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So, I have this Jesus bobble-head. It's ridiculous really. It sits on the desk across from my bed, looking at me with its goofy messianic expression. My wife hates the thing. However, there's really no getting rid of it. I mean, you can't throw away Jesus. That'd be disrespectful. Almost as disrespectful as... a Jesus bobble-head. So I keep it, partially because it's hilarious, partially because I like sacrilegious things. The other day it was doing its bobble-thing and I said, "Look honey! We've been waiting on a move from the Lord, haven't we?" She put her hand over her face, fighting back both horror and laughter. Man, I love that thing.

I remember the whole "Jesus is my homeboy" t-shirt craze about a decade ago. It was all edgy, you know... because Jesus wasn't supposed to be... urban? I'm not sure. All I know is that it created a backlash of opposing t-shirts and bumper stickers with the rebuttal of "Jesus isn't my homeboy. He's my king!" Oh, and no one will ever forget that song that came out with the audacity to proclaim "I am a friend of God." Phhssst. God has no time for friends. I don't know why, but that song "Yes lord, yes lord, yes yes lord..." got thrown under the bus at the same time. But we could talk about bad Christian music all day. The point is that all of a sudden it was taboo to convey Jesus as anything less than a fourteenth century feudal lord.

Now, I do understand there is a thing called reverence. Certain things are indeed sacred to many. This should be respected. We Occupy Jesus is all about bringing much needed positive PR to the legacy of the Jesus narrative. I am in full support of religious freedom of expression. I admit, there is a lot of expression going on. When you look online, there is a plethora of crude and satirical representations of Jesus, including Raptor Jesus, Zombie Jesus, Alien Jesus, Gay Jesus, and the most bizarre of them all...

White Jesus.

We must stop this madness!

But when I look across to my bobble-head savior, I think to myself... "That's not Jesus." Obvious, of course, but important to note. I'm not making fun of actual Jesus. I'm not reducing any literal notion of the historical and/or theological Jesus to a childish toy. It's just a dumb bobble-head. And to my embarrassment, it's also the "White Jesus" model.

When I go online and witness the circus surrounding the person of Jesus, I rarely think these depictions represent anyone's real thoughts concerning the man from Nazareth. At best they are an example of an overactive sense of humor, and at worst they are examples of a sheer disbelief in Jesus and/or religion. I don't think Jesus would take it personally (but White Jesus would be pissed). Do Christians really think Jesus' temper is raging out of control due to this sacrilege? Are people really going to hell because they make an internet meme, or merely laugh at one?

I make fun of many Christian things all the time. I try (keyword: try) to tone it down around those who are easily offended. I don't make fun because I think Christianity is wrong, or dumb. I just see past the veils of religious theatre that put Jesus on stage as something he is not. If your Jesus gets offended by "Homeboy" t-shirts, well... your Jesus is just as comical as raptor Jesus. If your Jesus gets angry when Project Runway comes on the air, your Jesus is more ridiculous than Alien Jesus.

"But my Jesus is the real Jesus! The one true Jesus! The alpha and the omega!" you say. "You shall bow down and respect him!" you say.

We need to be honest with ourselves. Christian or not. Theist or atheist. Our ideas of Jesus are merely that... ideas. I'm not saying Jesus isn't real. I'm saying every conception of him we hold is essentially our own. It is much like a memory. We can remember countless moments from our past, but they are merely re-creations of a former reality. The church, Christianity, our religions, our beliefs, they are built upon those former things.

When a ridiculous version of Jesus is mocked, it is the absurd idea that is under siege, not God or his son. My bobble-head pokes fun of society and its fixation with making Jesus so commercial. That is what is being ridiculed, not Jesus himself. To suggest such trivial things are cause for eternal retribution truly offends me, because this also suggests Jesus somehow represents the self-absorbed, those preoccupied with t-shirts instead of humanity.

What is most offensive is Robot Jesus, the same old, tired, mechanical Jesus that the fraudulently pious wind up and clap their hands to each week. Robot Jesus does what you want him to do, what you expect him to do. You can dress him up however you like. You can put him away when you're sick of him.

