Watching a show about Christ on the history Channel. Just happened to be on when I turned the T.V. on. First thing that Jumps out at me... They are Talking about what motivated Jesus to become a religious leader in his own right following the beheading of John the Baptist.
The Irony in these shows is noteworthy. First off... John the Baptist, the radical Idealist who Lost his head because he believed the church, sacrifices, and their traditional methods of intermediation with god where unnecessary. All you Needed was to get wet... get out in nature and bath in natural waters, and repent and TRY to be close to god... and god will come to you. Irony? The Baptist church which is founded in his name... which does practice baptism... but usually in a sink basin inside the church (though not always)... and then weekly church services and donations (which was the opposite of Johns teachings).
Anyway there is an even bigger irony. Namely that Jesus was a member of, and looked upon as a leader for, the Lower poor class of his day. That class NEEDED a leader and was seeking a revolution of the time to free them. Religious freedom was a Large Part of that, but an even larger part, the greatest atrocity they had to face that motivated them to follow Jesus and his disciples and others like them at the time... was the fact of practical necessity for the Lower class.
The program stated that Romans had Taxed every person a "Head Tax"... a tax just to exist... which was around 12% of anything they earned. They also Had to pay a "LAND Tax" to own property... around 18%. By the time their taxes where due each year 30% of their earnings went to the state of Rome. The only option to this was death or imprisonment or enslavement. Add in the fact that because of this strain on their all ready meager income's...most were also in various amounts of debt just to survive and the Largest portion of what was the Largest class of the population (the poor) was living in a state of barely subsisting... All of their Labors went to pay for the comforts and excess's of the small upper class who wielded absolute power and influence over them. Hence all of these people were desperate. Desperate for a miracle. Desperate for a Leader. Desperate for any sign of Hope.
Irony? The program talks about these ancient people Like they were different than us today... and they aren't. Granted we don't have a "Head Tax" today... but then again... that's exactly what mandatory health insurance and other such programs ARE in effect. You have to pay just to exist in this Land. Still today OVER 30% of the average income goes to Taxes, Especially in the Lower classes where its hardest to afford. Today we think the poor is NOT our Largest class... and we say the "Middle" class now has that distinction... so it must be different.
Its NOT. "Middle class" is nothing but a Mis-nomer. A new fancy word we have given to people who were in the same state back when... and simply still called "Poor"... not AS poor... but beneath the upper ruling class. Today's middle class lives in debt and subsistence Just the same as the "wealthier" poor of back then.
Heck I could divide that class in half and call them "Upper and Lower" middle class... would it be any difference for the people I am talking about or change the quality of their life? No. They didn't CALL this group of people middle class back then... but we didn't invent the class and the people in it... we just renamed it and used the name to further divide a people and play them off against each other.
IF you think that as middle class you are NOT poor... subtract your annual DEBT from your annual earnings... THEN factor in taxes... and see what, if you had to pay it all back THIS YEAR... you would have left... and trust me... for most of you anyway... your still JUST as poor as MY broke ass in the Lower class. only difference is your probably working twice as hard as me to maintain what you have... and your usually loosing ground with every major life event that happens to you.
The combination of debt and taxes was and STILL IS the mechanism used by that elite few from the days of Jesus and Rome... and on back... that STILL exists today. The "Haves" and the "Have Nots"... that has always been the only two classes of people, and people will NEVER be equal under the Yoke of an oppressive upper class. What astonishes me is how clear and matter of fact this is on the "History" channel... in Hind site... but we always think "Things are different now"... even in the face of stark evidence to the contrary.
Our Taxes and debts are as bad today in America as they were then in ancient Rome... and we FORGET that it was the separation of the classes and the huge gaps in between that caused Romes downfall. Meanwhile Jesus, contrary to his own teachings, has been relegated to religion and only viewed for his esoteric interactions and dieing for our sins... because if we saw him for what he was... as a leader of PEOPLE who dreamed of a land for the people FREE from oppressive financial and religious rule of church and state in THIS life... well... now that's dangerous to the elite who still control things.
If all his followers followed THAT teaching... the riches of the rich would now be viewed as shameful, not something to strive for. Every dollar in their possession is an opportunity they have wasted to help someone in need who has less. There would be equality... and those who seek to rule and control others would be viewed as the LOWEST form of person, instead of the HIGHEST.
Jesus stood in defiance of the state and priesthood. Now the state and priesthood have corrupted his teachings (and Johns) to actually APPEAR to be in THEIR favor... and the population as a whole remains In bondage and servitude for these few "Elite" people. Christ has been relegated to after-life now... not for our benefit as most believe...
Though that may well also have been part of his purpose on the cross... that purpose had its time and was not his only purpose in LIFE...but because that DIS-EMPOWERED him to change THIS world By relegating him to the next. It ENCOURAGES us to accept our yoke of servitude and not to fight it. And the worst part is... we can always see it in hind sight... some of us... some of the time. However we so often Fail to see the continuity and what it means for our own equality and well being in THIS day and time.
