Was Jesus really all that into nonviolence?

Once again, I attended a ‘peace’ meeting dominated by liberal Christians extolling the virtues of nonviolence. The meeting started off with a film about how supposedly Gandhi and MLK, using only methods of nonviolence, had supposedly accomplished great miracles for people. Pretty sad stuff when one considers the situation of Indians and American Blacks today.

But this adulation of these two men by liberal Christians is really a stand in for their adulation of Jesus Christ, supposed human son of God, and their ideal model of what a human being should be. So it pays to take a brief look to see if Jesus in the Bible really was a model of nonviolence. We certainly know that neither Moses, nor the Christian God himself was, and that’s according to the Bible itself. But what about Jesus?

Jesus lived in a time of Roman imperialism. The fate of the Jews in his time was roughly equivalent to the fate of Iraqis and Afghans in our times. It was equivalent to that fate of Palestinian Arabs today under Jewish occupation and domination. The Jews back then, just like the Iraqis, Afghans, and Palestinians today, lived under the thumb of collaborators in their national and religious community who cooperated with the foreign emperor that ran their affairs. And like then, today’s imperial subjects direct much of their anger towards their own collaborators, and not so much always directly to the soldiers and officials of the Empire itself.

Jesus advocated a policy of no direct rebellion against the Roman Emperor who was viewed as much too strong to directly confront. But the collaborators were a different matter altogether. There, Jesus entered their temple with his followers and whip in hand, overturned their tables of money and goods, and chased them out of their places of commerce. Hardly nonviolent acts.

Since temples back then operated much as combination banks, pawnshops, pay day lenders, and currency exchanges all under one giant WalMart sized roof, when Jesus entered the ‘Temple’, in reality he entered the bank, too. His wrath was severe against the moneychangers (bankers) and collaborators, whom he accused of thievery against the common folk. If you or I were to enter a bank today and do as Jesus did, we would hardly be considered pacifists, now would we, Dear Liberal Christian? So why do you think of Jesus as being particularly into ‘nonviolent resistance’?

And what was Jesus’s punishment for his act of rather non pacifist rebellion? He was given the death penalty by a Roman official, who seemed to find the affair amongst the Jewish camp to be rather amusing. I rather think that any liberal Christian today trying to pull off such a stunt, would find themselves at least with life in prison, too. It’s much easier to push off a false image of how Jesus actually acted, and to copy that instead.

I tell this story in historical and Biblical perspective, simply because I am so fed up with American middle class, New Age liberal Christian pacifist idiocy, and their repetitive chants about the primacy of ‘nonviolence’ always recited like a totally broken record. Far from being nonviolent, Jesus actually was quite assaultive. And that is as the story goes from the Bible.

So let us now pray for liberal Christians to stop constantly reciting to us their turn-the-cheek fables. Amen. And now lets get going, Jesus-like, whips in hand, and turn over the banks and tables of today’s ‘moneylenders’ in the ‘temples’, and chase them out of their bank and church, The Pentagon. Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

8 thoughts on “Was Jesus really all that into nonviolence?

  1. AvatarThe 13th

    Tony. I realize you are trying to seed more input. Good.

    Nevertheless, the excess of the generalizations in the above tract lead me to wonder if Not My Tribe is a veiled action to re-elect George Bush.

    I realize it’s not. Do you?

    Is it the broken record or the broken needle?

    I could answer your questions per Christianity and or idealism, but that distracts other writings and topics I’m considering.

    As suggestion, to front load a debate is wonderful. Just realize if you use old dogs as issue you will only get old dog bones as response. Neither prove that much.

    Maybe, instead of manufacturing debate (consent) you might try elaborating some principals of belief?

    Ticker-taping headlines or bad Puns. I can see language and purpose may not merge in this forum. What a shame that would be.

    But why debate a library to prove a library? Do you really think people are that dumb? Or worse yet, that you are THAT smart??

    Let’s talk about alter egos, then. Cuz I really want to know why I should listen to a former vampire, lest the concept is Empathy and Reasoning. (the answers, by the way, to your idealism paradox slurs above.)