You can also flip the switch on his back from love to kill.

If you value and respect what Jesus stood for, we ask you to join us here at We Occupy Jesus. We have plenty of robots to smash.

Would you like to borrow a hammer?

Originally posted to BrettSaidit on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets , Anglican Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well said. (20+ / 0-)

    I myself am pagan, and from a tradition that has as its motto, "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

    But I support you in Occupying Jesus.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:24:37 PM PST

  •  you need an earth goddess figure (11+ / 0-)

    it could be as simple as a rough piece of clay molded between your own two hands.   Doesn't really need to be too representative, as long as the bosom and the womb are reasonably expressed the rest will take care of itself.  

    guarantee you'll forget about jesus in the space of one lunar cycle.

    and your wife will love you for it.

  •  How about a Animatronic Jesus based on the average (10+ / 0-)

    Jewish male from that region and era. You know, about 5 foot five in height, mid-dark skin, probably dark curly hair, full beard,  middle Eastern facial feature including the "nose" of anti semite joke fame. If you can't dig it you will  be most upset when your dreams are fulfilled at the second coming.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:33:21 PM PST

  •  It is whatever you imagine it to be (14+ / 0-)

    Ok, I'm an agnostic/atheist, so no dog in the hunt, but I'm always amazed by people who stick by the traditional Jesus image.  

    All religions are based on the key fact that you are more than your physical body, some kind of soul, and therefore the body is just a shell.

    So, what's up with all the worship of a specific form/look?

    Does a soul have a form/look?   I doubt it.   Maybe your soul looks like a Star Trek energy being alien.  Maybe it looks like nothing at all.

    For people who are religious, the fact that we spend so much time embracing a specific look or identity is strange.  Isn't it the soul that matters.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:11:11 PM PST

    •  Yup, that's what Jesus said (9+ / 0-)

      "Do unto others", "Let those without sin cast the first stone", and all of that.

      I'm also an agnostic/atheist (which is my way of saying I'm an atheist who doesn't want to be an asshole about it) and my take on Jesus is that he came along and said "That old testament stuff is all fine and dandy and you should listen to those lessons, but really you should be worried about the humanity of all people."

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So much of religion is cultural; we LOVE to fight (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, wader, The Marti

      about that stuff.  It's very tribally competitive.  The urge for one's own tribal symbology to dominate is very strong in those who are less self-aware of the spiritual core of their own religion.

      Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

      by Leftcandid on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:29:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That also explains a lot of undercurrent which (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftcandid, The Marti

        enables USA exceptional-ism to thrive in many, even after so much revelation that we have become mostly exceptional in the size and scope of our increasing failings and related ignorance as a society.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:23:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The three Synoptic Gospels (12+ / 0-)

    give a fairly clear, consistent picture of Jesus; whether that Jesus is real or fictional,  he is quite realistic even when performing some fantastical miracles. The doctrinal & theological  Jesus  is mostly found elsewhere in the New Testament.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:06:02 PM PST

    •  Recd for your sig line. (5+ / 0-)

      I love the. Marx Brothers.

      "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

      by followyourbliss on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:59:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. (6+ / 0-)

      Emphasis on "fairly"--there's plenty of room for nitpicking, but that's hardly the point.  But if you want a real distinction, compare Jesus of the gospels with the Jesus that Paul imagines.  Case in point: Jesus insisted on forgiving the woman caught in the act of adultery.  In a similar case in one of Paul's churches, he said, Throw 'er out!

      •  I'm not familiar with (0+ / 0-)

        which "letter" contains that, as many of Paul's letters are of very doubtful authorship. Garry Wills wrote a slim, very readable book titled What Paul Meant in which he declines to even use those spurious letters.

        "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

        by DJ Rix on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:09:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reaches its zenith in the gospel of John, written (0+ / 0-)

      some 90 years after Jesus' death.

      The doctrinal & theological  Jesus  is mostly found elsewhere in the New Testament

      And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

      by ZedMont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:00:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The gospel of John could hardly have been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DJ Rix

        written that late when we have a fragment of it from Egypt from ~120. I doubt you're suggesting that that is the autograph copy.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:13:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I should have said 90 CE, not 90 years (0+ / 0-)

          after the death of Jesus.  Not the same thing.  Even that date is disputed, but most scholars accept it as a good approximation.

