hi i love your poetry and your thoughts about christianity. can you talk more about rebel socialist jesus?
jesus is ultimately born from the vastness of need: need for justice, need for freedom, need for equality.
he stood in front of the crowds of well-off, profit-worshiping privileged, told them that a camel will never walk through the eye of a needle no matter how much money they funneled into that endeavor, and then he strode right through that crowd of open-mouthed men to stand on the other side, with the poor, the hungry, the ill, the disabled, the exiled, the oppressed, the imprisoned, the enslaved, the sex workers, and the sinners too. his message stripped bare was this: that the people in power were wrong for treating you like you were less than them, and that the corrupt state they enacted should be dismantled until nothing remains but the ashes from which retribution shall spring.
turning the other cheek? explicitly a command for servants to get their masters to treat them like equals, because lessers were hit with the back of the hand and equals were hit with an open palm. go two miles when you were only asked to walk one? roman law said a jew could be required to carry a soldier’s pack for one mile but one mile only, so volunteering to carry it for another meant you were showing the soldier that you could have power over him.
jesus took one look at the corruption and injustices of capitalism and overturned both the literal and the proverbial table. we think of jesus as an emblem of kindness, and he was that, transfiguring fish into loaves of bread, healing the incurable, blessing the unclean, laughing at jokes, tearing up at sunsets, singing singing singing about grace. but jesus was also a man of color executed by the police force of the day for challenging the patriarchal capitalist structures erected by the state.
‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is unquestionably a socialist teaching. what is more radical than saying that everyone is worthy of god? because everyone means the marginalized, everyone means women, means people of color, and lgbt people, and anyone who’s ever been considered worth less to society because you’re not a rich cishet able-bodied white man. god isn’t for them. they already have all the power and control they could ask for; they don’t need god. god is for us, we who were told we’d never be strong enough to survive, we who sweat at rallies and bleed at riots, we who dance unashamed of our bodies and love unashamed of our hearts.
two thousand years ago the fires of every star got condensed into one man, and that man came to earth as an infant carried in the body of a poor teenage brown girl. he grew up among us and lived our lives so that he could courageously declare that we don’t deserve to be called inferior. and i’ll be damned if i’m going to let anyone try to take that away from me