Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Norris, Kathleen

Riverhead, 1998

pp. 112 - 115

Christianity, following Judaism, is a bloody religion. Moses used to sprinkle the altar with blood and then sprinkle the people with blood too. Ministers in your more advanced churches don’t do that. We’ve lost the “power in the blood.” One of Norris’s friends abandoned Christianity because (p. 114) “the blood symbolism seemed a form of cannibalism. She took refuge in a Unitarian church, and said she felt at home there because teddy bears were provided in all of the pews for churchgoers (the adults, not the children) to hug to themselves during the service.” We keep trying to disincarnate our religion. We don’t want a Jesus who dies bloody, gasping, and screaming at God. Or a Jesus who does some of his cures with his own spit. How can a holy one be born in the muck of a stable? Or let the Pharisees exasperate him? But even in Revelation, a book fixed on God’s more Godly properties, Jesus appears on a white horse in a robe that has been dipped in blood, “and his name is called the Word of God.”