Sunday, February 15, 2009

Violent Religions and Jesus

With my previous post in mind, Jesus is probably one of the few peaceful religious figureheads. He sits up there with people like Buddha, except Jesus was less sheltered as a child.

Jesus did a lot of things that frustrated people who followed the Old Testament religiously. He really was guilty of a lot of heresy but refused to give in, and proved himself logically correct according to the spirit of the Law more than once.

The only thing about Jesus that can really be considered violent is his death, which as we know was not a violent act of Jesus. It might be considered violent when he overturned all the gambling tables in the Temple. But, in my opinion, that was completely justified.


Jesus did a lot of things that were progressive for his time. He stopped the stoning of a woman. He dined with prostitutes, validating them as people. He called the priests of the Temple hypocrites to their very faces.

However, Jesus is associated with a very violent religion: Christianity. Throughout history, Christianity has picked fights with just about everyone (even the Jews). The Old Testament has a lot of things that go directly against Jesus. There's a lot of things that make 'an eye for an eye' philosophy a good idea (see: Jericho).

It's not really Jesus' fault either. He's not the one who made the Bible and decided what would be in it. It's more the fault of Constantine, who delegated just that. Jesus has been used as a figurehead and an excuse for conquest and hatred on more than one occasion.

Christianity encompasses both the teachings of Jesus as well as the violent history and law of the Jews. If Christianity had become just the teachings of Jesus, it might have become an actually peaceful religion.

Today, however, it is not.

1 comment:

Hudson said...

Hey Clayton, how is Christianity a violent religion?