I just had a revelation about the crucifiction of Christ
In my life, that story has always been told and interpreted to be about Jesus being martyred and the message is about Jesus, but I see now there is another message that's pretty much right there in my face and I didn't notice it before.
The story is also about the evils of the crowd, the hoi polloi's reaction when confronted with a truly good person. It's about how ordinary people gathered en masse literally crucify the good people around them. And as the story story goes, the message is that a truly Christian commitment might make the regular Joe go mad and kill you, hurt you. And it's OK if the crowd agrees - they will seize the chance and condemn a Christian easily if they all do it at the same time. It's a total riot. It's The Lord of the Flies only with adults; the story isn't so much about Ralph/Jesus, it's about humanity and it's inelegant nature.
Maybe the whole story is both a message and a warning.
The idea that the crowd was evil was for a long time used to justify anti-Semitism.
Oddly, the real power in Israel at the time was Rome. Pilate's "allowing" the crucifixion while washing his hands of the victim's blood is to this day is the poster event for hypocrisy. Yet, Italy controlled Christianity for a long time and no one ever seems to have held Jesus's death against Italy or Italians.
Good ole double standard.
(Not urging that anyone should have be anti-Italian, rather than anti-Semitic. There's been more than enough of that as well, what with Mafia stereotypes anad now "Guidos and Guidettes." Apparently, we are a species that thrives on putting down groups other than ourselves in order to feel superior.)
IMO, the crowd was not so much evil as all too easily led by evil people who were preserving their own power in the face of someone who had been stirring up the crowd and getting the admiration of the crowd.
Only one week earlier, Jesus had entered Jerusalem triumphantly, to an adoring crowd. Hence Palm Sunday. Religous leaders, government and their shills had manipulated the crowd ("You are my sheep." aka sheeple) masterfully.
Of course, the leaders had been sowing the seeds of doubt all along.
Not too different from today, but, today, with radio, television, and the internet it can be done in a few hours.
Then again, I guess one could say that allowing yourself to be manipulated by evil folks to the point where you actually demand the thief is itself its own kind of evil.
There's a bit of that when folks get "thrown under the bus" which has become an internet "meme" on progressive leaning blogs and websites. Being "thrown under the bus" seemed to refer to people who were thought to be calling out the Bush Administration for what they felt was something akin to "evil" in our times. But, when power changed hands many felt that a mob of their own then threw those who continued to appreciate those who had spoken out before..."UNDER THE BUS." Throughout time it seems that people who are seen as "too good, too kind, too thoughtful, too compassionate, too concerned with there fellow human beings have been taken down by Mob Rule. First it starts as suspicion and a whispering campaign, then it moves onto "causing disruption and urging people to fight against the "Powers that Be," and then ...well we know the rest of the story.
The story of the "Doubting Thomas" comes to mind also. That's one that is human nature and many have seen examples in our own lives of the good friend who suddenly turns on us. And, there's Judas...but the common interpretation of Judas as a betrayer has been argued by some theologians. He might not have been the traitor he was portrayed as in the modern versions of the New Testament.
About what you say, though. I went to an Episcopal Summer Camp in my teens and we had a wonderful minister along with divinity students who were counselors for us who used to hold group discussions where we would all hash out different interpretations of the chapters in the New Testament. Those discussions were far different from what has become this Fundamentalist Christian dogmatism we are now subjected to. The dogmatism and authoritarianism seems to have taken over the whole country and wormed it's way into even the mainstream protestant faiths where they are too afraid to speak out that there are many messages in the Bible and many interpretations and speculation that can be seen in various life lessons beyond what is preached in the churches.
What you say in your post was the conclusion that one of our study discussions had. So, thanks for posting this. BTW that was back in the 60's that I attended that Camp. The power of the Christian Fundamentalists were only a glimmer in the Baptist Churches of the Southeastern US at that time.
I only discovered this when I noticed that I have been repeatedly attacked when I simply did something good for someone. I could never figure out why I was being attacked. Perhaps an example is in order.
