A Thought Experiment: You walk into a room. Another person enters and punches you – hard. You ask — “What was that for?” And the other person responds “Because you killed my god”. Being a RATIONAL person who doesn’t want to get punched again — and who doesn’t want to resort to violence yourself — what’s your response?
There is no response. The moment you engage with that conversation, it wins — because YOU have to agree that its made-up bullshit could be true — otherwise, why are you arguing with them? Everything after — ‘But that’s not true…’ is a waste of time.
Want to know why Jew Hatred has lasted as long as it has? Because who can argue with someone who, to put it another way, thinks HARRY POTTER IS REAL? How can you argue with someone who clearly BELIEVES IN MAGIC? How can you argue with someone so confounded by the very texts they claim to ‘believe in’? How can you argue with people who are confounded by those texts because the INSTITUTION that assembled them and shaped them and crafted them into a particular narrative had that very hostility toward the Mother Religion in mind?
Instead you get vilified. You get re-imagined as something you aren’t. You get to be “We hate Jews cos Jews killed Jesus”.
What was it Marx said about religion being the opiate of the people? He had that dead wrong. If only it were an opiate that medicated people or narcotized them. It’s much more like meth or angel dust. It gets brains hopped up on something almost entirely artificial.
There are great, meaningful, profound lessons to be taken from the assembled texts of the Old and New Testaments. Why is it religious people seem to take NONE of those lessons away with them? The whole reason Jesus’ message still resonates today — even in the minds of an atheist — is because it’s so essential to living a good life: “DO UNTO OTHERS”. But not only simple enough for even a troglodyte to grasp — “DO UNTO OTHERS” is ‘actionable’. it’s not some airy-fairy abstract notion of ‘goodness’, it’s a simple proposition: “How do YOU wish to be treated? Then treat every other person exactly that way.”
Boom. The genius that evolved at the very tail end of the Genesis through Book of Revelations story — its takeaway theme. The whole point of the exercise.
Except it was never about Jesus or the Jews or their message. Why on earth do you call it ‘Christianity’ anyway? Paul (the former Saul of Tarsus) is really the faith’s ‘inventor’. Paul’s the guy who broke with Jesus’ family — because they were happy being Jews while Paul had other ideas. That’s Paul, by the way, who (just going by the story here) never met Jesus ever. Or heard his voice. Or heard his message.
But it was Paul who ‘spread Jesus’ message’. Except — looking over the sales materials — all the letters and epistles Paul sent to the nascent congregations of non-Jews that were flickering to life all over the Roman Empire — Paul was spreading Paul’s message a lot more than he was spreading Jesus’.
Jesus (it was never his name — just like ‘god’ is not Yahweh’s name — it’s his job description) was born, lived his whole life as and died A Jew. If you called him a Christian to his face, he wouldn’t know what you were talking about. And if you told the Actual Jesus (if he ever really was) what YOU now believed because YOU believed in HIM — He’d be stunned. And he’d think you were insane. Because very little of what YOU believe is what HE believed.
Paul started out needing to deify Jesus. Paul traveled in messianic times. To make his case that Jesus was a more real deal than any of the others, he needed to conform Jesus’ story to the pre-existing Hebrew mythology — all those texts we now call the Old Testament. The messiah story had rules — and if Jesus was going to be the messiah, he had to fit into the rules. He had to be connected to King David. He had to be prophesied. He had to be born in a certain place under certain conditions.
Paul broke with Jesus’ family because they didn’t want to go there. They didn’t want or need to be part of another religion because they were perfectly happy being Jews — as Jesus had been.
If Jesus was an actual person, he existed in a world that ‘had rules’. It worked a certain way and didn’t work in lots of other ways. The temple hierarchy, for instance, behaved one particular way and not in a lot of other ways. Paul (or ‘the school of Paul’) — not having been there — and having an agenda — described the scene as he needed it to be and not as it was.
Paul’s bottom line was this: He needed a reason for Jesus’ deification — a purpose that accepting the faith would accomplish: Salvation. From Death. If Jesus could be resurrected, so can you.
None of that came from Jesus. The idea of ‘A Church’ certainly never came from Jesus. As I read the texts, Jesus wasn’t all that ‘down’ with the Institution. His whole deal — as I read what JESUS SAID (and not all the other drivel put into his mouth by ‘the apostles’ — check out The Jesus Seminar — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar — it was a group of 50 bible scholars and 100 laymen, founded in 1985 with the mission of discerning, if they could, an actual human Jesus from the texts), was you can have a direct relationship with the deity; you don’t need a temple or a church (or the institution inside them) to do it. In other words, to create a church around Jesus is to, right off the bat, do the OPPOSITE of Jesus.
But, what would Paul know?
Virtually everything about the story of Jesus’ death is a fiction. It’s no more real than Harry Potter. There are facts and then there’s bullshit. To hate Jews because they ‘killed Jesus’ is bullshit.
To KILL THEM because of it?
There are no words that can adequately describe it. Maybe one: “ANTISEMITISM”.