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What Easter means to me.
The Anna Pickles files

Her letters are in yellow, whilst mine are in black & white.

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The Normal Bob Smith art opening in Williamsburg

There has been a lot going on, to the point where I'm falling behind! There's hate mail to post, Amazing Strangers photographed but yet to be written of, my trip to Arizona is a saga alone, my art show, and Jesus, Easter's right around the corner too!

For right now, this sidebar I'm gonna try and squeeze in pictures from my gallery show event Thursday, my first show ever!


Magnets & art


Moon Tiger & Satan's Salvation


Jesus & me


Brendan & Tanya
of "Project X"


Sheeples

And finally here's a cute little music video I put together with Project X (my friends Brendan & Tanya) along with a brief tour of some of the show.

Click here for a direct link to vid

“i just wondered if it had occurred to you that jesus dying on the cross meant more than an excuse to eat lots of chocolate?”

hi bob,

hope you are well and looking forward to easter. i just wondered if it had occurred to you that jesus dying on the cross meant more than an excuse to eat lots of chocolate? it's just that your website seems to suggest that easter is not something to be taken too seriously. also, i'm not entirely sure that i like the thought of people dressing up an image of a crucified christ for the sake of 'having a laugh'. jesus is very important to me, and although i appreciate the originality of your web game, i don't think it's very respectful. i hope you can understand my point of view.

bless you,

anna :)
missypickles@gmail.com

I have to start this by asking "Are you serious?" I mean, I understand pretending these holidays have all this mystical meaning as an excuse to gather people who really matter together (friends, family, loved ones, etc). But are you serious about really believing someone else can come along and pay the price for your wrongs? And are you serious that you think we should celebrate this sacrifice of an innocent for the guilty? You really celebrate this perversion of justice??

I need to know if your email is a joke (because it sounds a little like sarcasm), or do you really, seriously, all sarcasm aside, truly believe someone else can pay the price for your bad deeds, and that this is something good the world should be thankful for, and even celebrate?

To me the concept should absolutely be mocked at the highest, most effective and public levels so there's no measure of fog deluding the responsibility we're supposed to claim for our own actions.

Thank you for absorbing my concern and responding promptly.

Also, lemme know if you're sharing this concept with children.

Bob

“Don't dis it till you've tried it, mate.”

Hi Bob,

Yes I'm serious, and it's not something 'mystical'. The bible is a valid historical source of information, whether you believe in Jesus being the son of God or not.

As for it being some kind of perversion of justice, I think you need brush up on your knowledge of the Gospel; Jesus CHOSE to come to earth, and OFFERED his life as a sacrifice. This was God's gift to us, because He created us and loves us, so of course it should be celebrated! God sent Jesus to earth because we failed so miserably to follow the 10 Commandments, and God desires to have a relationship with each of us - how can we be close to Him if we don't live in a godly way? (and being close to God gives a kind of joy that you obviously haven't experienced, but you should try it some time!).

You mentioned 'the responsibility we're supposed to claim for our own actions'. Christianity in no way suggests that we shouldn't take responsibility for what we do. Yes, we can be forgiven for the bad things we do, but only if we repent (ie we're really sorry). I thinking repentance is impossible without facing up to the consequences of our actions. Having a faith, in fact, makes you even more aware of the responsibilities that we carry in this world.

Do I share this concept with children? Do they deserve to know just how much Jesus loves them (enough to give his own life for them)? I think so.

Don't dis it till you've tried it, mate.

God bless you most abundantly,

Anna Pickles
missypickles@gmail.com

I'm sorry, but there's no one else at all in this entire world, who's ever lived before or after that can pay the price for the things you do wrong. The only person who can take responsibility for what you do is you, and only you.

Making up a completely unprovable story to explain how in this one instance someone else can pay for your mistakes and you word it to somehow appear to be good and true, you're not going to change the fact that no one else can pay the price for what you do, no matter how much you want it to be so.

Wow, is this what you're all celebrating Easter for? That someone else can come along and take the blame for what you do?

"Don't dis it till you've tried it, mate."
Christ, what a sad lesson to teach and celebrate. I'd be ashamed to be making the claims you're making.

You know, you should change your messiah's name to "Blame Man" and your group to "The Copout Club" or something along those lines.

