Sunday, April 09, 2006


WWJD? An Easter Story for Democrats

Have you ever really asked yourself, "What would Jesus do?" Well I think I've found the answer. Coincidentally, it has to do with the story of Easter. And if you didn't think Jesus was a liberal before, you will when you're done with this.

Today's Bible lesson, Brothers and Sisters, comes from the book of Matthew, chapter 21. It tells the story of Jesus as he entered the city of Jerusalem.

This took place on the Sunday before the crucifixion and the branches they are referring to are palm branches. Thus the reason for what is now known as Palm Sunday.

At this point in the story, it is important to understand that all of Jerusalem, including the temple, was under the control of Rome. In Jesus' time, the temple was surrounded by three courts. The outermost court was the court of the Gentiles and was open to any non-Jew who wished to worship. During the Passover, there were many sacrifices made at the temple but in order for the sacrifices to meet the requirements, they had to be purchased from the Roman temple vendors. In addition, visitors to the temple were required to pay the temple tax in the accepted Jewish currency, Consequently, there were Roman money changers in the temple as well.

So, back to the story...

Now you may be saying, "So what?" And I can't say that I blame you. I thought the same thing when I first read this passage. But last week, my wife's Sunday school class covered this exact Bible passage in a discussion about expectations. Each lesson in their series begins with a number of questions put forth for debate. This week, the first question of this lesson was as follows:

Naturally, the majority of the people in her class indicated that a good Christian would exhibit all of these characteristics. However, according to the David C. Cook Bible-n-Life series of books, none of these are characteristics of good Christians as is exemplified by the Bible verse from the book of Matthew. In fact, the Bible verse shows that Jesus didn't respect those in power because he believed that what they were doing was unethical. And to counteract this he rebelled. He dissented. He stood up in the face of what he thought was unjust. In short, Jesus was a activist.

If this doesn't fly in the face of the Republican party's McCarthyistic agenattitude, I don't know what does. I find it ironic that the party who claims to be the party of morals, ethics, and all things Christian, would have denounced Jesus as unpatriotic. He would have been barred from attending a GOP event; he would have been smeared in the media for his dissenting views; and he would have been labeled as a member of the far left and associated with the likes of Michael Moore. Hell, if he really was married as some have claimed, his wife may have been outed by a member of Cheney's cabinet. I think it's safe to say, Jesus would not have been a friend of the White House.

So the next time you're confronted with the question "What would Jesus do?" You can rest assured, he would have dissented against an unjust authority. Maybe the religious right is on to something. Maybe we all need to be a little more like Jesus, after all.

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