Friday, September 12, 2008

Jesus Was a Community Organizer?

On my blogs, I try to avoid writing about politics as much as possible. Politics is way, way too divisive. People pick a person, side, or issue and will say or do anything for what they have chosen without thinking one moment about what they are saying or doing. All the partisan bickering has divided this country so far down the middle that I don’t know if it will ever be possible to return to an era when most politicians were actually real statesmen concerned about the welfare of the country and its citizens instead of their own personal power. I know that politics has always been a game between those who were in it for the betterment of humankind and those who were in it just for their own ego and power trips. But, looking back through history it seems that there used to be, at least in the U.S., a time when there were more people in politics for the right reasons. Now it seems like the majority of the people in politics are power-hungry idiots.

Take for instance this recent statement made in Congress by Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee. “I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the parties have differences. But if you want change, you want the Democratic Party. Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus, who our minister prayed about. Pontius Pilate was a governor. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”

There are two fallacies about that statement. The first is so obvious and ludicrous that I’m not even going to discuss it. You can figure it out on your own.

The second is a bit more subtle and it is the assertion that Jesus was a community organizer. Reading through the New Testament, I find it incredible that someone would describe Jesus as a “community organizer”, at least in the way most people view what a community is. It is true that Jesus was and is all about community, but it is a completely different type of community. The community Jesus was about was unearthly, not-of-this-world. It was a community that could only exist when each of its members were right with God, living in agape, and working together for a common purpose. But, when Jesus walked the Earth no one understood that. Instead of organization, wherever Jesus went there was chaos. Jesus said things that people didn’t like to hear, such as that if they truly wanted to be his disciple they would have to hate their family and even their own life. He promised people trials and tribulations. He drove away very profitable businesses out of the temple. He spent over three years of his life living as a homeless person and told a young, respectable, and wealthy citizen that the only way he could follow him was if he sold all of his possessions. True, people followed Jesus, but most did so out of curiosity. He had his disciples, but even his innermost circle and closest friends abandoned him during his trial. No one testified on his behalf and his most trusted friend denounced him three times and in doing so condemned him to die. On the day of his death no one was comforted. That really doesn’t seem much of a “community organizer” to me.

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