If you need more help with team names I've got a list in front of me I'd be more than happy to share.
"His problem not mine Gang"
"The 'He'll pick up my check' Brigade"
"Guilt Mop & the New Innocents"

Bob

“Christianity does not suggest that innocents can pay the price for the guilty.”

God didn't organise this 'elaborate plan' from the outset - Jesus was kind of a plan B. Plan A was the garden of Eden - this was God's original plan for us, to live with Him in a close relationship there. When that all went wrong, Jesus chose to make Himself a sacrifice to save the day. You said yourself that faith is 'belief without evidence', so it kind of goes without saying that I don't have physical evidence of what I'm telling you.

You say that you think God would have made things differently so that we would have to face up to our mistakes. But God didn't create us to make a perfect society. He created us because He loves to create (the bible says we are made in His image, and everyone has a creative streak). When He made us, He viewed us as His children and desired to be close to us. But when we live in an ungodly way (ie the opposite of how Jesus lived) we can't be close to Him, which is why he came up with Plan B. God is motivated by love for us, which is why he'd never leave Himself out of the equation. But He does ask us to seek forgiveness from those we've wronged - Jesus said that whatever we do to others, we do to Him, so making amends and showing others that we do care how we affect them is really important. Although we are saved by faith in Jesus alone, He made it very clear that good deeds are important. He said that the scriptures (the Old Testament) should still be observed, and most of what's in the scriptures is about 'good deeds'.

I think you are forgetting about some of the other things Christianity teaches us (apart from that Jesus saved us). It teaches us to respect others, treat others as you would wish to be treated, to love your neighbour, to care for the environment (see Genesis ch 1 v 26 and ch 2 v 15). And Jesus strongly encouraged us to live this way. And because of my love for Jesus, the profound disappointment in myself I feel when I fail to live this way means I never forget the bad mistakes I make. I think it must be impossible to not learn from our mistakes when we never forget them.

Christianity does not suggest that 'innocents can pay the price for the guilty'. The bible makes it clear that only one innocent could ever pay the price for someone else's guilt (Jesus), and He can only do that because He is God. Nowhere does it suggest that innocents in general can pay for other's wrongs. In fact, if you look at the Old Testament there is a huge amount in there about the innocent being set free, and there were severe punishments for those who wrongly convicted an innocent person.

Lastly, I'm intrigued that you assume I'm a grown adult.
God bless you,
Anna Pickles
missypickles@gmail.com

"Christianity does not suggest that innocents can pay the price for the guilty?"
Are you kidding? Of course it does. Not only does it suggest it, it commands it (Exodus 12:13 & 13:12-15)! It started with sacrificing lambs and other baby animals (Adam & Noah performed these) for sin payments, and there were accounts of child sacrifices for sins (2 Kings 3:27 & Genesis 13:1-2). Even Abraham himself took his son to an altar and raised a sharpened dagger above his throat to be stabbed and burned as a virgin sacrifice before God (Genesis 22:1-2)! I realize after he followed through on every motion of this sacrifice, right up to the point where the blade was about to be plunged into flesh before God stopped it, but it's another disturbing example of your god's unquenchable thirst for innocent blood in payment for sin.

Then of course Jesus came along to get sacrificed. Another "innocent" for the sins of man. There's hardly anything your god has made more clear in his bible than the shedding of innocent blood for the guilty. The Bible is rooted in this exchange from the onset. The payment of sins through the shedding of blood. Do you even know your beliefs?

The whole thing is set up to be a bloody, messy killing field of death and torture for the payment of the sins people commit, and we're the guilty criminals who's blood isn't enough. Right? Otherwise all we'd need to do is each have a bloody death on a mountaintop alter for us each to pay for our own life's sins.

No, it takes helpless, innocent, virgin blood to pay for sins, as instructed by the order of the Universe, designed by your god who made it all that way. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Bible's really on my side for this one. This is why you all celebrate Easter. Isn't it? Because someone else can be murdered in place of you.

Of course your god organized the entire thing. He made everything, didn't he? He knows everything and is responsible for everything. Or are you saying when a car manufacturer builds a whole car and something goes wrong with it it's not they're responsibility?

Listen, I understand why you'd all be so delighted and joyous to have this scapegoat (Jesus), to the point where you'd make it your most treasured holiday, but I just want you to see how the rest of us judge you for it. I'm sure you can at least see why we'd find it so freaking disturbing from the bleacher seats we're all watching you from? One ugly-ass story.

Happy Easter.
Bob

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