          In any event John is generally recognized as the last gospel written and differed in several respects from the previous synoptic gospels, especially in its description of a high Christology that had Jesus quoted word for word in long, complex dissertations that differed markedly in content and linguistic style from that described in earlier gospels, especially the oldest common sayings of Jesus believed to have existed in the oral tradition before any gospel was written, such as those found in the Beatitudes and in gospels excluded from the bible by the Romans.

          It's inconceivable to me that the writer of John could had had Jesus speaking in this manner and have committed such speeches to memory word for word when the language had not been passed down by earlier writers.  Unless, of course, Yahweh delivered the words directly to him, a la the angel Moroni's delivery of the golden tablets to Joseph Smith. I'm not personally a proponent of such supernatural events, however.  One more difference of many between Mitt Romney and myself.

          John was in my opinion a late gentile Christian "adjustment" to earlier theology to bring it in line with the more complex variety that had developed in John's Greek-speaking community by his time.

          And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

          by ZedMont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:18:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a very different take on John. When I was a (0+ / 0-)

            post-doc at MIT our mentor was a truly brilliant scientist (later elected to the National Academy). When he was speaking with outsiders, he was brilliant and the breadth and depth of his knowledge were obvious, but his use of language was within the general bounds of how other MIT scientists spoke. When he spoke within the lab group though he sometimes used a very different approach, making broad extrapolations and surprising analogies. He knew us and trusted us, and he knew what we already knew. And, almost all of his surprising claims were later proved experimentally.

            The traditional view of the author of John is that the author was one of the inner circle. Based on my experiences with my mentor at MIT, having such a different, more intimate, more poetic perspective would be plausible.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:10:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Every Person's Faith (8+ / 0-) his or her own creation.  Influenced and informed more or less strongly by various sources, of course, but in the end, every person makes a faith from his or her own individual experience and psychology.

  •  I've caught all sorts of (10+ / 0-)

    holy hell for describing what Mary's experience of the nativity might have been like.

    And I have Buddy Christ on my dashboard.

    Of course, Jesus of the Week has been collecting examples of the merchandising of Jesus for years.

  •  opium of the people? (6+ / 0-)

    well, some go with percoset, others with morphine.

    frankly, i don't know where any of this was even going. sorta ran into a wall...

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 04:56:29 AM PST

  •  I love to be irreverent. (15+ / 0-)

    I have this dream of marketing crucifix Christmas tree ornaments with the baby Jesus, rather than the adult Jesus, as the corpus. And I work for the Episcopal Church! If you want to see irreverence, just hang out in the office of an Episcopal church.

    I do agree that our ideas about Jesus are often very strange indeed, especially this idea of a blond, blue-eyed white Jesus. What if he were short and bald, like the rabbi at my friend's schul? Could it have been that the Virgin Mary was homely? Could St. Joseph have had halitosis? These things don't matter, of course, but challenging our imagination's image of Jesus is not a bad thing to do.

    As far as the "bad Christian music" you reference is concerned, when it comes to what evangelicals call "Contemporary Christian" music, it reminds me of this famous quote: "Military music is to music as military justice is to justice". That "bad Christian music" reflects our American obsession with all things commercial, and fails to transport from the realm of the secular into the realm of the sacred. It's just like powerpoint presentations in a church service: I can see one of those any day of the week at work, why would I want to see one at church? Yet people do, because Americans seem obsessed with reducing everything to popular culture. It is no accident that those who reduce religion to the popular and commercial do not understand the separation of the sacred and secular. This is an aspect of the controversy over the separation of church and state and some people's attempt to blur that line that we don't often address.

    BTW, I republished this diary to Anglican Kossacks.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:00:29 AM PST

    •  the first day that I showed up at a church that I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, The Marti, blueoasis

      loved for years, I was so surprised to see nothing but one of those ancient overhead projectors, folding chairs and a box on the wall for donations. It was informal and 'real' and I was baptized back then in the pond that belonged to a couple from the church who lived nearby.
         It was really a living church group, but a few decades later and they have become different people whom I can't relate to. It started with the building fund, and then they put in a "baptismal" bathtub, and the last time I went back they were struggling with a laptop and using power point.
           Not my style any more.

