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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:43 PM

Was Jesus a communist?

Was Jesus a communist? Live Broadcast Mar 27

by: Communist Party USA
March 22 2012

Was Jesus a communist? A priest discusses the message at the heart of the gospel
Tuesday, March 27
8:00 pm Eastern (UTC -5:00)

You can also call in by telephone at (605) 475-4850 (long-distance phone charges may apply)
Dial 1053538# when prompted

A new short film by Matthew Modine is making the rounds at film festivals and is receiving positive reviews. 'Jesus Was A Commie' is sparking a new wave of discussion about religion and economics.

Tim Yeager, a dedicated trade union organizer and Episcopal priest, will speak about the economic and social justice message in Christianity in a video presentation March 27...

More details here for anyone who is interested -- http://cpusa.org/was-jesus-a-communist/


(And just for the record, in case anyone reading this gets confused, this is not advocating a third party - the CPUSA has endorsed Predient Obama for re-election in 2012)

34 replies, 4099 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Was Jesus a communist? (Original post)
TBF Mar 2012 OP
Turbineguy Mar 2012 #1
demosincebirth Mar 2012 #2
TBF Mar 2012 #4
madamesilverspurs Mar 2012 #3
arcane1 Mar 2012 #5
BB_Troll Mar 2012 #27
xchrom Mar 2012 #6
Loudmxr Mar 2012 #7
dipsydoodle Mar 2012 #10
Starry Messenger Mar 2012 #8
dipsydoodle Mar 2012 #9
white_wolf Mar 2012 #11
TBF Mar 2012 #13
BB_Troll Mar 2012 #28
srjmsbnd Apr 2012 #31
freshwest Mar 2012 #12
socialist_n_TN Mar 2012 #14
white_wolf Mar 2012 #15
freshwest Mar 2012 #16
TBF Mar 2012 #19
freshwest Mar 2012 #21
BB_Troll Mar 2012 #29
limpyhobbler Mar 2012 #17
TBF Mar 2012 #20
socialist_n_TN Mar 2012 #18
white_wolf Mar 2012 #22
TBF Mar 2012 #23
ldellapiana Mar 2012 #24
Starry Messenger Mar 2012 #25
ldellapiana Mar 2012 #26
srjmsbnd Apr 2012 #30
TBF Apr 2012 #32
srjmsbnd Apr 2012 #33
eomer Apr 2012 #34

Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:46 PM

1. He probably was.

And if the Feeding of the Multitudes is anything to go by, his brand of communism actually worked.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:55 PM

2. Fundie's heads are exploding.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:00 PM

4. Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment :)

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:57 PM

3. Well, he cared a whole bunch about people

and not at all about money. Guess that means, at the very least, that he'd never be a Republican.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:00 PM

5. "All the believers were together and had everything in common."

and

"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had"

I'm gonna go with "yes, yes he was". He definitely wasn't one of those libertarian private property-obsessed fetishists.

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 07:27 AM

27. The early Christians believed in community...

You're quoting a passage from Acts. Jesus wasn't there at that time.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:02 PM

6. Du rec. Nt

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:21 PM

7. Matthew Marx Luke and John ... Its right there in the Bible.

I didn't mean Groucho Marx.

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Response to Loudmxr (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:45 PM

10. Very droll

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:30 PM

8. The CPUSA facebook thread on this is going nuts.

I wonder why right-wingers "like" the page if it is just going to send their blood pressure through the roof?

