anon asked: You said that Jesus was a socialist— would you mind explaining a little more about why you say that, please?
I KEEP GETTING THESE MESSAGES, SO LIKE, OKAY. OKAY. AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT, LET’S HAVE THIS CONVERSATION
jesus gave specific instructions to care for the sick, the hungry, for the needy, and that they mattered more than the cost that this would produce. jesus said that moral law was above ceremonial law. (it’s more important to do the right thing than to appear to do the right thing.) the sole time jesus became really angry in the new testament was with the money-lenders in the temple, because they were exploiting the poor, specifically poor women and in particular poor widows. he told his disciples that a poor person who gives the comparable same amount of her income to charity or in tax pays more than a rich person because comparatively that amount of money is not the same to both of those people. personally i believe that ‘render unto caesar’ is about deliberate non-co-operation with a corrupt state, but that’s up for interpretation. jesus repeatedly, exhaustively, and without limit emphasised that people are more important than money, and morality is more important than law, or, more accurately, its appearance.
jesus spent all of his time with social outcasts— prostitutes, revolutionaries, the absolute poorest working men in israel, slaves, etc etc etc. he was very clear that people would not like his message because it advocated love and equality, and told his followers to expect violence and oppression— ‘i come not to bring peace, but a sword.’ he wanted his followers to stand up to oppression and injustice. his command to ‘turn the other cheek’ is actually, although this is not widely known, an explicit act of rebellion— turning the cheek after being hit would force the implied roman aggressor to hit you with the palm of his hand instead of the back of it, and only a social equal would be hit with a palm. it forces the aggressor to treat you as an equal. it questions and shames power and authority without even needing to speak.
jesus is one of the most radical figures in the history of human civilization. there is nothing about patriarchal laissez-faire capitalism that he would approve of. jesus believed in justice. when he said that the meek would inherit the earth, that was a command, not a metaphor. jesus said he was the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned. that ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.’ the extent to which capitalism and kyriarchy have co-opted the teachings is almost baffling, because there is literally nothing in what jesus actually said to support either power structure. ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ is probably the most socialist statement anyone has ever made. to jesus, everyone was worthy. to jesus, everyone had worth. the mere concept that the man who shouted down the moneylenders in the temple for exploiting widows who lived in poverty would support the cruelties and oppressions of capitalism is laughable at best.