“Jesus Christ was a man who traveled through the land
Hard working man and brave
He said to the rich, “Give your goods to the poor.”
So they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.”
Woody Guthrie from the song “Jesus Christ”
Socialism and communism are making a comeback as the new American boogeyman thanks to those who fail to understand the difference between socialism and totalitarianism. The amazing thing is that so many who are so afraid of socialism also belong to a church founded by a man whose actions and words reflect the ideology of socialism far more than they do capitalism. Debate rages over whether Jesus Christ would support capitalism or socialism, but like the argument over whether climate change is real or a political fiction made up to destroy Big Business, there’s not really much to debate over. The scriptures themselves paint a portrait of a man who, if alive today, would be destroyed nightly by the actors playing journalists on the 24-hour unreality show known as the Fox News Channel and the hired employees of Big Business posing as politicians and statesmen in the Republican Party.
Jesus Christ repeatedly said that God’s kingdom belongs to the poor. From Luke 6:20: Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Do those words sound like the words of someone who would support the actions of the executives at Enron or any of those companies that went under in 2008 thanks to the loosening of regulations, lack of oversight and the personifying of corporations that marked the Bush administration? Do those words sound like they offer support for the wholesale greed that marks capitalism? How about this one from Mark 5:30? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Of course, one could argue that being poor is spirit is not the same as being poor in the ownership of things, so perhaps that one is debatable. .
“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” This is from Matthew 19:30. Essentially, what Jesus is saying is that paradise will be the inversion of how things are done on earth. Sinners will be getting into heaven ahead of preachers. Those who don’t indulge in Ayn Rand-style capitalist greed and who spit on the idea of sharing the wealth to help the less fortunate will be gazing upon the beautiful face of Christ while CEOs are begging them for a few bucks so they can shop for salve in Hell’s Neiman Marcus.
“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Check out Matthew 19:23-24 for this little item. Those words seem to pretty much stem the tide of debate. How is it possible to argue that rich people are doing the work of Jesus when you read that bit of scripture? Let’s boil it down to essentials: this is Jesus’ ultimate word on the worthiness of capitalist greed and selfishness. The only thing worth paying attention to when you hear arguments to contrary are the creativity and sense of whimsy that those making the argument must resort to at the expense of any other rhetorical weapons.
The bitter irony is that the savior that capitalists worship is the ideal representation of the ideology they fight so harshly against. It has been suggested more than once that if Jesus Christ did come back to earth and assumed the shape of an unknown human being that he would be crucified all over again by those claiming to be His most loyal servants. Woody Guthrie knew what he was talking about when he wrote his song.
“Yes, if Jesus was to preach like
he preached in Galilee,
They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave.”
Of course, the crucifixion would only be symbolic. Were Jesus to come back to earth in the guise of a politician in American who was actually able to get elected to an office of prominence after conservative campaign strategists were done defaming His long hair, time spent with questionable people, hippie-commie talk of peace and habitual treatment of everybody as if they were all equal, you can bet that his words would be twisted nightly on Fox News. Can you just imagine the very words that conservatives hear every Sunday in church being recited verbatim on Fox News as examples of what American do not want and should not get?
No? I can. The words may be different, but any time conservative pundits are expounding upon the evil that is any liberal policy, they are essentially taking every idea ever expressed by Jesus Christ in the Bible and warning Americans that it is the pathway to their own destruction. Don’t take my word for it. Read the words of Jesus yourself. And while doing just that, remember that Jesus quite specifically singles out being rich as an obstruction to getting into heaven. Interestingly enough, what you won’t find is a single passage in which Jesus specifically singles out homosexuality alone for exclusion from heaven.
Yep, this guy sounds like a Marxist to me.