  •  The films at are amazingly (10+ / 0-)

    powerful (with the exception of "slaves", which doesn't make use of the visual-editing-rhythm-music matrix as well as it could IMHO).

    Though I'm Jewish, I'm "liking" WOJ on facebook.  

    The way that you use imagery and music to re-frame Jesus's profound and simple truths-- human truths, eternal truths, truths that bind us all-- is excellent.

    Thank you.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:10:09 AM PST

  •  It seems that you might want (2+ / 0-)

    to consider changing the name of your group to "PreOccupied With Jesus".

    You can't really reclaim something or someone who never existed. More and more biblical historians are doubting that there was a real man behind the stories and the "evidence" of this person wouldn't last two seconds in a court of law.

    So here we are 2012 years after this person supposedly walked the earth still arguing over what he really said, what he really meant and on and on...

    That's pretty scary in my book.

    However, let's pretend for one minute that this guy did exist and these texts written about him contain factual information.  He wasn't a very nice guy. He demanded grown men to leave their families high and dry to follow him around and listen to his "teachings", and Jesus often berated these men when they didn't get the meaning of them. He endorsed the immoral concept of hell (threatend whole towns of people with it) and the divisive and immoral idea of "salvation". He was rude to his mother to boot.

    You can certainly "Occupy Jesus" if you wish, but try to keep an eye on your sense of morality when you do.

    •  I don't understand (7+ / 0-)

      the point of making this comment in this diary, unless that "troll" in your name is accurate.  :|

      "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

      by Silvia Nightshade on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:26:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love the way people throw the term "troll" (0+ / 0-)

        out when they want to avoid addressing the comments. This diary was about Jesus and people's views of Jesus. I said Jesus didn't exist, which is a perfectly fine response to a diary that appears to claim he did exist.

        Then I said that even if he did exist, response to this character is that I don't find him particularly appealing or moral. Again, a perfectly fine observation and sharing of my view of "Jesus".

        Now if you want to debate what I offered, just like I debated what the diarist offered, then go ahead. The name calling is unproductive.

        •  Okay fine, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon

          I'm a big mean bitch.  Whatever.

          My point is, you know how people feel about religion.  And with Jesus being a religious deity and all, I think it's awfully disrespectful and yes, borderline trolling to come in here and debate the man's existence/morals/etc.  This diary is about personal belief in Jesus and the various iconography that he has been portrayed with/in/as/etc over time.  If we were talking a policy to implement BECAUSE Jesus said so, then yeah, debate away--regarding the policy and how it's ridiculous to base any policy on religious deities or dogma.

          I'm 100% atheist (free range, even), but I think it's awfully rude to comment on this diary to debate the man's existence and morals.  Is it against the site rules?  Nope.  Is it something you absolutely can't do?  Nope.

          But awfully fucking rude, it is.

          "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

          by Silvia Nightshade on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:50:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bitch? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lurkyloo, blueoasis, Steven Mading

            That's only one thing you got wrong.

            If people are going to use a public forum to talk about their religious ideas, then they had better be prepared to have their ideas scrutinized and tested for evidence and reasoning. Just like any other opinion.

            What makes you think that religious ideas/philosophies or claims should be put on a different level than any other form of opinion?

            I don't go on religious websites and bother people with my perspective, but this is not a religious website.

            There are several biblical historians who have called into question the existence of Jesus. Richard Carrier is just about to release another book on this topic. Maybe you should read him.  As for the morality of "Jesus"... I think he concept of hell is immoral. Eternal torture for deeds done in a finite life?  Really? You really think that idea is above being called into question?

            Are you sure you're an atheist?

            •  OH MY GOSH, (0+ / 0-)
              Are you sure you're an atheist?
              You know more about me than I do!  I mean, I was pretty sure I don't believe in any higher power or afterlife, any type of divine retribution or souls or any of that, but wow, I guess you're right.  So if I'm not an atheist, can you tell me what religion I am?  I need to run to the nearest place of worship right away!

