Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jesus-istas: A Jim Buck Blog Special Report

What are the similarities between the two men pictured above? They both have long hair and beards. Nice eyes too. They both have had tremendous impacts on the world we live in today. They both have philosophies named after them which seem to scare some people, and they both thought that the poor deserved a better break.

With this resolved, we can now ask other questions.

How would Jesus have embraced the Sandinistas? He drove the money changers out of the temple, would he also have driven out the Somoza dynasty? Impossible to say. Some believe Jesus was a
political radical against the Romans and the corrupt Jews who supported them.

Would Jesus have taken up arms against the Somocistas and the Contras? Very doubtful. Jesus would have arguably suffered the same fate as Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who was killed by right-wing thugs for speaking out for human rights and the poor. After all, wasn’t Jesus killed too for speaking out?

But would Jesus have been a socialist? Well, obviously socialism was not invented when Jesus lived. Socialism, according to Marx, was the transition between capitalism and communism.

Too often in this country, socialism seems to be associated with a “welfare state”. These were generally attacks against Obama during last year’s election and presently in trying to pass health care reform. Socialism was also compared the New Deal, especially last September when the financial meltdown began when taxpayer (public) bailout (ownership) of Wall Street was the solution arrived at. Jesus would probably have taken issue with then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson provision that no one not even he, was to be held accountable.

There would not have been a Jesus Marx. However, inherit within Christianity, and in Judaism, is an obligation to help the poor by giving 10 percent of their net income to charity. It is called “tzedakah”. The word means righteousness, justice and fairness. This may be the closest thing to a version of socialism in the ancient world.

Jesus picked up the mission to help the poor:

Luke 18:22
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him [a certain ruler], Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Luke 14
12 When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. 13But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

It is no surprise, given that the majority of visible Christianity in America has long forgotten Christ’s teachings on tolerance, have also forgotten his economic message of share, give, care.

The mission of the Church was to minister to the poor. Mother Teresa is a great example. However, socialism came about at the rise of industrialization when we moved from agrarianism and the merchant class to a more structured and organized society with an increased gulf between the wealthy and the poor.

We all know Jesus famous quote about the rich: “A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24).

Jesus had “compassion” for the five thousand people who had come to see and hear him preach. Compassion is what is missing from our so-called Christian country. Compassion for each other.

For this to become reality we need to eliminate all that prevents compassion. These things are racism, sexism and all the other isms. Another thing is greed. This is very apparent in the most rabid capitalist country in the world. What supports this rabid capitalism is the rabid greed of right-wing Christianity.

The test to know this is true is pay attention to their actions compared to what they say and what Jesus said and did. They have corrupted Christianity to support the rich and powerful. This is exactly what Abraham Vereide, the founder of the Family claimed that god said in his “vision” back in the 30s that concern for the poor was not what he had in mind. To believe that god did not mean that means that Jesus got it wrong. If they really believe Jesus got it wrong, they cannot really be Christian.

Right-wing Christians have embraced the Moonies through various presidents like Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush as well as many politicians, usually always rabid conservatives like Jesse Helms, Orrin Hatch and others. The Moonies vowed to take over America. If memory serves, so did communists. Why would real Christians believe that Moon is the second coming of Christ? Because they have become corrupted.

What is the Christian Right’s fascination with all these false prophets? These may the End Times for the Christian Wrong, but I think the rest of us will go on quite nicely.

Jesus believed that humanity was like fruit that was ripe and ready on the vine. If Jesus were here today he would believe that many of those who follow the religion that bears his name has been reinvented over and over again so that they have rotted on the vine.

Beginning Monday we are launching a new serial to deal with this very issue.

“Congressman Christ” explores Jesus elected to Congress, battling daily with those evildoers who use his name to deny the poor and other enemies of mankind who believe their politics are the same as his.

Join us Monday for the thrilling adventures of “Congressman Christ”!!