Monday, February 13, 2012

Why are we uncomfortable with Jesus the revolutionary?

It would be preposterous to say that Jesus is in the news again! When was he out? The CPM state meet has brought out a problem that was never one in the first place. What is the problem? Is it that Jesus is seen as a revolutionary, is it that he is seen as a revolutionary who shares the same space with other revolutionaries or is it that Jesus is seen as occupying the sacred space of Communists in Kerala? The Christian church and all its denominations put together have come out with the response that one would expect. That is to say the opposite of what any left party would dare to say.

Is our faith supposed to be so fundamentalist that we should not allow anyone to be close to and have an opinion on Jesus, which may differ from the one we have? Or are we scared that Jesus will be hijacked by the ones who question religion and therefore will de-sanctify what we have sanctified and kept holy for centuries together?

So is Jesus a revolutionary? What does the bible say? What should one say of a person who chose to work for the poor, touch the untouched and question the powerful? Why shouldn’t such a person who chose to become human be called a revolutionary? Is the word revolutionary such a problematic word? The truth of the matter would be that the church as it exists today will obviously have a problem with the usage revolutionary because it finds itself on the other side of the revolution. The church has thus become a place where caste, gender and a myriad of other disparities are conformed to and in some cases encouraged. In such a context Jesus the revolutionary becomes a burden which the church does not want to handle as it involves criticising itself.

Jesus’ association with human kind itself is a coming down of his God self. Despite being one in his divinity and humanity, he brings himself down up to the point of the cross. Human history is filled with other instances of people who have risked everything for the sake of others. A leader is one when she/he associates with the people of the land. A God in exclusion and a God who is far away then has strong competition from the God who chooses to be with God’s people. If the church protests against Jesus' representation near other revolutionaries of the left, then it should also protest when the compassionate face of Jesus is pushed out of the church and its environs.

The development of any religion is not the choreographed development brought about by several denominations. It is rather a development which comes through due to the acceptance of reality by the people of the land. If the left parties in Kerala led by the CPM feel close to Jesus, why should we barricade Jesus and use tear gas on the left cadre? Christianity professes to be a peaceful religion. It is time to show that now!

One should understand that there is socialism inherent in every movement. The Congress led UDF should also know that theirs is also a coalition that had socialist values and still has in some respects. Every government and every religion in this sense is socialist. Just as Jesus is not the exclusive God of Christians, socialism is not the exclusive agenda of the Marxists. The ongoing debate has only resulted in an issue for discussion for the media, church and political parties. One should not forget that revolutionaries do more and talk less!

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