    Also – for the record. The Biblical name Jonah reflects the same paradox of interpretation. Search “Jonah Syndrome” if you want the “other version” and parallels. Many feel as symbol it’s the lesson of patience, not activism. Jonah, the writer here, feels different. Glad he also knows it’s a cape, an interpretation (at one level). Challenging his “soul” for ultimate belief forces lines that very few people want to draw or need.

    I’m NOT here to defend nor attack a religion. Cargo cults bug me, including here. Still I enjoy the divergence so (thank you).

    F*ck. This is an election. If you want to write a book for Oprah about how YOU saw all the answers, believe me, it’s streaming hindsight, maybe appealing your generation, but hardly the voice of “totality”. I could write the same book and I’d guarantee you mine would sell more. Why? Cuz I’m a graphic artist. The pictures would be prettier.

    My wife did the worst/best thing for me that no one has done prior. She asked me what my pictures meant. Marraige is such a lovely vanity.

    Here. Chew this. Re-elect Gore. Rip it to shreds or advocate why. It’s not my final vote. Hardly even a bumper sticker yet.

    Or sure, encourage Not My Tribe to open up some room for opinion and conjecture. Just don’t front cook so cheaply, lest you want me to talk more about yer mama.

    (Ok off my soapbox. Pick on my puns: equally frivolous. My point exactly, except at least they are shorter farts.)

    Until next time. More turnip talk while Waiting for Godot.

  2. AvatarTony Logan Post author

    13th, I would try to respond to you better, but I haven’t a clue to what you are trying to say with your talk of vampires and farts, soapboxes and turnips? Generally I got a faint clue that perhaps you didn’t like my burlesque of our good hearted liberal Christians? You are quite right, I am a cruel man indeed to ridicule this American new age worship of the cuddly hobbit Gandhi, MLK the new age Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, and Jesus godly son who loved his enemies more than his own mom and stepdad.

    Cruel I am indeed, but behind my derision of good hearted folk is the simple desire to get the antiwar-peace trains to run more on time and to show up where there might be passengers, not monks.. Currently, every time we try to get into the station we end up entering the chapel instead. So I guess I am just throwing up my hands and joining the theological seminar by starting this thread?

    True, it is not the chapel of Ted Haggard, Benny Hinn, nor Pat Robertson we enter into when we try to do ‘peace work’, but a liberal chapel is still a chapel never the less. I guess I just do not like religion stuffed into our ears when I’d like to see us accomplish a little more than just going to church, though the congregation is certainly a nice one.

    In short, what I am saying here is that these New Age false notions that passivity is actually somehow resistance, and that just anger is actually violence hinder building a greater movement against the US war machine. We need a movement that wants to fight back, and not just pray, hold workshops on how to be a better person (contemplating one’s own belly button), and so on.

    Peace be with you, 13th. Nonviolence is certainly an important method in the struggle for change, but not so much so when it is constantly equated totally with liberal religious babble. Building a Movement must be principally done without trying to out do the violence of the government, because they have a monopoly on abuse of force and will use it against you and me if we are not very careful. Has nothing much to do with ‘the example of Gandhi’ so much, but rather is just common sense.

  3. AvatarThe 13th

    The vampirism is in reference to your own bio posted here, tony. found in “About Us”.

    Correct per obscure references. Context seen and unseen. I’ll elaborate on language’s relationship to culture soon I hope! I’m chomping to discuss Chomsky. I’ve been away from media culture since Marshall McLuhen. I loved Medium is Massage, and am fervid fan/believer in “warming medias”. Curious/anxious to discuss, from internet theories to political brochure. Like others have said, it’s questionable whether to open discussion that might muffle a needed focus towards ending a war, but a “killjoy” not to put some air in here.

    I sympathise with the needed drum beat being muffled outside and in. Half-flag is not a ritual. Keep the color in your posts. I’m NOT asking any justifications for rhetorical prod. It’s VERY necessary PER that issue (and more).

    As per turnips you can’t squeeze em. So why try. A belief in alchemy will be proven.

    Burlesque indeed. Me too. Lapdance and bumper sticker. I simply can’t explain all reference points… Language nor politics are black/white.

    Like you I’m holding “post” to keep thoughts open. I’m pleased you don’t understand my sense of humor, by the way. I really don’t have time to explain gas consumption paradox humor, so pardon my farts, mr. ford et al.

