When disbelievers used to taunt Jesus Christ, saying, 'Go on then, if you're the Son of God, do something awesome,' He used to tell them to fuck off. You see, it's all about faith.
Faith is like talent: you've either got it, or you've not. After all, anyone can believe in a six-armed Christ, levitating and changing colour, sparks firing out of His eyes, ears smoking. That's easy. Real faith however, has no need of the proof of visual gimmickry. To believe without proof, you need something special; you need a large chasm of aching desperation and an overwhelming sense of personal futility. Or at least that's how it was with Jesus.
His mum the Virgin on the other hand is quite a different kettle of fish. It's probably fair to say that if Mary had even half the miracle-power that her son had, She'd have her own daily magic show on primetime telly now. And She'd be spectacular. Like a combination of Sharon Osbourne and Debbie McGee. As it is, the only thing the Virgin can actually do is manufacture tawdry simulacra in household objects which She then carefully plants in the path of the grasping and gullible, who do the rest of the work themselves.
This week's major appearance is actually alleged to be ten years' old (but of course isn't) and was sold to a casino for $28,000. Florida jewellery maker, Diana Duyser, made a toasted cheese sandwich, took a bite and gave a yawp of fear. For there She was, the Virgin Mary, staring back out at Diana from the surface of the toast. Or rather, there they were, four ordinary toast marks in a very rough eyes, nose and mouth formation. God be praised.
Duyser was allegedly so convinced that it was indeed the face of the Mother of Christ on her toast that she popped it in a plastic box and placed it above her bed for ten whole years, so as to watch over her. During this time, the toast developed no mould or bacteria. 'It is like a miracle,' said Duyser. 'It's Tupperware' said everyone else.
After ten years of this toasted vigil, Duyser decided to share her Mary with the world. For money of course. On eBay. Not really Jesus' definition of 'sharing', but let's not be picky. When eBay first cottoned on to the auction, they took the toast down, imagining it was a joke. Duyser had to convince them she was deadly serious by amending the following words to her sale item:
'I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother Of God. That is my solemn belief, but you are free to believe that she is whomever you like, I am not scamming anyone.' Course not.
But if history is bunk, then the Bible is a whole dormitory full of bunk. The likelihood of Mary and Jesus actually existing in the first place is, let's face it, slim. But let's say They did - one thing we know for absolutely certain is that *no photographs were ever taken of Them*. So what They looked like will forever be shrouded in mystery. However, being as how Mary was an inhabitant of Nazareth in ancient Palestine, it is almost certain that She definitely had a face like a piece of lightly toasted white bread.
The casino that paid the £15,000 intend to make at least a thousand times that back from tee-shirt sales, a toastie world tour and the masses and masses of publicity they have already gained from this silly, silly thing.
So now, how long before the imitators come out of the woodwork? And what will it be next? Mohammed in a sausage roll? Buddha in a beefburger? Jehovah in a pork scratching? No. Don't be silly. It's Jesus in a fishcake. Really.
It is like a miracle.