“The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of low.
“But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected.
“The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again: Oh, boy — they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!
“And that thought had a brother: ‘There are right people to lynch.’ Who? People not well connected. So it goes.” (108-109)