    Let’s just agree that subversion is a verb and dictionaries will always be lawyers. If you burlesque, I’ll soft shoe.

    Even that much lets perspective/diversity “in”.

    now back to being a vampire? hehee!! maybe it’s a waycott theme design issue. i’m not asking any confessions, though. me? i’m the walking dead. rather habeas corpus. for sure.

  4. Avatartony logan

    My reference to having worked as a vampire was to having worked as a phlebotomist in a very large urban hospital. I was a rather non-violent vampire and always resented being forced to drink much more blood than was really necessary.

    I listed some of the various shitty employments I’ve done through the years on my blog bio, simply because I think that they gave me a broader perspective on some elements of life that many in our society never seem much to achieve.

    As just one example, if you have never worked with undocumented workers on job sites, then you will be more than likely to have a totally backassed view on immigration questions than others might have. Experience should bring some education, though it is not always the case.

    Likewise, I think driving a cab for a while should be an eye opener for many. But how many degreed people, thinking all the world of themselves, have never done more than a quick stint or two in working class positions? And many never have done even that much! These folk are often degreed, but miseducated ignoramuses sadly enough. So I wrote my bio to reflect that I was coming from a very sympathetic position towards the so called lower classes.

  5. AvatarThe 13th

    I’d source the last 13 years of my career life to be similar to yours, Tony. Prior to those I ran a thriving video retailing business in the Springs.

    If history breeds contextual “trust”, I suppose this is a good time to share some of mine.

    Years ago, I started out heading for journalism. Then, my brother was murdered in Arizona: unresolved case. The investigating lead officer formed a lasting friendship with my mother fostered partially by this event but mostly by his deep inquiries into Colorado Indian history. He believed he was an incarnation of Hiawatha. I found it choking. I could see journalistic integrity would be a personal problem consequently and forever.

    I decided to pursue the fancy of starting a public radio station, inspired by a quasi under-ground book called “Sex and Broadcasting”. The focus of the book was not Howard Stern tactics, but free media via FCC. Clearchannel is the same oxymoron as Peacemaker missles, but once, airspace, like U.S. real estate, had a homesteading era!

    I moved to C-Springs to get some airtime practice via a small community college. Even that experience was a lesson of power (wattage) versus demographics. The music we played was boring to my tastes, and likewise the talk: more drill. They said I had excellent tonal quality though, and I do! So I persisted. I was trained in the art of writing commercials about wood in the bedroom in order to sell furniture. How sad. Trading acorns for oak.

    I changed careers after a bad love lesson from college dating. I dated a lovely hype rock d.j. wannabee who insisted my air name be changed to Bobbie Cotton. Somewhere on all fronts I developed mike fright. Public radio rarely wants groupies. I learned to date outside my career interests, a saving grace.

    I was lucky, young, and ambitious. I worked up from a counter position to an offer of a business partnership. Delicious retail video.

    Years passed. We became a large family/community oriented store.

    Politics, both conservative and liberal (I find these labels quite archaic, by the way) and corporate imperialism bred the demise of a 11 years of work and a beloved neighborhood store.

    My first true radio airtime came from owning that business. A phone-in debate with John S. to discuss sex versus film library merited by a hazy “warning” letter sent en masse. Long term locals may recall these events.

    Many store owners did form a coalition for some awareness but it was difficult to interrupt industry-related business people even if to defend their own bread pockets. Who can say? My own efforts were distracted by a family illness (brain cancer) – can you blame others for having a life too? Of course not.

    Unlike some local vidstores our selection was discrete, minimal. We did not seek the quick profit of porn, but historically – it helped open many a local store and paved the industry.

    Per the local issue at that time, I was more concerned with defending one film, Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”. Behind that one hid another film by Scorsese, “Last Temptation”. Additionally I’d received prior complaint to remove “Where the Red Fern Grows” as too secular. (Don’t ask me!!) It was, indeed, a battle of context versus domino.

    Back to the narrative… The citizens who frequented my store were most receptive to the awareness created. I remain fondly thankful for their support. Probably why I am defensive per over-generalizing the Silent Majority as ignorant, stupid, lazy, or religiously “repressed”.

