I was a Goldwater Republicans in my very early days. So early that I voted for him in eighth grade elections. Lyndon B. Johnson easily captured the St. Anthony of Padua Grammar School vote, but I believed in Goldwater conservatism. Then began the slippery slope to liberalism. One thing is true of Catholic schools, they do invest their students with social conscience. It’s that whole Body-of-Christ thing. All men are brothers. Love your neighbor. Clearly, that is just one baby step away from Communism. Kind of a “Communism with God.” Young and innocent, I swallowed it whole in high school.
In college I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. It was the most narcissistic, vile novel I’d ever read. I took another giant step away from conservatism.
Now in my sixties, I have come full circle, leaving far behind the murky mire of “progressive thinking.” In summary: Jesus was great at kicking off a big movement. If you put aside Judaism for a moment, you could say he started a whole new religion. But we have evolved since then. The world is not the same; adjustments must be made. It is time for a Post-Jesus Christianity.
Chapter One: Blessed Are the Rich, for They Inherited the Earth
Jesus insisted that the poor would inherit the earth. He was wrong. The rich have inherited the earth. It is all theirs. They can chew it up and spit it out if they want, as they do. Let’s just call it a bad financial forecast.
I’m not a rich person right now, but I may become one anytime now. The American Dream may still hit me a home run. In the meantime, I am preparing the ground for my arrival in the Promised Land. For example, I’ll vote with Post-Jesus Christians (aka Republicans) on their budget plan once they get one. The only people who would increase taxes of rich people are those who have given up hope of ever becoming a rich person. That attitude is both un-American and communistic.
Chapter Two: The Donald Trumps of Their Era
On one web forum, I made the mistake of referring to the twelve disciples as “poor fishermen.” Almost before I could click “send,” I got a response from a student of the Bible: “The twelve disciples were the Donald Trumps of their time.” Apparently, they each owned three houses and had many servants. Who knew? This revelation turned the New Testament right-side up for me.
When Jesus said he would make the twelve apostles fishers of men, they thought he was letting them in on a new mortgage lending scheme. Imagine their horror when he started antagonizing potential customers by insulting them, and trashing competitors‘ tables outside the Temple. Some people just can’t take a little free market competition. The Apostles kept trying to show Jesus the error of his ways. He got impatient with them, but they never lost patience with him. Until the inevitable happened. They weren’t surprised when he got the death penalty; that’s where people like him end up. You didn’t see them holding signs, “Crucifixion is Murder!” or “Torture is Against God’s Law!” Everyone knows the best way to avoid the death penalty is to get rich. Jesus was not much of a role model in this regard.
Chapter 3: All Kinds of Sickness that You Clearly Deserve
(Matthew 4:23) “And Jesus went about all Galilee… preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
Tell me this: if Jesus could actually heal the sick, why is there any sickness left? He told his followers to go heal the sick. They didn’t have much luck, so they invented health insurance.
Jesus told us we must heal the sick, the poor, the hungry, no matter who they are… a Judean Obamacare. I used to think that the Kingdom of God was a land filled with all kinds of people from all over the world and their pets, laughing and eating and sharing desserts. That was before Ron Paul painted a new picture for me. At a Republican debate, he preached the new Post-Jesus Christianity: the Kingdom of God is where we step over people who are in comas because they were too stupid to get health insurance. After all, fair’s fair and freedom is freedom. He didn’t actually call it Post-Jesus Christianity, but those who have ears shall hear.
[Aside: during the Republican debate, moderator Wolf Blitzer mentioned paying $200 -$300 a month for health insurance. Can anyone get me the website for that company? What a deal!]
Next month: Blessed Are the War-Makers for They Get the Spoils
Rev. Kellie Banter, minister to the future 1%