Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tales from the Old New Land - Just War - New Act 1

(Eastern Orthodox plainchant sung in the background, or possibly Greek pipes - the ambience must have echo. Shammai and Barasaus are sitting in the pews of a church)

Shammai: (whispering to Barasaus): I just can't wait to hear John Crysostom, I hear he has a mouth of gold. (Barasaus doesn't respond) ...that's a joke... (Barasaus still doesn't respond) ...did you get it?... (no response from Barasaus) didn't get it... (Barasaus is unresponsive) ...see, Chrysostomos means 'golden mouth' in Greek!... (Barasaus is silent) ...did you get it?... (without response) ...alright, be like that... (unresponsive) ...I can see you don't want to talk... (without response)'s OK... (still unresponsive) ...I understand this is an important day for you... (still no response from Barasaus) ...I felt this way too the first time I was in an enormous cathedral... (still Barasaus is silent) ...they're so enormous they inspire respect in you...'s amazing how they build temples forty feet high?... ...still, eventually you see so many that they all look the same... ...You should see the one in Palmyra... ...They have these arches that somehow go all the way around the door like a circle without falling down... ...Do you know where Palmyra is?... It's a week's walk from Damascus... ...It wasn't an easy walk but the Bedouin we hired knew what he was doing... ...unfortunately we all got diarrhea on the way there because the meat wasn't buried one night... ...(to himself) Where's the beef?... ...(to Barasaus) But the cathedral in Damascus was so inspiring that I almost had a Damascus Conversion... ...that's another joke... ...see, when Paul saw Je...

Barasaus: Shammai, hush. Chrysostom's about to speak!

(St. John Chrysostom is heard mounting the pulpit in the distance, and then speaks in a clarion voice that can carry through a huge space)

Chrysostom: It's all theater! It's all theater for them! Synagogue is no different than theater or brothel.

Shammai: (still whispering) I'll say....

Chrysostom:  They LIVE for their bellies.

Shammai: ...well I don't know about that... I'm not that fa....

Chrysostom: ....They only know how to fill their bellies and be drunk!

Shammai: Wait I've never been drunk in my life!... at least I don't think I have...

Chrysostom: When have you ever been frightened in a synagogue?

Shammai: He's never had to deal with Mrs. Schorr...

Chrysostom: That's because God's presence makes a place filled with fear. He has power over life and death. You go into a church and you remember the rivers of fire, the venomous worm, the bonds that cannot be burst. There is no room for welcoming in God's sanctuary!

Shammai: Gee, thanks a fuckton.

Chrysostom: Their synagogues are ridiculous, they're the churches of people who've been dishonored and condemned!


(twenty people around Shammai shush him)

Chrysostom: Look at the way they dress, look at how they look. Doesn't it frighten you?

Shammai: Didn't he just say that there's nothing frightening about us?

Chrysostom: Lack of fear is how the devils and hobgoblins find you, at the moments when you lack fear!

Shammai: This asshole just said that he's never afraid of us!

Chrysostom: Are you a friend to Jews then? Maybe you should do as they do, take off your shoes in this marketplace, and let people laugh at your indecency.

Shammai: Your loss assclown, walking barefoot is orthotic support for your feet!

Chrysostom: But you don't choose to do this because you're ashamed to share their outward appearance but not in their impiety. You who are only half a Christian.

Shammai: But I'm half a Christian! What the hell is wrong with that?

Barasaus: (whisper yelling) Shammai! Don't curse in a Church!

Chrysostom: The Jews sacrifice their children to Satan!

Shammai: Well that's just not true.

Chrysostom: The synagogue is a brothel, a den of scoundrels, the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults, a criminal assembly of Jews, a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, a gulf and abyss of perdition....

Shammai: There we go, another half-truth!

Chrysostom: The Jews have fallen into a condition lower than the vilest animals. Debauchery and drunkenness have brought them to the level of the lusty goat and the pig. They only know one thing: to satisfy their stomachs, to get drunk, to kill and beat each other up like stage villains and coachmen... I hate the Jews, because they violate the Law. I hate the Synagogue because it hates the Law and the Prophets. It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.

Shammai: Alright I've had enough. When you're done here I'll be at the kebob stand across the street. (gets up to leave sounds of shifting around) Excuse me,... pardon me... I'm very sorry... Just trying to get to the chamber pot... terribly sorry... FUCKING ANTISEMITE! (slams side door)

Barasaus (to neighbor): I'm sure he didn't mean that.

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