Blessed Are the Communists?

JesusWasACommunistMatthew Modine is turning to Jesus. His new short film “Jesus Was a Commie” offers “a discussion of the New Testament’s messages in the context of poverty, pollution and political unrest.” The film will “also address the Occupy Wall Street movement happening throughout the world and how it relates to the Bible.”

How timely. It’s the new meme.

Socialism = Christianity.

C’mon Christians, obey your Lord Jesus like good little boys and girls.

Or so say the atheist and agnostic secularizers.

Consider:

  • Jeremy is a college student friend of mine. Today his Ethics professor told the class that Jesus was really about socialism and Marxism because under those arrangements everyone selflessly spreads the materials around to help the poor. (This same professor also suggested giving thanks to the Earth, land, and water, rather than any Creator – yes, giving thanks to your food, rather than for your food ...)
  • Bart Ehrman, a non-churchgoing, agnostic professor of religious studies who has elsewhere charged that some of the New Testament writers were liars, commented, “Jesus believed the whole system was corrupt. The people who ran things were empowered by the evil forces of the world and his followers had to work against these powers by feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and caring for the sick.”

And what theological perversion revision wouldn’t be complete without artwork?

Jesus occupy_wall_street

This would be comical were it not so life and death serious. Matthew Modine, the occupiers, and their sympathiers may be turning to Jesus, but it’s a different Jesus from the one who said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

There are two ways of interpreting the teachings of the historical Jesus. One is authentic. The other is an inversion, which makes it a perversion.

Christianity: What’s mine is yours.
Socialism: What’s yours is mine.

Christianity: I am my brother’s keeper.
Socialism: My brother is my keeper.

These are antithetical, mutually exclusive approaches to life, both personal and societal. One is the way of grace and liberty. The other is the way of totalitarianism and oppression. One is the way of Jesus. The other is the way of hell.

The best thing about the “Jesus Was a Commie” film is it acknowledges that the Occupy Wall Street movements are just the sort of Marxist uprisings of which Communist  advances are made. The worst thing is that too many people may nonetheless fall for it.

Which one prevails will literally be a matter of life and death.

5 Comments on “Blessed Are the Communists?

  1. Once again, Terrell throws around terms like Marxist, Communist and Socialist as a way of discrediting anyone whose political point of view doesn’t agree with hers. She, like her hero Joseph McCarthy, has no shame!

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  2. Les, are you unable or unwilling to see that the terms Communist, Marxism, and socialism were used by other people? Are you unable or unwilling to see that what I have done here is draw attention to other people’s use of them?

    Are you unable or unwilling to see that you have no grounds for expecting anyone, me in particular, to take you seriously?

    Are you unable or unwilling to remember that I’ve issued an invitation for you to reestablish credibility, which remains open, but which you’ve not chosen to respond to? Click here, if you are willing, to refresh your memory. Are you unable or unwilling to see that until you do so, you have no credibility?

    It is approaching farcical the way you continue to air your opinions as if you expect them to be taken seriously without having dealt with the credibility issue.

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  3. Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens take part. It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    Socialism is where we all put our resources together and work for the common good of us all and not just for our own benefit. In this sense, we are sharing the wealth within society.

    Of course when people hear that term, “Share the wealth” they start screaming, “OMG you want to rob from the rich and give it all to the poor!” But that is NOT what Democratic Socialism means.

    To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.

    The fire and police departments are both excellent examples of Democratic Socialism in America. Rather than leaving each individual responsible for protecting their own home from fire, everyone pools their money together, through taxes, to maintain a fire and police department. It’s operated under a non-profit status, and yes, your tax dollars pay for putting out other people’s fires. It would almost seem absurd to think of some corporation profiting from putting out fires. But it’s more efficient and far less expensive to have government run fire departments funded by tax dollars.

    Similarly, public education is another social program in the USA. It benefits all of us to have a taxpayer supported, publicly run education system. Unfortunately, in America, the public education system ends with high school. Most of Europe now provides low cost or free college education for their citizens. This is because their citizens understand that an educated society is a safer, more productive and more prosperous society. Living in such a society, everyone benefits from public education.

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  4. Les, I can only speculate about why you continually take issue with me. Perhaps you don’t fully know why yourself.

    There’s a sad irony in it. You’re an educated man, capable of expressing yourself well and without giving offense when you choose to. The irony is this: I don’t disagree with everything you say, I’m not at war with you, and at times you bring up legitimate points, issues we might be able to have an interesting discussion over. But there will be no discussion between you and me until we establish a common ground. I have said this, and referred you back to the credibility problem, more times than I care to recount. I have meant it every time I’ve said it. And I mean it now.

    Either you have the ability to grasp that and come to terms with it, or you don’t. Continued comments from you without you dealing with it will indicate that you don’t.

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  5. Fessier on Film: ShortFest’s ‘Jesus Was A Commie’ not as controversial as it may appear

    Written by
    Bruce Fessier
    The Desert Sun

    Matthew Modine’s short, “Jesus Was A Commie,” isn’t listed in ShortFest’s index of films by genre. That’s because it’s the only polemic in the festival. By definition, a polemic is “the art or practice of disputation or controversy.”

    “I think that’s an interesting way of describing the film,” said Modine, the film’s writer/co-director who will co-star in a biopic on Steve Jobs that begins shooting in L.A. next week. “It’s creating a polemic.”

    “Jesus,” screening as part of “Wake Up Calls” at 4:30 p.m. today, allows Modine to explore issues he feels people need to discuss, including environmental degradation, unsustainable growth and taking more personal responsibility.

    He says his favorite parable is “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

    “I really believe that if we could do that it would change the way we feel when we look at those gossip magazines, and change other people,” he said.

    But Modine makes it clear he isn’t comparing Jesus to Lenin, Stalin, Castro or any other communist.

    The title is just intended to grab people’s attention.

    “The film in many ways is not about Jesus or communism, but cooperation,” he said.

    “I use communism as a journey toward collective living because the root of the word is ‘com,’ which means ‘with’ and ‘together.’ Stanley Kubrick’s daughter saw the film and thought I was advocating communism as a solution to the problems we face. I said, ‘Absolutely not. I don’t know how you got that.’”

    But “Jesus Was A Commie” attacks religious dogma and only praises Jesus as a teacher who took his followers down a “higher moral road” than the one paved by Moses.

    Surprisingly, he hasn’t been accused of being anti-Semitic for that.

    “The film has played around the world and that’s the first time anybody has asked that question,” he said.

    “I don’t think of Jesus as necessarily a religious leader, but more of a political revolutionary, someone who, during the time of empire sought a better way of living for humanity.”

    The film’s genesis was an article he wrote for the British Finch Quarterly Review on how Christmas is “really a pagan holiday.” His co-director, Terence Ziegler, wanted to expand that into a short film.

    The best part of his festival run, Modine said, has been the post-film discussions with people of diverse political and religious views.

    He’s looking forward to doing a Q&A today.

    “The Palm Springs International Short Film Festival is the premiere film festival for short films,” he said. “So, to be in competition in Palm Springs is a huge success for all of us involved in the making of this film.”

    Interestingly, Modine will next be seen on screen as a deputy commissioner in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

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