Given the seismic shift from a democratic majority to the Tea Party-Republicans about to rock the congress; given that the overwhelming majority of those responsible for this hard-right sea-change claim to be Christians; given that Christmas in upon us, I am moved—forced really—to contemplate the possibility that the Jesus whose birth these Christians claim to celebrate is not the Jesus of the New Testament.
New Testament Jesus was partisan, to be sure, partisan of compassion, decency, honor, honesty, courage, patience, and justice. NT-Jesus was a socialist. TPR-Jesus, well, he’s a different sort of “savior,” with a testament beholden to some different “virtues.” What do we celebrate in His birth? Who is blessed of TPR-Jesus?
Blessed are the 3000 mega-wealthy American families, for they shall inherit the earth, (such as it is), and get to be called the “job creators” even though their millions rest contentedly in off-shore accounts, their portfolios are lined with gold (real patriots don’t bet on recovery, silly!), and their wealth is almost entirely inherited—not earned.
Blessed are the “free,” for, however poor, sick, or hopeless, those millions of Big-Box, Big-Factory, Big-Fast-Food workers are lucky to live in America where the right to go without food (except, of course, cheap, nutrient-wasteland, Mc’Fatty “food”), or, for want of basic healthcare, die, or who get to watch their children die, is guaranteed. Free: better to get to “choose” a doctor you can’t afford to see than be identified as a socialist who, under “Obamacare,” might actually get to see one!
Blessed are the climate-change deniers, for TPR-Jesus loves most those—Limbaugh-Beck-Hannity-O’Reilly-Inhoff-Bachmann-Palin-Paul—who think Him so omnipotent that nothing we do to His creation can damage it. Venerating TPR-Jesus is certainly more important than yielding to inconvenient truths about deforestation, pollution, desertification, soil erosion, and species extinction. Who makes more sense? Those pesky scientists from geology, meteorology, chemistry, or climatology—or the CEO’s of Exxon, BP, Monsato, Dow, Union-Carbide, or the Koch Brothers? Who does TPR-Jesus stand with? The winners, of course (see above).
Blessed are the bigots, for these “birthers,” “Anti-Islamo-fascists,” “I-got-ur-civil-rights-right’ere” “Constitutionalists,” protect “us” against “them” brown, and/or undocumented and/or Muslim and/or poor, and/or queer not-quite-people. What’s more TPR-Jesus than signing a promise that you’ll do everything you g-damn well can to get rid of the (black) president—no matter what the cost to, say, “the people,” or, well, the not-quite-people? What’s more compassionate than—like the prophet O’Reilly recently opined—limiting our compassion? More courageous than holding the most vulnerable of American citizens hostage to the wealthiest, whitest 1%?
Blessed are the xenophobes, for TPR-Jesus loves America more than any other country, so much so that He made sure (Citizens United) that gazillions in foreign currency can be spent keeping his chosen representatives in power, that waging war in the name of “national interest” was a god-given right (especially if the dead are mostly not-quite-people—see above), and that “shoot-on-sight” is really just a call to the Christian (border) soldier.
If you’re TPR-Jesus, you have loads to celebrate this year—indifference, vulgarity, dishonor, dishonesty, cowardice, intolerance, and injustice. In fact, New Years looks even better than Christmas. After all, the TPR-faithful have managed to convince those who have the most to lose in the coming tsunami-of-“freedom” that they’re better off without economic safety nets, social security, health care, or decent jobs. So, Merry Christmas, Tea-Party-Jesus, and Happy New Year’s to the 1%, the birthers, the xenophobes, the climate change deniers, and the bigots. You indeed have inherited the (scorched) earth (see above).
Wendy Lynne Lee
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