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:34 PM

9. Well he seems to have had a beard like Che's

so maybe he was.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:02 PM

11. I've never liked trying to ascribe modern political ideas to ancient thinkers.

Jesus wasn't a socialist or a capitalist. His attacks on the wealthy were based on his adherence to Jewish teachings. He was a reformer, urging the people of Israel to return to their God and practice charity as commanded in the Talmud. I don't think Jesus was a bad guy, I just think its a mistake to try and paint him as a communist, when communism arose as a response to capitalism. Sorry, if I'm coming across as rude, I don't mean to, it's just I'm just not the biggest fan of Jesus, some of the things he said the in Gospels seem disturbing to me. Though I will admit, Liberation Theology has done a lot of good in South America, so there's that.
Though, when it comes to moral teachers, I prefer Buddha, but I'm biased since I am a Buddhist.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:23 PM

13. Not at all ww, that's a reasonable criticism and you make a good argument. nt

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 07:29 AM

28. Doesn't it taint the rest of his teachings...

since Jesus claimed to be God? Not sure I would trust a guy who I might think is a liar.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:32 PM

31. Rude?

 

Why does someone such as yourself have to be afraid they are being rude when you are 100% correct? Jesus? There are many Jesus! There is the Jewish Jesus. early church Jesus, the Coptic Jesus, the orthodox Jesus, the white Jesus, the black Jesus, the Buddha Jesus, all the regular church Jesus, the plastic Jesus. No Jesus ever was a Karl Marx, not to mention, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao. The convoluted nature of America's left would make this popular as a feel goo topic but the truth is there is not Communist Jesus, most communists do not go to a Christian church, and rebellion and revolutions do not begin in churches as they are the brick and mortar business in America of religion, that has become a 12 ring circus, where some churches require credit check, and they regularly marginalize their own life time members for very petty reasons as dictated by many subtle forms of reactionary religious thought (eg positive thinking, or life style issues such as dress demeanor and state of mind.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:21 PM

12. My post to this group last December:

The thread was 'What Led You to Socialism' or something like that.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1024&pid=91

And wrote more on my views:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1024&pid=118

Those who say that Marx was always against religion didn't read his quotes all the way. Religion was to be a temporary comfort on the way out of misery and allowed to survive, but government was to be secular.

I think Jesus showed in more than one verse that he supported a separation of church and state, and was against public proclaimations of piety and forcing others. Although he didn't use those words, those are newer terms.

The main thing was economic equality and scriptures spoke on not taking everything from nature, not robbing the poor by not paying them their wages, not charging usury, and they had the year of Jubilee in which slaves of any sort were freed and debts forgiven. These are things that people still want. Despite all its many faults, the scriptures had some great ideas although they've been cherry picked by so many, including myself.

I think though, that the OP is good to bring this up, because there is too much capitalist propaganda about religion. There is nothing spiritual about capital no matter how many times they say so.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:01 PM

14. "There is nothing spiritual about capital.........."

Ain't that the truth!

IMO, Jesus and his followers COULD be described as COMMUNALISTS. I'm not sure communist would fit. But hey, ANYTHING to break some of the lying propaganda about "godless communists".

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:33 PM

15. Communal fits Jesus and the 12 very well.

Last edited Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:56 AM - Edit history (1)

It's important to remember that Christianity, like Buddhism, began as religion of world renouncers. "Sell all that you have and follow me." Christianity has largely abandoned that idea, but it is still strong in Buddhism, especially Theravada or the "Way of the Elders." Though, to be fair Mahayana, is very strongly geared towards lay followers though the Sangha is still honored.

I'll say this, if Jesus were to return, I think he would be shocked at what has happened to his teachings. He would have hated the capitalists worship of wealth "You cannot serve God and wealth, a man can only have one Master." IF Jesus were to return, he wouldn't recognize the Christian Church today.

As for the "godless communists", I fear we brought that on ourselves. Some communists seem to have this stupid obsession with eradicating religion, which is a terrible move from a tactical and cultural perspective. I don't want to get rid of religion, I just want it out of politics. Preach the Gospel, preach the revelation of the Prophet, teach the Dharma, but do not use the State to do so.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:44 PM

16. 'I don't want to get rid of religion, I just want it out of politics.' I think that was Marx's view.

And the communal aspect of early Christianity and renunciation of property and vows of poverty were attractive. For how can one in good conscience indulge themselves in luxury while others are in such dire need?