    In my business’ experience, it was not the public silence, but the current/undercurrent of publicists and politics that ultimately created such tensions. Goliath “escaped” by inner fragging Davids of no resolve to unite or contribute.

    Other cultural and anti-cultural centers formed upon our store’s demise. “Our” in this case, meaning the community it served.

    Since those days, like you Tony, I’ve worked a jumble of positions. Newpaper delivery, assembly line, mass bakery dough boy, finally a job working for a state college. (Mixed reviews per that experience! Whew!)

    I wonder a lot about C-Springs politics versus human potential, even the relevant history of Tesla. Truth is, I think it’s partly altitude sickness. Laughter as i light a cigarette… air is your best friend.

    My politics, if traced, stem from National Geographic and Rolling Stone and only a few books, not these memories, no matter how enriching. I’m rather mentally nomadic, like one of those book people in Ray Bradbury’s story Fahrenheit 491.

    Context and relevancy, lost and found in the listening wind. Maybe, I’m just learning personal adaptivity. I really don’t know.

    Life has irony. It’s enough to start on, always. I smile like a buffalo nickel. Incidental coinage for collectors. The above biography is fiction until proven otherwise. To my dearest, never a ratio nor history measure. Golden rule(r)s gild so easily.

    –13–

    Pierce be with you, tony! Thanks for sharing the vampire story. Good to know you can be confused by your own words as well as mine! Maybe all the babble I’m posting will help you with my turnips.

    I wouldn’t gloat your cruelty though. Humor is wicked. Cruelty is misinterpretation. Damn the torpedoes, here come the missiles! If that don’t make sense, well, f-ck a duck.

    Viva la Pie,ta.

  6. AvatarThe 13th

    ONE last note. Springs does have someone who has carried the Promethean torch of media longer than I have, and Quite Passionately. Many regards!

    (stop the war)

  7. Avatarjonah

    Jesus was more of a Religious leader. The clearing of the temple was reenacted some 1500 years later by Martin Luther, same thing, the Church was selling forgiveness. To understand what the priests were doing changing money you would have to read the laws of redemption in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, pilgrims from as far away as Egypt or Rome or Afghanistan wouldn’t be bringing their own sheep or doves or cattle to offer.

    Each sin has a prescribed redemption, kind of like a permanent bail/slash/fine attached to it. A dove, or a pair of doves, or a lamb, or a ram or bull for SERIOUS economic fines (in a herd-oriented society).

    If you didn’t happen to have a ram or bull following behind you, or a lamb in your pocket, you could buy one for quote “a measure of silver after the measure of the Priest”

    Martin Luther had the same thing going, the Pope was (and still is) selling something called an Indulgence, the price in Luther’s time was a penny. A day’s wages. One indulgence, forgiveness of one sin. For the rich, like the rich in Jesus’ time, it was a Pay – as – You – Play thing, if you had X number of shekels of silver handy, you could choose your sins from a Chinese Menu, let’s see I’ll take the Murder and theft from column A, add in adultery from column B, wash it down with a couple of Drunk and Gluttony from column C….

    not quite what Moses had in mind, but that was the way it was shaking out.

    Where it came into political play was when people wanted to make him King, which he declined.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, He was making hamburger out of the kingly aspirations of quite a lot of other people.

    One of the things Pontius was offering him at the trial, was to off Herod and set Jesus up as king. He had the power. He didn’t like Herod for some reason.

    If Jesus = Revolutionary, like “superstar” portrays him, perhaps he realized that His own generation wouldn’t accomplish it with a bloody coup, nor many many generations to come, but to build rather than destroy would last a lot longer.

  8. AvatarTony Logan Post author

    Jonah, you say that ‘Jesus was more of a Religious leader’, but the separation of economics, politics, and religion into separate spheres is a modern capitalist-driven phenomena. To say that Jesus was more a religious leader in his time is really without any meaning, since the 3 were intermeshed together back then.

    Jesus alone was hardly a ‘superstar’ leader, but Paul was able to make him, after his death, into a superstar myth. That myth was itself later made into superstar doctrine when the Roman Emperor converted it into the official State religion.

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