Coco Calling No.139 - Was Jesus A Socialist?
Now that’s what I call a spicy question. Almost as hot and spicy as one of my favourite chillies! Those of you that have read my blogs over the last couple of years will know that I don’t really get human politics. Yes, of course, there are some very genuine politicians out there that are a credit to the human race. But around the world, there are also a great many that discredit their profession. Which is probably why some parrots like to share an old joke about the meaning of the word “Politics.” We like to say that “Poli” comes from the Greek word meaning “many”, while the “tics” bit refers to blood sucking parasites….
Ever since Jesus walked this Earth, humans have tried to justify their political beliefs by claiming that Jesus or God are on their side. And this was certainly the case during the run-in to the recent American elections. President Trump stood outside a church near the White House clutching a Bible for a staged photoshoot. Moments earlier, a crowd of peaceful protesters had been tear-gassed so they wouldn’t interfere with the photos. Elsewhere in America, Republican flags appeared, featuring Jesus with a large gun by his side.
In other parts of the world, Jesus has been depicted standing against the classic hammer and sickle flag of the Soviet regime. The German historian Oswald Spengler once wrote that : “Christian theology is the Grandmother of Bolshevism.” (Oswald Spengler: 1880-1936: German historian and philosopher).
And some years ago, the American Huffington Post had this to say:
“As people around the world celebrate Christmas, it is worth remembering that Jesus was a socialist.” (Huffington Post: 25/12/2016).
The human that wrote this piece may well have been thinking about a particular passage in the Gospel of Mark:
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’” (Mark 10:21-23).
But a lot of parrots view this very differently to humans, because it’s a great mistake to align God or Jesus with any political cause. Politics here on Earth comes from humans, not from God. And because of that, politics will always be flawed, whether left, centre or right wing. Human leaders rarely practice what they preach. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the Soviet Union had a President called Leonid Brezhnev who looked rather like a bear. He helped to impose strict communism on his own Soviet people, yet acquired a large fleet of luxury cars purely for his own amusement (including a Rolls Royce, a Mercedes and a Maserati). Even Lenin had his own personal Rolls Royce. And although modern-day Russia doesn’t count as a socialist regime, what about that new $1 billion palace...?
Jesus stayed clear of politics for a very good reason. So any human using God and Jesus for their own political ends is being self-delusional. What they are really doing is diluting and corrupting the core Christian message by reducing the level of God and Jesus to the level of humanity. Jesus never sought to take over the Houses of Parliament, the Kremlin or the White House. And He was never a Republican, a Democrat, a Socialist or a Tory. Jesus was, is, and shall always be a humanitarian. So you’ll find him in hospitals, in nursing homes, amongst charity workers and refugees; amongst the poor, the sick, the dying and the bereaved.
The supporters and leaders of all of the political parties around the world have the ability to tackle humanitarian needs and to make them a top priority. And this brings us to the massive question of self-interest. Or to be more precise, the question of self-interest verses self-giving. Do humans look out for others or simply look out for themselves? Politics comes from humanity. Have humans got it right???