Jesus gagged and tethered
I fell into a lovely but warm debate at Clipmarks over the weekend.
An Episcopal priest, Raymond J. Lawrence, wrote a rather daring piece for Counterpunch, wondering “aloud” if the fuss over the “keep Christ in Christmas” issue was really worth the air consumed. I thought he had some fresh insights, so I clipped a couple of excerpts, and posted them in Clipmarks.
Whoa, strong feelings! After a number of comments came hurtling back, I added that it seemed like yet another case of we Christians fighting Armageddons over things that just aren’t essential – or even terribly historical – elements of our faith:
Surely we who want to live out the example of Jesus have matters that are more clearly Biblical passions of Christ – like people who are poor and ill, for instance – to defend.
The best was yet to come. An outstanding Clipmarks contributor, Debbyski, added this great comment:
Precisely Masbury! In her recent book about the working poor in America, Barbara Ehrenreich writes about going to a tent revival in Portland Maine. The preacher’s theme was “Jesus on the Cross” and the importance of believing in him in order to go to heaven. As she listened to him and looked around the mostly impoverished audience she thought:
“It would be nice if someone would read this sad-eyed crowd the Sermon On The Mount, accompanied by a rousing commentary on income inequality and the need for the hike in the minimum wage. But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse; the living man, is never once mentioned, nor anything he ever had to say. Christ crucified rules and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth.
I get up to leave, timing my exit for when the preacher’s metronomic head movements have him looking the other way and walk out to search for my car, half expecting to find Jesus out there in the dark, gagged and tethered to a tent pole.
Ohhhhh, yeah. Way to go, Debbyski!
I do think Ehrenreich (whom I greatly admire) mis-perceived one thing: Sounds to me like the gag didn’t work.
Tags: Ehrenreich, Debbyski, Clipmarks, masbury, Christmas, Monte Asbury