Having progressively stripped away much of the Gospel story over the course of my previous four videos, we have yet to find a version of Jesus that lives up to his reputation. The least malignant Jesus we have found carries out his ministry casually unaware of the actual suffering of actual human beings. Sadly, that flavor of Jesus is all but obliterated by the only other Jesus we have found so far, a psychopath who spends much of his time lecherously fantasizing about people being hideously punished.
What sort of character emerges when we tear out all the elements that make up these two repugnant options? More of the same: a lunatic with a head full of nightmares. Let's have a look:
- In Matthew 5 and again in Chapter 18, Jesus offers these two gems: if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out; if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost every Christian who has ever lived has applied a supremely generous interpretation to this advice. I find such license unsupportable for many reasons, beginning with Jesus' choice to use such grotesque imagery.
- In Chapter 21, we have the story of a landlord who sends his servants to collect rent payments. The tenants beat one of the servants and kill two others: one by some unspecified means, the other by stoning. Like a dumbass, the landlord sends more servants, whom the tenants treat as badly as the first group. Like a serious dumbass, the landlord sends his son, whom the tenants kill. As we've seen before, Jesus is playfully creative with his tales of woe. Having thoroughly awakened the bloodlust of his audience, he invites them to imagine a horrible fate for the murderous tenants.
- In Chapter 5, Jesus conjures images of persecution, false accusation, and indefinite imprisonment.
- In Chapter 7, he tells the story of a man's home being utterly destroyed by a storm.
- In Chapter 13, a story of neighboring farmers ruining each other's crops.
- In Chapter 15, blind people falling into a pit.
- In Chapter 20, day laborers-being treated badly by the rich. It is interesting to note that Jesus defends the rich here.
- In Chapter 10, Jesus lewdly visualizes family members pitted against each other. He savors their strife, enumerating specific relationships: brother to brother, father to child, children to parents, all of them betraying each other and having each other killed. He regains his composure for a moment but quickly falls back into his salacious reverie, chanting a passage from an Old Testament prophet, man against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. But this is no idle fantasy, as he announces that he intends to cause all this torment. In fact, he says that he has come to Earth not to bring peace, but a sword with which to tear families apart. He wastes no time, planting the first seeds on the spot, proclaiming that if you love your father, or mother, or son, or daughter more than you love Jesus, then you are not worthy of him. It seems that violent discord among family members is his second favorite fetish, as he continues aggressively to cultivate it in Chapter 12 and again in Chapter 19.
- Jesus' ghastly imagination reaches a fever pitch in Chapter 24 as he contemplates the end times: war, famine, earthquakes, persecution, execution, betrayal, hate, distress unparalleled in all of human history. And although after his resurrection he'll be gone for an embarrassingly long time, he'll come back just in time to experience the moment of orgasm in all this horror. Will it be good for us too? Verse 30 tells us: all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming.
Even after ripping the Jesus story to shreds, we have yet to find a remotely compassionate character. Instead, we're left with one whose mind is positively overflowing with poisonous ideas and gruesome imagery.
That's 10.6. Thanks for watching.
That's 10.6. Thanks for watching.