              "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

              by Silvia Nightshade on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:22:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Jesus represents a multi-faceted phenomenon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      muddy boots

      far beyond a single person's possible existence.

      So, exploring how to "occupy" the Jesus concept and it's various forms - from sober to sarcastic - is one point made in this diary.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I can't say you're wrong when you say that (0+ / 0-)
      More and more biblical historians are doubting that there was a real man behind the stories and the "evidence" of this person wouldn't last two seconds in a court of law.
      Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that the vast majority of modern biblical scholars agree that the evidence supports the existence of a real man named Jesus, a man who was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

      There is evidence independent of the gospels.  The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus mentioned him indirectly in one account in which he was actually talking about James the brother of Jesus.  James and Jesus were common names, so Josephus referred to James as the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ.  

      Note Josephus did not say Jesus was the Christ, just that he was called the Christ.  His mention of Jesus as a point of reference suggests that his readers would have heard of Jesus.

      The Roman historian Tacitus referred to "Christus," the object of the Christian religion which was being persecuted by Nero in Rome.  He affirmed that this "Christus" had been crucified by Pontius Pilate.

      Neither of these historians were particularly fond of Christians or Christianity and thus had no motive to make stuff up, although one passage of Josephus' has Josephus himself (a Jew) referring to Jesus as a man, if one can call him a man, and as a miracle worker and finally as the Christ.  

      While Josephus' mention of Jesus as having been called the Christ and having been crucified is generally accepted as original to his manuscript, the references to Jesus as a deity are believed to be later Christian redactions to his work.

      And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

      by ZedMont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:45:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a myriad of writings that call (0+ / 0-)

        into question the validity of Josephus's writings as any kind of evidence of the person called Jesus. Tacitus also.

        Josephus wasn't born until 37 CE and wrote Antiquities in 93 CE. The insertion of the brief reference to Jesus Christ is viewed as a forged insertion, possibly done by Eusebius.

        Tacitus was born in 64 CE, so we have the same problem here with his writing referring to a "Christus" was done in 109 CE. No source for the info was given.

        If you are interesting in delving into this any further, I recommend chapter 2 of The Christ by John E. Remsberg, or any number of other essays refuting the often trotted out "evidences" for Jesus.

        There are over 50 known writers that lived in the areas pertaining to the stories associated with the life of Jesus all within 50 years either side of his reported life dates, and none of them wrote about him. Why?

        •  Sorry, but that's much harder for me to believe (0+ / 0-)

          than the simple existence of a man named Jesus who was crucified.  I don't see the point.

          I'm not a Christian and I don't believe Jesus was the Messiah or a deity, but questioning the existence of the man himself and the historians who wrote about him and his death seems to me a pointless exercise.

          And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

          by ZedMont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:17:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that's the point... (0+ / 0-)

            historians all around the person who is reported to have at least had a controversial presence, enough to start a new religion, are silent.

            Plus, don't you think that if he world realized that they hang their hats on a nonexistant person at the core of a mythology, there would be a lot less reason to fight over what this person's sayings really meant?  Wouldn't that realization take the bluster out of the religious right and end the constant squabbling with religious liberals?  How about the fights between catholics and protestants in Ireland or between Christians and other sects all over the world? What about the destructive effects of missionary work?  I see a lot of advantages to the world if these tales about this person were revealed to have no basis.

            •  We're just going to have to agree to disagree on (0+ / 0-)

              this one.  A person's existence and controversy over a religion based on what he may or may not have said, are two different things.  Jesus, by the way, did not create Christianity.  He was a Jew.  Period.  What he or his followers may have believed about him was based in Jewish tradition, not Christian.

              He was not the only claimant to "messiahship."  There were many, and any one of them could have been the basis for a religion if people wanted them to be, so there was absolutely no reason for a huge conspiracy to pretend someone existed when they didn't.