There are undoubtedly those who will consider these words of mine as misconstruing the christian faith, or perhaps discrediting it... but that's not my intention. What I AM saying... is that that very thing has happened all ready... many times over.
I believe questioning the church and considering the actual LIFE of Jesus does him AND his true follwers more than it discredits them.
Its also said he died for our sins... though to me that whole section of scripture reads much more like he died BECAUSE of the sins of his followers. That the Romans put him on that cross was one thing. That the people, even his own followers, cowered in fear before Rome and let him STAY on that cross was the death of him.
It is also said he was resurrected on the third day, and that he was the only begotten son of god. These things may be true and they may not... it matters not to me. I don't NEED a resurrection to reinforce my faith in him. He doesn't HAVE to be the only begotten to me to be a child of god... and I believe from my understanding of his teachings, we are ALL brothers and sisters in Christ... and we are ALL the children of a Loving god. so there is no need to... even possibly false and extremely self serving to the upper class to try to... think of him as the "Only begotten".
I Love him for his teachings. His parentage is not important to me. in his own words he was the "Son of Man"... and to me that doesn't limit him in ANY way. Believing we are not capable of obtaining his highest ideals and wishes for us because we are "Lesser" than he is a discredit to me to his real teachings... that man could live in equality. That no state or church should excerpt undue power over them. That people should not be taxed for their existence by people who have no responsibility or claim TO that existence, for it comes from God... not man. I believe Jesus does NOT carry me through this world... but in my heart... I believe I carry HIM. That he showed me an ideal for which I AM capable of striving for and MAYBE one day obtaining in my own life... and that COULD exist here on earth for ALL mankind. \
This is what Christ means to me... right or wrong... that's my opinion. It was an auspicious manner in which I MOUNTED this particular SOAPBOX... but I am glad I found a way and opportunity to express these ideas... even if it took a spark from a tiny piece of perceived irony in a re-run show on the History channel to get me started. I feel I am following in his footsteps right now in a small way. I am taking this opportunity to spread MY "teachings", (my ideas), in the name of equality and freedom for the oppressed masses of MY time... just as he did in his... though in my own "less perfect" way. Of course... just Like he was... I'll probably be Labeled as a nut-job for this (nothing new there...lol) if not labeled an outright danger to society... and a blasphemer... but what the hell. If it was good enough for him....
Anyway... I am far from a perfect person. I'm just a poor man with a lot of big opinions. I don't think I'm special just because I think I see some aspect of Christianity other Christians don't see (though right or wrong... I DO think I AM special... Just as I think that about each of you who read these words... and indeed EVERY person IS special). Nor do I think it matters.
Other people can judge my worth in the context of history, and I doubt it will weigh much... but if anything I can do in this life opens even one persons eyes to the truth... even if it isn't the truth I THINK it is... then my time was well spent in my opinion... so for what its worth...
This is me, Jason (J.D.) Aaron Dennison. This is, in part at least, who I am and some of the foundations of my beliefs. Take it or leave it... for what its worth. No-one needs die for my belief. No wars need fought just because I say so.
That isn't to say they aren't as dangerous as any other belief... maybe more so... because they could lead to that very thing as I doubt the self-serving upper class will EVER release us the people from our bondage and servitude peacefully... but I encourage any one who wishes to enact these beliefs to seek out every possible peaceful means...
Irony is... the "self served upper class" that has "benefited" form the status quo all this time... while all the benefit in this life has been theirs... if the afterlife is to be believed... it is actually THEY who are the poorest of us all. Those who serve to use material worth at the cost of others to obtain the value of separating people that they may be "glorified" here on earth only serve to taint their name before god.
It is GODS plan... if meant to be at all... in that it was set in motion by the very act of creation like all things... and all their efforts to glorify themselves and delay the freedom of man also hold themselves in servitude to the "trappings of their power". They suffer their wealth spiritually as surely as they benefit.
I believe one day our species will obtain enough knowledge to realize the foolishness of our ways... and only when that time is right and we as a people are READY for something better will we ever attempt to truly strive for equality. Surely it will be a rough process... and many will suffer in the beginning for it. That is the way of all worthwhile things anyway. But THAT suffering which will also be senseless but probably inevitable because there will be those who resist equality.
However, until there IS NO rich or poor... no separation of classes and no human and structural barriers being placed between us and our Lord... And more each other... Until then I think Jesus was right. A camel will squeeze through the eye of a needle before a rich man enters heaven. Even on earth... they will be hated... and the cost of their wealth will be great on them as well as the people they oppress. THERE is the peaceful incentive through which... through education and enlightenment... things MAY change. No-one needs die for this belief... though Many WILL die for the Lack of it.
THAT is MY opinion. and all that from about five minuets worth of a show on the history channel... and thirty five years worth of thought... and I typed throughout the entire rest of the hour long program....lol