Jesus spoke plainly on that numerous times. Other groups as you mention, recall to us that the world is not solely composed of physical wealth, and one should not be enslaved to it.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:50 AM

19. I agree with Marx on that too -

I guess I would best describe myself as agnostic - spiritual but not a fan of most organized religion/zealots - and I certainly don't want it anywhere near politics.

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Response to TBF (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:58 AM

21. It must be kept away as too many people have different views. A person's perception of reality is

A private and personal matter, not for public consumption or regimentation. That is how some of the greatest tyrannies have achieved total fear and control.

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Response to TBF (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 07:33 AM

29. I see your point...

But isn't Agnosticism a religious belief? Since mankind is spiritual, personal value systems cannot be left as a vacuum; it has to be filled with something. Most communist nations fill that void with secular Atheism.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:35 AM

17. I can't say he was a communist but

I think it would be much easier to defend socialist principles using the teachings of Jesus than it would be to try and defend capitalism using those teachings.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:50 AM

20. Very good point limpyhobbler. nt

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 09:41 AM

18. This ties in well to something Workers Power is doing now........

at least the American section. We're updating the women's pamphlet for timing and culture (originally written in the late 90s for a British audience). The first chapter deals with the historical perspective of women in society and it talks about historic progression. I'll see if I can summerize and put it into this context.

The original social organization of human society were nomadic bands of hunter-gatherers. As the population grew and history progressed, it became a slave holding and owning society because this was a better organization for accumulation of material goods. Then on to feudalism and then capitalism. Jesus and his followers lived in the slave owning society. But it appears they rejected this society for the one that society was previously organized around. They were itinerate and nomadic, didn't own slaves, and kept their goods in common. All hallmarks of the previous organization. And although the "official" records don't show it, they were apparently fairly egalitarian as to gender roles which was ALSO a hallmark of the original societal organization of humanity. At least comparatively speaking they were egalitarian.

Rather than communist, I think it's fair to say that they were hankering for the "good old days" previous to the slave owning progression.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:26 PM

22. Another important thing to remember when talking about the politcal views of Jesus...

or any early Christians, is that they truly believed they were in the last days. Jesus truly believed he was living in the last days and I think, he probably expected Yahweh to save him at Calvary. His followers truly did believe in his Resurrection and expected his return in their lifetime. In Acts, Jesus tells the 12 that "this generation shall not pass away till the Kingdom of God comes." The Book of Revelation, written around 90 A.D. which was likely a coded attack on the Roman Empire under Nero, ends with Jesus he will return soon to reward the righteous and punish the wicked and the last words of the book are John saying "come, Lord Jesus, come." So, they likely didn't care for politics, because as Jesus said "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 09:47 PM

23. Update on the film -

The makers of the independent film "Jesus Was a Commie" have given all of us an exclusive chance to view their award-winning movie. Just visit their webpage (www.jesuswasacommiefilm.com) and enter the password jwac2012.

The password will work only for the next few days so check it out now. We encourage everyone to watch the film before Tuesday night's video presentation and discussion. We hope it adds to the growing debate about religion and social and economic justice in the U.S. today.

http://cpusa.org/was-jesus-a-communist/

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 09:56 PM

24. Free chance to see "Jesus Is a Commie"

For folks who want to see "Jesus is a Commie" visit their webpage (www.jesuswasacommiefilm.com) and enter the password jwac2012

The filmmakers have made it available for a limited time for those who might be interested in the event Tuesday night that started this thread. You don't have to be a communist, socialist, Christian or religious to join the discussion.

The password will work only for the next few days so check it out now. We encourage everyone to watch the film before Tuesday night's video presentation and discussion. We hope it adds to the growing debate about religion and social and economic justice in the U.S. today.

Details of the event are below:

_____________________________
Was Jesus a Communist?
Live video broadcast

Was Jesus a communist? A priest discusses the message at the heart of the gospel

TUESDAY, MARCH 27
8:00 PM EASTERN (UTC -5:00), 7:00 PM CENTRAL, 6:00 PM MOUNTAIN, 5:00 PM PACIFIC

To watch the live video and chat, just visit cpusa.org/live on the day and time of the event!

