Friday, April 2, 2010

Betrayed by a kiss, saved by a kiss

It was a bleak dreary evening and the lone figure in the garden was praying feverishly. His enemies had already made the decision, “he has to die.” And now he knew one of his friends, followers, would betray him.

He was not disappointed, he was sad…heart broken.

In the garden came the “friend” who led the armed band of temple guards to him, and though Joshua was surrounded by true friends the guards and the friends equaled in numbers.

The friend kissed him, and the guards seized Joshua…but not without a fight. As the guards seized him, a follower of Joshua pulls a sword out, obviously a zealot, and in the melee goes for a head shot, only grazing the side of the guards head, but enough to relieve him of his ear. Joshua roars for his friends to stop. Berates the guards for the mobbish thuggery, but more importantly to the earless guard bleeding next to him, reattaches his ear and heals him. The guard is most certainly not a follower of Joshua, and for the most part Joshua owes the guard nothing if not a little contempt, but even that is not given…just healing.

Thus, a scene from the garden of Gethsemane and Y’shua’s ,or Jesus’s arrest and eventual execution.

A fitting thread for the Easter Holiday.

But for most of you who do not ascribe to anything Christian you are thinking, “okay Sheer…where are you going with this?” and I would like to reassure you that this piece has nothing untoward in terms of proselytization, and if you feel there is some there…it is unintended, rather…I am drawing a comparison of two instances.

This comparison is the application of words turning into action.

The first is of course Jesus in the garden, and the second is the Hutaree militia, a cult really, had dreams of being stupid…they identified themselves as a “Christian Militia” and for the most part based on outward appearances I’m sure they made similar motions of piety that are undeniably Christian in nature.

Words and action…that is what is important here.

They wanted to start a war with the US government, and part of their strategy was to ambush a police officer. Make it look like a random act of violence. Oh pity, a police officer died in the line of duty.

Shit happens. Let’s all mourn at the funeral which will look like a Police rally.

And that is exactly what they planned for…a large gathering of Police mourners where they would all be tightly packed together in a target rich environment, and the Hutaree Militia would begin their war against the United States of America in a mass attack/ambush.

In terms of terrorism, it was a decent plan.

In terms of Christianity…it was and is completely alien to Jesus.

So, the comparison of words and action.

As the above story goes, Jesus could have laid down the law of the universe, bitch-slap the entire Jewish political hierarchy back to the Pleistocene age, dropped kicked the entire Roman world into the ashbin of “could have been, would have been!”, and brought an eternity of peace, love, and grooviness to the rest of us.

He didn’t.


Sorry, just me expressing my wish that he had…oh well…patience is such a load and half to carry…it is tiresome.

Where was I…oh yes, Jesus.

And the reason why is because he had the temerity to say, “Love your enemy, do good to those who abuse you…” as oppose to the Hutaree Militia who said, “kill my enemy” and planned to do so.

The contrast is startling, and so is the message of two competing thoughts in the world of Christianity in America…one that says, “love my neighbor as myself,” and the other that says “Every man for himself!”

Jesus was quite clear which one he advocated when it came time to put words into practice, just as the Hutaree Militia was quite clear when they were ready to put words into practice.

The Hutaree Militia was a militia for sure, but as a Christians…sorry, they failed miserably as followers of the man who had every reason to smite his enemies, and didn’t…choosing instead to heal and forgive.

Happy Easter, I hope that your children’s day of Easter is filled with cuddly bunnies, tasty candies (peanut butter and chocolate…/drool), and family togetherness.



  1. sheer,
    I can't agree that their plan was terrorism.
    Tell me how it fits that bill/description.?
    They wanted ,allegedly,to do as you outlined ,but this is not terror-it is an act of illegality that has no victim beyond the immediate targets.
    Or does it and i don't see it?
    Insurgents, urban guerilas,criminals,militants-all of these describe the critters fairly well.
    Why is everything terrorism these days. And you're buying the bill of goods.
    As for Christ-nobody knows what the dude stands for. All we got is hearsay and won't hold up in court, unless it's a military tribunal.
    I doubt if the dude ever walked the earth.
    Happy easter.

