Christianity is the ethics of the great Greek classics, for sure. It owes almost all its ethical lineage to those boys in limbo. There's something deeper than that. Jesus isn't just about ethics. He's about passion, love, and most of all, he's about being a time-traveling gangster.
I grew up poor. I know what it is like to go without food, or wear the same pair of shoes until they smell and have holes in them. When you're poor, you make poor friends. Let's say you and I grew up in the same trailer park. Our buddies had this friend named Chris. Chris always hung out with the shadiest people. He knew every hooker, hustler and scammer in the tri-state area. Despite that, Chris was the most loving, most real human being we'd ever met. He'd sometimes feed us 10 strips of acid and take us out to the woods to set off some explosives. He'd have our backs when the rich kids tried to beat us up. When we were hungry, he would give us food.
Most importantly, Chris gave us a sense of justice. "Man, those fuckin' Jews with their media and their Federal Reserve-- they have all the money and what do they do with it? Run this country into the ground. Try to program every man to be a slave to behaviorism and every daughter that isn't theirs to be a whore. Things ain't right."
Chris would also give us hope. "This fuckin shithole-- this fuckin' park. You're better than that. You're a good German kid. There's kings in your lineage. You deserve better. Fuck anyone who says otherwise. Your parents are assholes, your teachers are assholes, and you know what? You're an asshole too. But you deserve better. All of you." Chris made us think there was something important in our lives beyond the shitty trailer and the shitty family and the mac and cheese six nights a week.
One day, Chris takes too much acid. Freaks out. Starts going into banks, knocking shit over. "You fucking morons! You're agents of the subjugation and slavery of your neighbors! Don't you fuckin' see! Wake the fuck up, stop fucking ruining lives!" He breaks into the vault, burns all the money. Not interested in a cent of it.
Chris goes to prison. After he's gone, we all realize what a difference he made in our lives. Without Chris, the walls of our trailers seem really small. We spend our days somber and sad. Then one day, someone says, "let's throw a party". We all eat a little acid, and tell stories about Chris. We'd laugh, we'd remember when our lives were more complete. And through repeating his words about justice, truth, love and hope, we found these in ourselves.
And we'd wait. We'd count the days. Until Chris got out of jail.
And that, my friends, is the basis of all Christianity.