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Jesus a crusader who laid his life for the liberation of humanity from tyranny

By Harsh Thakor

The real Jesus Christ and what is professed today by the Church or Christianity at large today is like chalk and cheese. Today we celebrate Christmas, but we forget to give the day true respect. The Christian community immortalizes Jesus Christ for performing miracles like turning wine into water or resurrecting from the grave.
Historically after the collapse of the Roman Empire the oligarchy of the Church became more powerful and morally as repressive. patronizing oppressor classes. Who can forget the great crusades, the Spanish inquisition or even the Church giving shelter to the Nazi generals in World War 2.
Today, whatever the great teachings of Christianity, in essence the Church is blessed or blesses capitalism. It supports the worldwide trend of Islamophobia and endorses many imperialist projects. It also in in an organised way launches a vendetta against all scientific thought like Darwin's theory of evolution or Steve Hawkins. The Church today is simply a tool of the oppressive ruling classes, endorsing all profit motive.
However, we must not confuse the teachings and life of Jesus with the practices of later Christianity or the Church. Without doubt he was crusader for the liberation of humanity or even a revolutionary in his own right. Who can forget how he confronted the Jewish moneylenders by destroying the very temple and openly condemned their exploitation of the common man?
Historically very few have dealt such a striking blow in the very belly of the oppressors as Jesus. He had powerfully idealistic overtones when preaching 'Love thy enemy' but also had Communistic shades when advocating 'Love thy neighbour' which imbibes teaching of serving the people.He galvanised poor masses in the manner of a revolutionary.
This very feature inspired advocates of liberation theology. In recent times many church priests have supported the revolution in Philippines or even in Latin American countries. Historians need to delve into the root causes of how team of crusaders for liberation turned into a ruthless oligarchic or oppressive bureaucracy.
Of course we have to respect views like those of Bertrand Russel who in a most subtle manner launched a tirade against the hypocrisy of Christianity. However, he praised Christ as a monumental figure as a crusader for serving humanity. Ironically however much they condemned organised religion even Marx and Engels foresaw some revolutionary or humanistic leanings of Jesus. On the other hand today we have Scientific atheists today like Richard Dawkins who oppose social revolution.
Today it would be necessary to visualize the same Jesus at the very root confronting Operation Green Hunt in India, professing secularism to defeat Hindutva, launching a crusade against multinationals and other manifestations of globalization, supporting the movements of the workers and peasantry and the war designs of imperialist nations.
Whatever the invention of miracles the Bible recounts many instance of Jesus championing the poor. .Even if Marxists are atheists they should not condemn those who believe in Christ, but attempt to mobilize them into joining collective causes against oppression.
Today we have to strike a balance with supporting the progressive elements in Christianity and the Church and attacking the unscientific aspects of religion. We can reproduce the writings of Darwin, Bertrand Russel or Steve Hawkins in golden letters and need not blindly attack Christianity.
Instead we should glorify the positive aspect of the Christian struggle for liberation against Rome. Wholeheartedly, we should expose events like the Spanish inquisition but glorify how in recent times the Church has come to the side of revolutionary movements. Father Stan Swamy is a living example. No way can Jesus be classed as a Communist as capitalism did not prevail in his era and very primitive feudalism. Still while rejecting concepts like Miracles the Bible could be an invaluable source of research for progressive historians.
Jesus being crucified on the cross, symbolizes a crusader laying his life to liberate humanity from tyranny and even his teaching 'forgive them for they do not know what they are doing' is an expression of his mission to change the very soul of man. Of course there are ambiguous positions like 'turning your cheek ' to your neighbour or enemy which compromise revolutionary spirit.
A positive aspect of Christ was his experience in revolutionizing the 'inner self' .Without a spiritual change a true revolution cannot be launched. The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is an ideal example when he tapped the soul at the very core. I have no doubt that today Jesus would have been a major crusader against imperialism and capitalism. In a subtle manner it was revolutionary Che Guevera who emulated many attributes if Jesus.
Today we have to resurrect spirit of Jesus in accordance with the neo-global offensive striking the world and explore those elements in Christianity that re coherent with creating a genuine liberated society. It is pertinent that many Marxist revolutionaries were originally Christian liberation theologians. Thus it is not the physical Jesus resurrecting but his spirit blazing to liberate humanity.
Joma Sison of the National Democratic Front of Philippines said, "I agree with the proposition that the tradition of Jesus Christ as social revolutionary is in dire need of resurrection against the Christian Right. There are certain acts and words of Jesus that side with the poor and powerless and that there are those that side with those in authority and condone the wealthy.”
Indeed, if Jesus really existed, he was undoubtedly a social reference for questioning the society of that time. Today, he would probably be in Delhi with the farmers, or in the north-east defending the citizenship of minorities, or in Kerala fighting against pseudo-communists who use the same tactics as the extreme right for their own benefit.
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten
One should remember that Catholic celibacy was not established until the 12th century and it was out of lust as a pope upon being rejected decided that if he could not have sex with whom he desired, no one would. It was then, when the internal struggles for power increased and there were three popes at the same time fighting for power and control of the rich Catholic Church. That struggle lasted about forty years. Since then and until the 20th century, things have not changed much.
In the 20th century there were those who, getting up the courage, decided that this had to change and started a new current called liberation theology, whose members were rusticated by the Vatican but never stopped practicing as priests even though they had partners, children and social struggles. They participated in the social revolutions in Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua.... people like Camilo Torres, Ellacuría, Helder Camera, Claudio Cardenal... and many others.
A blogpost “Towards a Re-Proletarianization of Jesus” says, "It was this Jesus, so admired by Eugene Debs and the author Bouck White, who penned the first radical interpretation of Jesus in his ‘Call of the Carpenter’, that must be resuscitated. Both Debs and White considered the message of Jesus, which had cultivated a small but devoted following as striking fear into the hearts of the religious and political powers of Jesus’ day. According to Debs, this was the reason for Jesus’ execution.”
It continues, “(Jesus) denounced profiteers, and it was for this that they nailed his quivering body to the cross and spiked it to the gates of Jerusalem, not because he told men to love one another. That was a harmless doctrine. But when he touched their profits and denounced them before their people he was then marked for crucifixion.”
What did Jesus have to say about the exploitation of labour? Was he on the side of capital and absentee landlordism, as the modern purveyors of right-wing Christianity would have us believe? To quote from the Bible’s James 5:1-6, KJV: 
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.”
It adds, “Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
Jesus was not crucified and this fact brings Christianity into question, period.

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