Monday, December 26, 2016

How Would Radical Jesus Fare in America?"

Jesus is too much for us. 

The church’s later treatment of the gospels 
is one long effort to rescue Jesus from ‘extremism.’

Gary Wills

"Jesus was good. He was caring. He had powerful, profound things to say,

things that would change how we view people, alter government policies and change the world. He went around helping the poor. And when confronted by those in authority, he did not shy away from speaking truth to power.

If an opposition of the a status quo demands nothing,
does the status quo have nothing give?

Jesus was born into a police state...

A few stabilized financial markets in the short term 
to defend political legacies and financial interests
by sacrificing more severe long term consequences

But what if Jesus, the revered preacher, teacher, radical and prophet, had been born 2,000 years later?

If the goal of a non-violent movement with no demands is to initiate positive change
and the only way to initiate positive change is to peacefully testify in mass without demands,
could occupation without demands increase the likelihood of creating positive change?

...The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable, where Mary gave birth to a baby boy. That boy, Jesus, would grow up to undermine the political and religious establishment of his day and was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be.

How can you win if you don't have demands?

How can you lose?

However, had Jesus been born in the year 2016…

The wants of a few who know outweigh the needs of many that don’t 
until the majority figures it out

Rather than traveling to Bethlehem for a census, Jesus’ parents would have been mailed a 28-page American Community Survey, a mandatory government questionnaire documenting their habits, household inhabitants, work schedule, how many toilets are in your home, etc. The penalty for not responding to this invasive survey can go as high as $5,000.

Is the only way for a status quo to "win" against a demand-less subculture
to eliminate the occupation by outlasting it,
or by force?

Instead of being born in a manger, Jesus might have been born at home. Rather than wise men and shepherds bringing gifts, however, the baby’s parents might have been forced to ward off visits from state social workers intent on prosecuting them for the home birth...

The economic and political leadership of both major political parties
in the greatest nation in the history of the world
sold our children's economic future in exchange for a more pleasant present

Had Jesus been born in a hospital, his blood and DNA would have been taken without his parents’ knowledge or consent and entered into a government biobank...

Most politicians pacify the electorate with platitudes
while delivering legislated benefits to the status quo

From the time he was old enough to attend school, Jesus would have been drilled in lessons of compliance and obedience to government authorities, while learning little about his own rights...

A generation of underemployed, underpaid, educated and indebted young adults
are disillusioned by their elders’ financial mismanagement
and will seek to identify and punish those responsible

...Rather than disappearing from the history books from his early teenaged years to adulthood, Jesus’ movements and personal data—including his biometrics—would have been documented, tracked, monitored and filed by governmental agencies and corporations such as Google and Microsoft. Incredibly, 95 percent of school districts share their student records with outside companies that are contracted to manage data, which they then use to market products to us.

Dissent the highest form of patriotism

From the moment Jesus made contact with an “extremist” such as John the Baptist, he would have been flagged for surveillance because of his association with a prominent activist, peaceful or otherwise...

The educated underemployed
instigated most rebellions

Jesus’ anti-government views would certainly have resulted in him being labeled a domestic extremist...

Corruption of our political, capitalist and information systems negatively influence behavior
through legislation, budget appropriation, regulation and taxation
to benefit a few at the expense of many

Rather than being permitted to live as an itinerant preacher, Jesus might have found himself threatened with arrest for daring to live off the grid or sleeping outside...

What should happen if high school graduates can’t afford or finance higher education
while indebted graduates can’t find jobs paying enough to cover bills?

What should happen
if too many from a generation of college graduates can’t find jobs
to pay off student loans?

Viewed by the government as a dissident and potential threat to its power, Jesus might have had government spies planted among his followers to monitor his activities, report on his movements, and entrap him into breaking the law...

It's not worth giving unlimited power to a few
to create perceived safety for many

Had Jesus used the internet to spread his radical message of peace and love, he might have found his blog posts infiltrated by government spies attempting to undermine his integrity, discredit him or plant incriminating information online about him. At the very least, he would have had his website hacked and his email monitored.

Stability is not a legitimate reason to repress justified dissent

Had Jesus attempted to feed large crowds of people, he would have been threatened with arrest for violating various ordinances prohibiting the distribution of food without a permit. Florida officials arrested a 90-year-old man for feeding the homeless on a public beach.

Had Jesus spoken publicly about his 40 days in the desert and his conversations with the devil, he might have been labeled mentally ill and detained in a psych ward against his will for a mandatory involuntary psychiatric hold with no access to family or friends...

If the natural cycle of laissez faire capitalism
revolves between risk and aversion
what should happen if government intervention perverts the process
to forestall short term economic pain?

Instead of being detained by Roman guards, Jesus might have been made to “disappear” into a secret government detention center where he would have been interrogated, tortured and subjected to all manner of abuses...

Some economic and political leaders bailed themselves out of mistakes
with trillions of debt and newly created money
handed down to the unaware of following generations

...what Jesus and other activists suffered in their day is happening to those who choose to speak truth to power today.

Today's older generation
covertly confiscated our younger generation's wealth

Thus, we are faced with a choice: remain silent in the face of evil or speak out against it."

It was not justifiable for the baby boom 
to promise themselves trillions worth of unfunded benefits
like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for future generations to pay for,
but it happened anyway, and we are going to have to pay a price for it at some point