"The Dream Is a Book Which Helps Us to See" Letter to a friend As the Xmas holiday approaches, I wanted to share a few more thoughts about the liberal vs. conservative Jesus … I appreciate all those who took the time to read my previous post on this topic. Duane - I found your comment insightful, sound and nicely phrased. Your point about how Jesus, if he were even noticed would not have any "traction" because people today lack the ability to listen is well taken… "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…" Matthew 13:9… Can you think of a better description for individuals who are deaf to the sound of children at the border, kidnapped from their parents and locked in cages; who believe a plague which has already killed more than a quarter million people in this country alone, is a hoax or a partisan conspiracy; the vaccine a Microsoft plot to enslave the masses; the election a fraud; a free press the enemy of the people and Donald Trump the best thing that's happened to black folk since Abraham Lincoln? Or that a cabal of Satan-worshipping liberal Democrats and Hollywood celebrities who aspire to world domination, operate an international child sex ring that includes drinking the blood they harvest from their victims? "Gross" indeed. I agree as well, that Jesus would be looked upon, at least by those with limited vision (on both the left and the right), as crazy. In an insane world, sanity is the province of the loon. That as a middle-easterner, he would be labeled "other," and that most importantly, "our collective voices must be Jesus if we are to survive." That is beautifully put, important and true. With respect to there being an accepted version of Jesus I know what you mean and agree, but would point to the following post from the thread I was responding to in the discussion forum: "In regards to truth He is a conservative. In regards to Manmade junk He is a liberal." I would posit that, like so many other issues and viewpoints, with regard to the version of Jesus they accept, people of faith tend to fall primarily within one or the other camp. As with almost anything cultural these days there is a huge divide along the usual lines with regard to his identity, to what and who he was, with regard to the meaning and nature of his witness, his message, his teaching. The reason I responded to the question posed in the forum in the first place, is because of posts like the one above, which, if you invert the statement appears to claim that in so far as Jesus reflected or advocated the "conservative" point of view, he spoke or embodied the "truth," (the Absolute and Eternal Word of God) while in so far as he supported or advocated ideas or values identified by the poster as "liberal," he was an exponent of "Manmade" and therefore ephemeral "junk." What ignorant, divisive trash talk. “Junk” indeed. I am not an apologist for Jesus. I'm not on a mission to spread his word (some of which I disagree with - the whole turn the other cheek thing goes too far in my opinion) … But because of the way, as evidenced for example by the post quoted above, I believe Jesus (not to mention the faith perspective in general) has been largely hijacked by the conservative movement, I felt compelled to offer an alternative opinion. "…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40 This is a powerful statement of sheer empathy if ever there was one, and empathy, while perhaps not intrinsically one "wing" or the other, is, at least in 2020, in this country and in this political moment, not a trait I associate with the values, proponents or polices of the right. A person who cares about the "least of these," whomever they may be is not a person who would turn away the refugee, cut taxes for the rich, or as I suggest in my previous post, do whatever they can to keep people of color "in their place." I am not a scholar conversant in ancient things or ancient people, but I would venture to guess that a scholar, one who depends solely on books, reason and academic skills for the understanding they pursue, is not necessarily better equipped, at least in certain respects than a poet, a mystic or a dreamer to understand what made Jesus, himself a visionary, Jesus. It is the visionary, the one who enjoys a more direct experience of the unseen (available to all of us if we are open to it), the one who seeks truth as the kabbalists say, by sucking on the teat of wisdom, by utilizing their intuition, their 3rd eye, their poetic imagination rather than the scholar, we should perhaps rely on when we seek to know the heart and soul of a man who, as the voice in my own dreams suggests "had a lot of dreams and thought about the dreams he had." I am familiar with the gospel, but I know what I know or think I know for the most part because I too read the book of the dream, a medium in which to my surprise, the dusty carpenter from Galilee began to appear many years ago.
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