When I was about six years old a teacher in my class started hitting one of my fellow students, Alan... literally slapping him on the head. I stood up immediately and yelled at her that she was not allowed to do that and to stop it! She turned on me with a vengeance. She lifted me out of my chair (I was a very little kid) and held me up so that my head was level with hers. She shook me violently and yelled at me at the top of her voice. She shook me so violently, pinning my arms against my body, using my upper arms as handles, shaking me so hard that I felt my neck was going to break. I was completely passive physically towards her from the beginning of the altercation. However she shook me so long and so hard that this was the first time in my life that I felt what is called the "fight or flight syndrome". I was going to die. My hands and arms were pinned against my chest. I struggled to get free by wriggling and kicking and I managed to land a huge kick on her lower abdomen - that's how far off the ground I was... my feet were at a level with her hips. She dropped me and I passed out from the shaking.
When I awoke, I was in the room adjacent to the principal's office and my mother was talking with the principal. I heard the principal raising her voice to my mother. Then they both came in to see me. The principal demanded I apologize to the teacher who was also there. I refused. I knew she had just tried to kill me, but I was too young to be able to formulate any response other than refusing to apologize. I was literally struck dumb by the teacher's impertinent presence in front of me, apparently brandishing the full support of her superior in the matter. I could see in my mother's eyes that she knew I would never have done such a thing. Despite all parties present insisting on my apology, I stood steadfast in my refusal. They could have killed me and I would not have apologized.
Anyhoo, Alan, whom I got in touch with 45 years later on FB, immediately and spontaneously sent me a message calling me "My hero". He had always remembered me through the years as his "hero" and I had never looked at it like that before. To me, it has always been a vicious example of the violence that was in store for me at school in Scotland. In many respects, it was like being in jail. And the guards hated me for my goodness.
Hence the correlation to the story from the perspective of authoritarian crowd-sourced violence masquerading as order and moral enforcement of the law. For some unknown reason, I just twigged on this last week, and now I know why so many people attack me. They hate me for my magnanimity. I'm being tooooo good. And the great mass of humanity hates "do-gooders".
Apparently the Bible is a warning to any who might follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
5. "Apparently the Bible is a warning to any who might follow in the footsteps of Jesus."
You say that...but, the message of the New Testament is that "You DO GOOD for your FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS...KNOWING...that in the end most will BETRAY YOU. But, YOUR DUTY...is to try to DO GOOD because the REWARD is not HERE ON EARTH...but in the Afterlife...that your LEGACY will stand.
That's what I believe. But, I don't ask anyone else to believe that.
I feel if you are born to try to CARE about your fellow beings.... you will always try to do that throughout your life. And, that you will be villified and trashed...will be what you deal with.
But, to say YOU TRIED...is what some have to do to live up to their beliefs that we MUST MAKE this WORLD a Better Place for THOSE WHO COME AFTER US!
Doesn't mean we have to live the life of a Saint...but that we should try not to become "SINNERS" (like those on Wall Street and the MIC and WORLD ECONOMIC DOMINANCE and GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEED Companies along with MEDIA WHORE CRAP and the REST we are dealing with.
and that's very fair in how we all have choices in living our lives, wouldn't you feel.
My problem is with folks forcing people to believe things. Everyone has a right to choose their own path and figure out what works for them in their life. I don't know about "alternating caps" that you say.
I just told you my opinion about what I believed was my own interpretation.
On Edit: Bible or New Testament or whatever. Should we try to make this world while we live here a better place? What is the interpretation of "A Better Place?" Is Wall Street doing good for the world. What if they THINK they ARE...and many of us think that many of them have done EVIL.
What IS EVIL? Is EVIL stealing money from others so that you can make Gazillions and give to Charities and say you give "part of your money" to doing GOOD in this World? Has the money to Museums, Hospitals and other causes made you a better person? In whose eyes would that be true? Is what you gave a large portion of your income or just a portion you felt you could get a good tax write off to pay for the costs of your private jet so you and your family and friends don't have to go through the "TSA PAT DOWNS or RADIATION...that the rest of Americans who don't have such wealth have to go through.
If you made profit off of bringing Banking System down and then asked Tax Paying Americans to pay for your failures...should your charitible givings mean you've "Made the World a Better Place?"
9. But, in a classroom, the teacher is the "PTB." The students are "the crowd."
Edited on Sun May-20-12 10:19 AM by No Elephants
So, the reacher is more in line with the Roman government, the Puppet government, the Pharisees and Sadducces. And you were more in line with the ordinary folk, the difference being that you did not let the power that be dissuade you from your good instincts.
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