              Early on, there were Jewish Christians, and they worshipped right alongside Orthodox Jews, in synagogues.  They were considered a sect of Judaism that happened to believe the messiah had come, something the other sects did not believe, but tolerated.  They did no harm to anyone, and had Christianity remained a Jewish sect, it would be nothing more than a middle eastern curiosity today.

              Christianity as we know it today was created by a man whose only contact with Jesus was in an alleged vision he had after Jesus' death.  Paul started his ministry within 5 years after Jesus' death, and the letters he wrote formed the basis for the present religion.  It should be noted that Paul had very little to say about Jesus.  He really wasn't interested in the man, just the legend and what he could do with it to perpetuate his new religion, which, by the way, was peppered with pagan elements that appealed to his pagan audience.

              Now, whether or not Jesus actually existed, when people base their religion on a vision of a ghost, they are not going to be persuaded by claims that the man didn't even exist in the first place, especially when those people recently worshipped Zeus and Athena.  It no longer matters to them and it never will.  Christianity today is all about religion, not about the man Jesus or what he said.  In fact in this country it has become an absolute perversion of what he said, or at least what he is claimed to have said.

              By the time the gospels were written Christianity was well on its way to being a strictly gentile (Greek/Roman) religion.
              Jewish Christians had been marginalized, eventually to be stigmatized and discriminated against until for all practical purposes, they ceased to exist.  

              Jesus did not say everything the gospels claim he said.  Later Christians put words in his mouth to suit the orthodoxy they desired for the version of Christianity they accepted.  That's why the gospel writers sometimes appear to disagree with each other.  People are still putting words in his mouth today, except now they do it in sermons and televised financial extravaganzas.

              It's a shame that someone who merely wanted to change humanity for the better by teaching people that the kingdom of God was within them, i.e., they had within them the ability to change the world by the way they treated each other, was hijacked by a perverse religion that never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined.

              You and I probably share a lot of common views.  The existence or non-existence of Jesus is just not one of them.  So be it.  Doesn't change anything.

              And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

              by ZedMont on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:54:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Two suggestions.... (0+ / 0-)

                Read The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty for more insight on Paul and his form of Christianity and the existence of a person called "Jesus".  Also check out Richard Carrier's blog and watch for his new book coming soon on the historicity of Jesus Christ.

                I agree with most of your observations, but have spent alot of time and years on the questions of Jesus's existence and/or a real person who could have been the model for Jesus, and the "evidence" does not hold up.

    •  Just remember, that's the Year of Our Lord 2013... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti

      and if he's an illusion it's a cultural compromise we're all complicit in.
           And yet for the Jews it is 5773, and for the Mayans? well I lost track of that one...
           ...Still crazy after all these years...

  •  Best bumper sticker: "Honk If You're Jesus" (14+ / 0-)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:38:45 AM PST

  •  There are several different Jesus (5+ / 0-)

    (Jesuses?) on Twitter:
    My favorite has to be @JesusWithIssues.
    His profile:

    I am God's son. But I'm also God. But different. You wouldn't understand. Sometimes I do magic tricks.
    Sometimes I wonder if maybe there's a parallel universe and people there have glory but aren't giving any of it to me. Hmm.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:27:51 AM PST

  •  Jesus may occupy you. (2+ / 0-)

    That's the way it happens a lot of times.

    Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on which Jesus occupies you. Could be really bad or very, very good.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:35:59 AM PST

  •  Perhaps the most popular koan is, (6+ / 0-)

    "What is the Buddha?" to which there are as many answers as there are masters.

    My personal favorite is, "I dunno, but there's one over there on top of the TV set."

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:06:32 AM PST

  •  How can we omit Supply Side Jesus? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bunsk, dizzydean, dhcallahan, The Marti

    Jesus is very much a mirror.  As He/he is supposed to have said, "The Kingdom of God is within you."  This is just as true for everyone & every thing.  Does not the obscene, profane, & evil also reflect in a mirror?  We make of him what we see of our reflected selves.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:02:15 AM PST

  •  I just tell them "I'm a radical Christian, (0+ / 0-)

    Love your brother, don't come to me with any excuses."

    Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

    by 88kathy on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:02:57 AM PST

  •  I Like Robot Satan From Futurama nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:18:31 AM PST

  •  The problem for me is, what did Jesus stand for? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bunsk, blueoasis

    OK, I will give that he appears to have put love as mega important and the Golden Rule seemed to be mega, too.

    Beyond that, the bible (both new and old testaments) is just too damn vague and hypocritical for me to get behind any of it.  So I just stick with those two ideas because they seem to be consistently mega in most religions and frankly, something that is so basic there's not much to discuss.  Considering that so few manage to accomplish much of either (especially that Golden rule bit) I feel like the odds are with me that I'm going to be OK whatever happens when I die.


    The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

    by Back In Blue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:18:52 AM PST

  •  This line... (3+ / 0-)

    "I don't think Jesus would take it personally (but White Jesus would be pissed)"

    is one of the funniest lines I've read on DailyKos.  Thank you for that morning giggle.

    Be still when you have nothing to say; when geniune passion moves you, say what you've got to say... and say it hot. - D. H. Lawrence

    by LucyMO on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:10:56 AM PST

  •  I've long wanted to market a snack cracker (4+ / 0-)

    called Jeezits.

  •  Joseph Campbell had something to say (4+ / 0-)

    in The Power of Myth on the Jesus phenomenon that I should revisit. Something along the lines of a story of hope for a person's spiritual renewal being transformed into something much less than it was. would be like going to a restaurant, asking for the menu, seeing beefsteak written there, and starting to eat the menu..

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:32:38 AM PST

  •  "I don't care if it rains or freezes, as long as.. (5+ / 0-)

    I got my plastic Jesus, riding on the dashboard of my car"


    "Its always better to be shot from a cannon than squeezed from a tube" Hunter S. Thompson

    by hooktool on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:46:16 AM PST

  •  The Jesus bobblehead reminds me of this episode (2+ / 0-)

    of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.  Some miracle, I can't remember what (Jesus image on toast?) had happened in Fernwood, and a papal visit was in the offing.

    The town was building a special venue for the popes visit, complete with vendors, of course, and everyone was pitching in.  Mayor Merle Jeter (Dabney Coleman) was talking to Mary Hartman (Louise Lasser) when he abruptly and offhandedly asked her if she would mind running over and getting him one of those "Chili Jesus Dogs."

    I'm glad I didn't have chili in my mouth at the time or I'd have spewed it everywhere.

    And who the hell is Grover Norquist???

    by ZedMont on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:56:19 AM PST

  •  the irony of it all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, chantedor

    people claim to be christian and support republicans; people who think w was good because he was a "christian"; "christian" people who scoff and spit about "welfare mothers having more kids so they can get more welfare"; do they actually understand the philosophy of Christ?

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:39:55 AM PST

  •  I posed a hypothetical question on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    another forum one time where we were having religious debates.  I asked, suppose that there was an island somewhere where they had never heard of Jesus or Christians, and we air-dropped some Bibles on the people who lived there.  However, the Bibles we dropped had been Search&Replaced to swap all occurences of the names Jesus and Satan.  EVERYTHING else the same.  

    And the people of this island read the book, think that's cool, they want to be saved by the son of God (named Satan, not Jesus) and they build their little churches and worship Satan Christ.

    So I asked the question, would they really be saved, and would they be Christians?  And the answer I heard most was that no, they wouldn't be, because you have to accept Jesus into your heart, not Satan.  Pointing out that Jesus was just an Anglicization of the Hebrew name (Yeshua is closer) seemed to make no impact on their thinking on this point.  

  •  I just think it would be nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    to see a Christian Jesus for a change.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:07:35 PM PST

  •  Can we just agree to be excellent to each other? (0+ / 0-)

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:59:31 PM PST

  •  Best bumpersticker ever: "God was my co-pilot .. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    God was my co-pilot. But we crashed in
    the mountains and I had to eat him.
    Sacrilegious achieves a whole new level., where did I leave my torches and villagers?

    by FrankSpoke on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:01:35 PM PST

  •  Jesus bobblehead moves in mysterious ways. (0+ / 0-)

    Pour yourself into the future.

    by Troubadour on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:20:01 AM PST

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