As an atheist and recovering Sunday School graduate, I love Jesus.
For starters, he never spoke well of religious authorities. His name for the spiritual 1 percent was "whitewashed tombs" rotting corpses dressed in a veneer of paint. I like that.
Then there's his posse, a rag-tag bunch of boozers, prostitutes and homeless people. Jesus claimed that Earth belonged by rights to them, his "salt of the earth." I like that. Jesus was homeless. His McMansion was in heaven, and he told people that theirs should be, too. I like that.
Jesus was a magnet for adoring women, some of them apparently of easy virtue. I like that.
Asked by the Moral Majority to condemn a woman caught in adultery, Jesus replied that whoever was sinless should cast the first stone. He himself didn't volunteer. I like that.
Rich in womanly adoration but poor in everything else, Jesus taught that the social pyramid would one day be turned on its head. I like that.
To his faithful Jewish audience, Jesus said that the true saint was a Samaritan. I like that.
There's much for unbelievers to like in Jesus. I'm just not sure what his righteous followers see in him.
Ed Firmage Jr.
Salt Lake City