  2. Having been raised a Christian, I'll agree that this is not the Christianity I was taught in Sunday School. Somewhere I missed the part where Jesus told us to kill our enemies.

    I wonder if this is what it looks like to moderate, middle of the road Muslims? Do the wacked out jihadi's look like Hutaree? Do the hate spewing imam's look like bible thumping preachers that advocate killing a doctor because he performs abortions?

  3. I note that the disciple *had* a sword. There was plenty of time in the previous 3 years for Jesus to say "sell your sword and give the money to the poor" or something like that.

    I figure Jesus knew he was going down, but didn't want to have all of his disciples killed with him.

  4. Sheer-

    Over the years, I have become almost accustomed to such extreme perversions (at least to me) of what I have concluded was the basic notion of Christianity. If there were serious agreement, there wouldn't be some 20,000+ separate denominations calling themselves "Christian" in the US, a great number of which claim to have an exclusive lock on the "correct beliefs".

  5. Don't get me going on Christianity or any organized religion, for that matter.

    ISTM Jesus or Allah or Moses or Jehovah might have made an appearance sometime more recently than two or three thousand years ago, if for no other reason than to set certain criminals using their names straight. Where are they?

    Read our founders. One needn't be an adherent of any organized religion to still believe in a deity. Further, whether one believes in a specific brand or messenger, there is no question that all of the organized religions have a great message. The unfortunate reality is that these messages have been so perverted over the years to the point that we have:

    Terrorism in the name of Allah.

    Terrorism in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Terrorism in the name of Jehovah.

    Those three religions that sprang from Abraham aren't doing much for their adherents or the rest of mankind these days.

    Abraham would weep.

  6. sheer-

    You could call it simply "post-modern spirituality" where each individual is free to find his or her own spiritual truth, as in "truth" as opposed to "Truth" from the smörgåsbord of spiritual "appetizers" on offer in the US and the West today. So why not a muscular Jesus ready to smoke the "evil doers"? Or even the ole religion, revival tent Jesus of lore threatening fire and brimstone in the "life" hereafter? In regards to religion today, the consumer gets to mix and match whatever they choose . . . kinda like the flip side of a trip to Vegas, but with spiritual fragments on offer instead of the sin(s) of your choice.

    Religion in the US has become essentially window dressing for consumerist capitalism; Christianity in this regard capitulated some time ago. Remember the old ethic of if you had two coats to give one away (Luke 3:11)? That has been replaced with, "if you have two coats go out and buy three more" . . .

  7. Publius,
    What makes you think that Abraham would weep.?
    Wasn't this the guy that was willing to kill one of his sons???
    I'm sure that killing was not an unknown for this guy.

  8. Don't remember where I read that the Christian church spent the first hundred years or so fighting for exclusivity in the Roman state (which, as ours is supposed to be, was a polity that demanded political fidelity without caring about religious preference) and being attacked for such. After Constantine, however, the Church won the battle - it became the official religion of Rome - but Rome won the war; the Church lost its interest in individual morality and things like charity and poverty and became what most "churches" are, just another political player, desiring power and wealth and influence.

    The other two monotheistic faiths have never even really pretended to be about anything but the benefit of the believers - Abraham and Muhammad were tribesmen and their religions are and were the religions of tribesmen; comforting to those within the tribe, often merciless to those without.

    I honestly have no idea about the "real" Jesus. It seems unlikely to me that there could not have been a man Joshua son of Joseph that caused a stir in First Century Palestine. Was he a god? I have no idea. But I'm with Publius on this: the guy's message of humility, poverty and care for others has been pretty well lost to most of his official followers (that is, his churches, if not individual believers). He's had a lot of time to do something about that and doesn't seem to be interested.

    So you'll have to pardon me if I cherry-pick the message and pass on the religious Rotary Clubs. Like many human traits, religious faith seems relatively benign in persons or small groups but anywhere from moderately harmless to violently malignant in mass.