This entry was inspired by an article and two quotes that referenced it from another blog [Naked Capitalism] that I follow.
Link to Original Article [Titled: "It's What Jesus Would Do, Right?"]
On a planet where even pretending to give a sh*t about the poor costs more money than those that have most of it want to spend, the concept of “Jesus” is becoming an inconvenient anachronism.
They know that that whole “eye of the needle” as the gateway to “heaven” is as hokey as the 21 virgins waiting for them once they get there. And even on the off-chance that there WAS a needle, they figure they’d just “invest” in a bigger one.
If “Jesus” is to survive the 21st century, he’d better get a philosophical makeover and fast. Maybe he could start “tweeting” about how he “misspoke” about “the poor” all those years ago, and how he never meant to imply that “the poor” should not be held “accountable” for their situation, and how “un-jesus-like” it is for “slothful” poor people to lay claim to the fruits of the “hard work” of the REAL children of god like Lloyd Blankfein.
Oh, and that loaves and fishes thing? It’s a conspiracy theory–never happened.
For those unsure of what anachronism is: a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.
That's pretty much what Jesus is in today's world. An old fashioned story about a guy who supposedly preached radical cultish socialism about 1900-ish years before the world was ready for it. Pretty scathing commentary about those elusive 1% folks and especially their striving 20% conservative wannabes who quote Jesus and hate socialism.
Maybe someone will write a new translation that tones down some that talk about helping the poor and all that sort of thing. I mean, it's so damn difficult to come up with new material that keeps the cash a-flowin' into the pockets of conservative hypocrites these days.
Sad thing is, I bet someone is already spitballing an idea for a new American Conservative Version Bible that has a flag-waving Jesus at the end of Revelation. In the ACVB, Jesus would be something like this:
From “It’s What Jesus Would Do, Right?”
See, my problem is, I don’t want to live in this kind of world. It doesn’t just degrade Greece’s, and San Francisco’s, and the world’s, poor, it degrades me too. And I’m not even a religious person.
Here, here. Our whole Western culture and mindset is just downright shabby and embarrassing. We talk a good game about human rights and social responsibility, but when it comes down to brass tacks, it’s all about greed–all about serving the financial interests of the already-wealthy–and the poor we blame for being poor. “Advanced civilization,” my heiny!
And if your sentiments are a little more noble, your soul more sensitive and refined–it you are foolish enough to actually do what Jesus would do, in other words–our ostensibly Christian nation will reject you as a fool. And if you can find no joy in this degrading and degraded society of ours? Don’t worry: we’ve got a pill for that....
The truth is bitter, but the bitterness doesn't make it any less true. I can only speak about the US, because that's where I live. I know that here, following the teachings of Jesus doesn't really mean much. Only weirdos and radicals actually attempt to live as Jesus lived. Once they get a taste of living in a shithole, caring for the less fortunate starts to leave a bad taste in their mouths. So they become mouthpieces for 'living radically for Christ' or some other such thing, writing books, lecturing youth groups and giving guest sermons at hipster churches that are safely tucked away in ritzy suburbs.
Or at least that's the side of things I saw during my 5 years in the fold. It's always the same story: rich white shiny-eyed suburban youth goes to some third world country or maybe the inner city ghetto (which in some areas is nearly the same thing). They are appalled by what they see and they want to help (nobility in action!). They raise some money, or decide to move to the area, or both. After a little while, the novelty wears off and the movement is either abandoned or taken over by some third party (usually some right-wing sponsor).
They return to the US as mouthpieces, begging for money. They call it 'mission sponsoring' or 'love gifts' or some other such thing to avoid raising the ire of their more intelligent members who may call bullshit on the whole shebang. There really isn't any genuine love or care for the poor in most cases. It's all make-nice, make believe bullshit that will never change a damn thing. It's all nice and good to give foot rubs to the homeless, but they need a place to sleep at night and access to mental health services. Shelter and health care for the homeless are fairly universally decried by Christian conservatives here in the States.
Conservative Christians are the majority, despite what the hipsters for Christ tell you in the blogosphere and on YouTube. Nearly all Christians (even the hipsters for Christ 'progressives') are usually against anything that is 'too' socialist. They don't want to change the status quo too much; that would actually effect them on a personal level. No, they just want to blow hot air about we can love the kinks out of our fucked up system with Jesus-string attached community services. Because Jesus heals, y'know.
The bottom line is that they aren't foolish enough to go 'all the way' or 'balls in' with the whole Jesus thing. It's easy to paint them as fools for believing in Sky Daddy and Sacrificial Son, but they are mostly a pragmatic lot. When the shit hits the fan, they will hunker down and take care of theirs. They will have the balls to shoot the poors like zombies during the zombie apocalypse (btw, I think there may be a connection there...). Any bleeding hearts among them will be pushed out the doors to care for the dying and if they get caught in the crossfire, they'll pray for them from the safety of God's fortress.
Cynicism FORWARD MARCH! Realism AHEAD!