Category Archives: Christ

Was Jesus a Leftist?

The New York TimesNicholas Kristof thinks that were Jesus’s Second Coming to happen any time soon he’d be upset that those religious people most closely associated with him (aka Christians) are rejecting the Democrat party platform. John Ellis does a good job of explaining that Jesus was not a bearded Progressive but was, instead, the incarnate intermediary between man and God. Indeed, Ellis’s article goes much deeper than that, by pointing out that Kristof’s “expert” is, in the classic sense of the word, a “heretic.”

Because I lack Ellis’s depth of knowledge about core Christianity and about heresy, I thought I’d amuse myself by going a different route. I haven’t read the New Testament since 1980, when I took a “Bible as Literature” class at Cal. (Can you imagine a time when a state-funded school could still teach that kind of thing? And yes, even at Cal they still offered traditional learning classes back in the day.)

I’ve placed lessons from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (from the Book of Matthew) in one column and, in the other column, I’ve set out my opinion as to whether those statements mesh with modern Progressive preaching and acts. Please note that, because I am not a religious scholar — especially not a Christian religious scholar — I am taking Jesus’s words at face value when deciding whether Progressives are in sync with his teachings  or not.

I apologize if this post runs too long. The fact is, though, that I rediscovered what I first learned in my class at Cal:  The Sermon on the Mount is vivid, thought-provoking, intensely humanist and, in the King James Version, exquisitely beautiful. In addition to appreciating the philosophy, I enjoy recognizing all the phrases that have worked their way into the English language (although today’s generation has probably abandoned most of them).

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