on depravity. God's busy.
LAURA: And who knows what depravity really is?
BARRY: I do. I know.
ATTENDEE: How do you know Brother Barry?
LAURA: If Jesus were here right now, I'm sure there're things about Him that you'd think are depraved. Jesus the Christ wore a dress, drank wine constantly, and hung around 12 men... and Jesus had two Dads. You'd gay bash the Savior.
BARRY: How is gay bashing, or Jesus' sexual orientation relevant?
KIM: Ha! I just got it.
LAURA: Jesus' sexual orientation?
KIM: No the Jackson Five joke.
BARRY: Kim, don't encourage her.
KIM shrugs, then sits with the rest of the ATTENDEES.
BARRY: Laura, I have to draw a line.
LAURA: Sure you do. But is your line everyone else's?
BARRY: You're telling me you think Jesus was gay?
LAURA: No. Maybe. Who knows? He could have been bisexual, or heterosexual.
BARRY: My God Laura.
LAURA: That's just the point.
ATTENDEE: This is better than intercessory prayer.
BARRY: What point?
LAURA: That maybe Jesus was gay. Would that change the meaning of the Gospels for you? Would it undermine your Christianity in some way?
BARRY: I've never read anything that says Jesus was gay. Have you?
LAURA: I've never read anything that says he was not not gay.
ATTENDEE: Neither have I.
BARRY: You're making this up.
LAURA: No I'm not. Think about it: Jesus the Christ--
KIM: "the Christ"?
LAURA: Yes, Jesus the Christ. Why would his sexuality matter? Mary Magdalene thought he was cool.
They all stare at Laura for an Eternity.
KIM: Laura, you're being ridiculous.
LAURA: What, about Mary Magdalene?
BARRY: Dare I ask, what about her?
LAURA: She wasn't really in his posse.
KIM: His posse?
BARRY: Kim, don't engage her!
LAURA: Yeah Kim don't engage me.... but can you marry me?
LAURA: Except for Kim I've just met everyone here. don't know anyone well enough to marry them.... I'm joking.
Some ATTENDEES snicker.
BARRY: Laura --
LAURA: You know Barry, Mary of Magdala wasn't following him around as much as the men, but she was there when it counted... near the end. You know how we do.
ATTENDEE: I thought Mary Magdalene was with him the whole time.
LAURA: Maybe she was. That's why I'm reading the Gospel of Mary.
BARRY: There's no Gospel of Mary.
LAURA: I just read it.
KIM: Where are you getting these books?
LAURA: Where are you getting your bible?
ATTENDEE: This isn't what I expected.
Two ATTENDEES exit.
LAURA: I think you have to at least question canon formation. It wasn't like anyone hired a diversity consultant for the KJV. Those white guys in Europe weren't thinking about us, or any other folks of color.
ATTENDEE: I don't think we should get racial. We're here --
BARRY: You can't play fast and loose with the Bible.
LAURA: But Barry, the Gnostic Gospels are so liberating. Free your Spirit, look inward for the Divine, not outside of yourself. They're --
ATTENDEE: That sounds like Eastern religion.
LAURA: Works for me. I love Coptic texts.
BARRY: Let's stick to the Bible.
LAURA: Which one?
ATTENDEE: Which one?
LAURA: Which translation? Which compilation? Are you including the apocrypha?
ATTENDEE: She has a point. My uncle is Catholic, and his bible has more books than mine.
BARRY: I'm talking about this Bible right here on this devotion table.
LAURA: Why do you think that's the right bible?
BARRY: I guess you know what the 'right' bible is?
LAURA: I'm just saying that there's this huge gap in most bibles I've read between the time that Jesus is presented to the temple and the Passion. What was he doing all those years in between?
ATTENDEE: Yeah, what was he doing?
LAURA: Shouldn't we study everything? The Quran mentions Mary more times than the canonized Gospels.
BARRY: We're not here to study the Quran.
LAURA: So you want to stick to one sacred text?
KIM: It's not a 'sacred text'. It's the Bible. It's complete.
BARRY: Let's take a five minute break.
LAURA begins to exit.
KIM: You're leaving?
LAURA: I was going to get my potluck contribution from the car. Do you have cups?
BARRY: I think so. Why?
LAURA: I brought a bottle of Malbec.
LAURA: Red wine. I always think of Jesus as drinking something smooth--like a Malbec.
BARRY: We don't drink wine here.
LAURA: Why not? Did Jesus say have a soda, or a milkshake? My Jesus is definitely more of a Malbec Savior than a Riesling. I'll be right back.
BARRY: She's definitely not coming to the next Cell Group Meeting.