Or you can also call in by telephone at (605) 475-4850 (long-distance phone charges may apply)
Dial 1053538# when prompted


A new short film by Matthew Modine is making the rounds at film festivals and is receiving positive reviews. 'Jesus Was A Commie' is sparking a new wave of discussion about religion and economics.

Tim Yeager, a dedicated trade union organizer and Episcopal priest, will speak about the economic and social justice message in Christianity in a video presentation March 27.

Today many Christian conservatives have attempted to interpret the message of the Bible to justify a right-wing agenda of division, exploitation, capitalism and inequality. But what if the values at the heart of the gospel were really about equality, justice, environmentalism and collectivity?

What is liberation theology? Aren't Marxists against religion? Is the U.S. a Christian nation? Was Jesus a communist? What's the significance of the Christian right? Should religion influence politics at all? Do common teachings of progressive values (peace, love, equality, justice, the golden rule, etc) provide a basis for broader unity among religious and secular people?

Join Yeager and others for a presentation and discussion of these important questions and more.

Communist Party USA www.cpusa.org

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Response to ldellapiana (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:32 PM

25. Thank you for the heads up.

Welcome to DU, Mr. Della Piana. Nice to see you here.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #25)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 09:27 PM

26. Thanks for posting this on DU in the first place

Thanks again. Keep in touch.

Libero

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:20 PM

30. Dragging in Bible Thumping and Religion

 

For decades people (eg. Duclos) have dragged religion into the mix of politics and activism, and though there is some correlation it is a dead end argument as long as religious organizations are so ill founded. Spare the speeches on Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Doris Day, Thoreau and all the Utopians. America for all it religion is a wasteland of political thought.

As for these attempts to legitimize progressive ideas by pointing out its traditions and development it is ,most often a waste of time for those most interested have no legitimate idea of their own convoluted beliefs.

Have a nice chit-chat, but what the left in america perhaps needs is a painful look at reality.

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Response to srjmsbnd (Reply #30)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:42 PM

32. Fair enough -

It seems that the majority of the folks claim to believe in God in this country (though perhaps not in this group!) so I thought it might be of interest.

I don't disagree with you in terms of it having little to do with political solutions. The only relevance is that the right has handily co-opted religion and it would be nice to do some co-opting right back. But I'm more interested in what your comments would be on "painful look at reality". We are in a tough position in this country with a 2-party system and a low income populace that has (a) tuned out or (b) bought into anti-union rhetoric promoted by the small percentage of folks who own everything.

Do you live here in the states or are you commenting from outside? Either way would like to hear more of your thoughts.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:42 PM

33. Bible Quote

 

"The world is in the hands of the Wicked"
"The world belongs unto the Lord"

Eve the most common contemporary ideas of Christianity are not in the bible but are derived from interpretations of the bible,

eg "The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, or morality that essentially states either of the following:

(Positive form): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
(Negative/prohibitive form, also called the Silver Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated."

For the most part the bible is nihilist as it states:

"For man also knows not his time: as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them."

The towers of babel of their own defective thinking, upon which society inflects their injuries of the "blind lading the blind".

As for American influence on religion, they are anathema as they are cursed in their businesses of selling religious and 1001 new bastardized versions of the same old bunk.




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Response to TBF (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 08:36 AM

34. Most likely not but rather an apocalypticist.

He preached that people should give up all their possessions to the poor, but not because he meant to build a society with that as its basis. Rather, he taught that judgment day was coming within the lifetimes of those he spoke to, that it would be a transformation of the world (on Earth, not in heaven), and that people must do those things to be rewarded in the new wordly kingdom. With the apocalypse, he said, the Son of Man would take charge and put Jesus' twelve disciples in command of the twelve tribes. The humble would become powerful and the powerful would be humbled. I don't think this sounds much like Communism.

He was proved wrong, obviously, since judgement day didn't come as he said it would.

So he is an interesting figure who preached that people should do good (in some ways) but for a bad reason, a reason that was proved wrong long ago.

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