[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o celebrate this season in Christian faith, let’s pause to remember who Jesus of Nazareth actually was. I quote from Michael Schulson’s interview with Reza Aslan in Salon magazine:
The real Jesus, the historical Jesus, the Middle Eastern Jew who advocated for the poor, whose politics were adamantly, I would even say violently, against the wealthy, is a Jesus that is very threatening to a lot of these guys in the right wing. I mean, if you can with a straight face stand up and say that Jesus would want to get rid of food stamps and welfare, as some of these guys do, obviously you’re going to feel extremely threatened by historians who present a Jesus who in actuality stands against everything that you pretend that he stands for.
How did Jesus develop this revolutionary kind of politics?
It’s who he was. Jesus was an extremely poor Galilean peasant from the countryside, from the backwoods, what we would nowadays refer to as a “country bumpkin.” He lived in a society in which the gulf between the extremely rich and everybody else was absolutely unbridgeable. And he experienced for himself this gulf. And the people that he preached to, all the villages that he went to, the very point of his message was geared toward poor, marginal peasants like himself. So, it’s not hard to imagine where he got his “politics” from. He got it simply from living a life as a poor Galilean peasant enthralled to this enormously wealthy, repressive and political authority.
I think that’s a good way of putting it.”
The huge corporate religion industry has re-branded Jesus into something, someone he was not. They have engineered a corporate spokesperson to keep them wealthy and in power. The real Jesus of Nazareth would loath them. No small irony that a Muslim historian has to remind Christians who their savior actually is!