23 February 2015

Jesus Christ was not a Tea Partier

Jesus Christ did not come to save Wall Street.  He did not come to save American Chamber of Commerce.  He did not come to elevate the greed of the very few over the needs of the many.  He did not come to save corporations, regardless of how much $COTU$ claims that they are, contrary to all rational thought, “persons”. 

Jesus Christ did not come to promote austerity, balanced budgets, or free market laissez faire capitalism.  He did not come to advocate privatization of government services and put profits above prophets.  He would not have agreed, as $COTU$ has ruled more than once, that money is speech.  He did not come to help the wealthy and the affluent avoid paying taxes on benefits derived from the manifold subsidies provided by the federal government from the revenue taken from the middle and working class and the poor. 

Jesus Christ did not come to promote small government and the dissolution of the social safety nets that protect the most vulnerable members of society.  He did not come to protect the wealthy and affluent from the sight of the homeless.  He did not come to spread the gentrification of city centers that involves the destruction of wide swaths of public and otherwise affordable housing in order to make space to build apartments and condominiums for the wealthy and affluent. 

Jesus Christ did not come to advance Christian Supremacism or Triumphalism.  He did not come to build and protect graven images in the form of gigantic crosses and statues of the Ten so-called Commandments at great expense with money that should be used for the poor.  He did not even come to save zygotes, embryos, nonviable fetuses, or even fetuses of any viability at the risk of the mother’s life against her will.  He did not come to preach public prayer in town councils nor at football games, nor did he come to be thanked by celebrities at awards shows.

Jesus Christ did not come here to extol American (or even Israeli) exceptionalism.  He did not come to support the descendants of the original illegal immigrants to the Americas seeking a better quality of their own life at the expense of that of its native peoples from later illegal immigrants seeking the same.  He did not come to promote Open Carry.

Jesus Christ did not come to support the status quo nor the powers of the wealthy and mighty over the rest of humanity.

If you believe Jesus Christ supported or would support any single one of those things, you are not following the real Jesus Christ.  You are following Ayn Rand in a White Jesus mask.

The real Jesus Christ did not speak English, much less Elizabethan English.  He did not have blonde hair and blue eyes and European features.  He had dark skin, brown hair, brown eyes, and, probably, a big nose.  In other words, he looked more like one of the people America and its allies have been bombing since 2001 as well as those against whom bigots in Texas and other states of the American Southwest are building fences and patrolling borders.

The real Jesus Christ was most certainly not a 21st century American, nor was he a Christian, nor was he even a Jew (which in first century Palestine meant a resident of Judea), but a first century Galilean who attended synagogue at least weekly and wore tefillin and a shawl with tzitzit as part of his regular attire on a daily basis and probably fasted on Mondays and Thursdays.

The real Jesus Christ was not actually Jesus Christ, the anglicization of the Greek name and epithet Iesous Christos, which was also not his name.  He was Isho bar Yosef in Galilean Aramaic or Yeshu ben Yosef in Galilean Hebrew.  In the first two centuries of the Christian era, he was more commonly known as Jesus the Nazarene (not Jesus “of Nazareth”), or Isho Nasraya in Aramaic and Yeshu ha-Notzri in Hebrew.

If the real Jesus Christ were to come back today, he’d be gunned down cold by the CIA, at least according to the 1980’s punk rock band The The.  More likely, he’d be sent to Camp X-ray at Gitmo, or maybe to a black site in another country, or turned over to be tortured by the secret police of Egypt or Syria or Saudi Arabia.  If his itinerant preaching took him across the border from Mexico, he might find himself in a detention camp as an illegal.  Should he somehow make it into the USA, he would doubtless find himself on a no-fly list. 

In some states, the real Jesus Christ and his posse would find themselves driven out of town or sent to private prisons with forced labor for private profits.  Certain counties in Florida would have him arrested for feeding the poor and homeless in public.  Other communities would keep him and his crew from sleeping with spikes driven into the ground of every possible shelter.

In America, the real Jesus Christ would not die on a cross.  He would die frozen under a railroad bridge or in a booby trap at the border or at the hands of a middle-class white ammosexual wearing fear goggles “in fear of his life” or beaten and choked to death by cops with the words, “I can’t breathe” on his lips instead of “It is finished”.

But if he were in his homeland, maybe he would die from American drones.  Or Israeli bombs.


When I first posted this essay on Facebook, the administrator of one group, Episcopalians on Facebook, asked me to take it down because it was "political".  Well, I thought, so was the article on Muslims supporting Christians observing Lent by giving up something themselves for the period that I had posted the week before.  I complied, took both down in fact, and left the group.

I find it strange that when someone counters the Right co-opting Jesus the Nazarene as a paragon of right-wing ideology, these types of Christians are blind to the political nature of this co-optation, but when someone attempts to counter this bullshit, the same Christians attempt to shout down and drown out the setting straight of the record.

As for why I have written this essay in the first place, silence is complicity.  This is what happens when Christians don't speak out about what Jesus Christ didn't come for and what Christianity isn't.

It's what happened in the Jim Crow South and is continuing via Jim Crow's ideological heirs in the Tea Party and its Christian Supremacist allies. It's what happened in Nazi Germany save for the few like the White Rose.

Silence is acquiescence. Acquiescence is acceptance. Acceptance is collaboration. Collaboration is approval. Approval is complicity. Sometimes there is no middle neutral ground.

What would Jesus himself say?  Not a clue, I can only repeat what he himself supposedly said.

The Original Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-26):

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your consolation.  Blessed are you who are hungry, for you will be filled.  But woe to you who are full, for you will be hungry.  Blessed are you who weep, for you will laugh.  But woe to you who are laughing, for you will mourn and weep.  Blessed are you whom people hate, and exclude, and revile, and defame; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.  But woe to you of whom all speak well, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”

The Cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-15; Mark 11:16-17)

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.  Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.  He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,  ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

See also: "Why conservative Christians would have hated Jesus" @ http://www.salon.com/2014/11/03/why_conservative_christians_would_have_hated_jesus_partner/

and: "A Christian Nation?  Since When?" @ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/a-christian-nation-since-when.html?_r=0

and: "How Corporate America Invented Christian America" @ http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/corporate-america-invented-religious-right-conservative-roosevelt-princeton-117030.html?cmpid=sf#ixzz3XhwReRLt

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