Tag: Jesus

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Jesus Mandate: Peace and Stewardship

Modern biblical scholarship has enabled critically thinking Christians to understand what the historical Jesus actually said and what was tacked on later to serve the interests of Rome and early church leaders, but those original messages remain politically inconvenient today, writes…

The Inconvenient Truth about Jesus

There is much religiosity in the U.S., with the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority even approving Christian prayers at the start of government business. But there is little appreciation of the radical political and economic message at the center of Jesus’s teachings,…

Telling the Truth about Easter

Jesus, a radical preacher who advocated for the poor, was crucified for turning over money tables at the Temple and other insurrectionary acts. His body was likely left to wild animals, but his chroniclers sought to glorify his ending with myths…

Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

From the Archive: Over the centuries as Christianity bent to the interests of the rich and powerful, the story of Jesus’s fateful week in Jerusalem was reshaped to minimize its pivotal event, overturning the Temple’s money tables, a challenge to religious and political power, says Rev.…

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham…

The Weapons of the Poor

Many on the American Right define themselves as Christians and angrily defend the religion’s symbols and myths, but this Christian Right ignores a core reality about Jesus, that he spoke to and for the poor, decried the rich, and demanded…

Making Nelson Mandela ‘Safe’

The great tragedy of Nelson Mandela’s life was that his revolution only passed political power to South Africa’s black majority, not economic power, which remained in the hands of the old white ruling classes, both domestic and global. That is a…

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

The death of Nelson Mandela offers Christians a chance to reflect on the great protest leader at the center of their religion, the historical Jesus, with his anger at ostentatious wealth and his disdain for social inequality, as Rev. Howard Bess reflects.

Does Christmas Obscure Jesus?

The Christmas season celebrates the regal myth of Jesus  his supposedly miraculous birth and royal lineage as a king of kings but that loses sight of the historical Jesus and his revolutionary message of justice for the poor and powerless,…

Warring Over the ‘War on Christmas’

Despite America’s over-the-top, month-long celebration of baby Jesus topped off with a government holiday ignoring the Constitution’s separation of church and state Fox News and the Right have conjured up a “war on Christmas,” now as much a tradition as eggnog, Nat Parry…