Father and Son: Jesus was a Liberal-Dad was a Conservative (an outside-the-box speculation on the existence of two Testaments, having contrary messages, but followed by the adherents of the same religion).
Headline – The Heavenly Standard – 3 B.C.E – God the Father and Jesus have Falling-Out
Christians and bible scholars have never read the ‘Heavenly Standard’ the official newspaper of the Heavenly Realm because it does not exist, but if it did, for the purpose of this essay, let us assume they would recognize God-the-Father’s side as the Old Testament and Jesus’ side as the New Testament.
The followers of Christianity conclude that both sides are right because they are somehow both the same ‘person.’ The early and medieval church fathers had expended considerable effort (and unbridled imagination) over the centuries to reconcile the message of the Old Testament with that of the New Testament by cherry-picking and reinterpreting phrases in the OT as being references to Jesus—a tradition that is alive and well in the present day. You can familiarize yourself with what either side has to say in their own defense, just get a bible.
Now, here’s an alternate spin on the arrival of Jesus and its significance:
You are the son of a celebrity father. He is well known, revered, feared, loved—by everyone who has ever heard of him, and in the case of your father, it happens to be everyone. Dad has been a pillar and leader of your community for what seems like forever to you. But he is your dad. You are his son. As a young child, you admired your father to no end and for you, there was no fault in him. Then, as a teenager, you found yourself butting heads with him continually. But he is no ordinary father, and you are no ordinary son. Needless to say, the generational tête-à-têtes you two engaged in would have been of ‘biblical proportions,’ and you would end up leaving the house in a huff or off the end of your father’s boot, until you both had a chance to cool off. You love your dad and your dad loves you—the generational confrontation is natural to all of Earth’s species, and (who can say?) perhaps heavenly ones as well.
Whether it be a heavenly or earthly context, is it not fair to speculate that the generation-gap narrative will play itself out in the same way? When the world the children are growing in is the world sculpted by their parents, the child must, eventually, step out into the world and build it anew, according to his/her own specifications. In the home of their parents, there is no room for their new ideas. New ways of doing things are also unwelcome to folks used to doing things for so long a certain way—and so, inevitably, the collision occurs and the generation coming into its own is obliged to do its thing somewhere else or try to become masters of their parents’ house.
According to lore, one of God-the-Father’s ‘sons,’ Lucifer, tried to do just that—take over the family home rather than move out; this was wrong on so many levels, and we all know where that got him.
But we’re not talking about the black sheep of the family. We’re talking about Jesus. And we’re talking about the message of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Tanakh) and how it differs from the message of the New Testament. Taken together, the two comprise the scriptural canon of my own religious tradition. As it stands, folks have ostensibly reconciled both, even though the respective motifs of the Old and New Testaments are quite different.
The over all message of the Old Testament is salvation through good works: do good, and you will be rewarded with eternal life. The superordinate message of the New Testament is salvation through faith: believe in the Christian god-Trinity, and you will be given eternal life. This includes accepting the impossibility of two distinct personalities/consciousnesses, existing in complete separation from one another (or Jesus would never have had to pray to ‘God-the-Father’ since he was ‘God-the-Father’) existing inside the same person.
Whether they are or are not the same person, how can we account for such a change in the message attributed to an immutable god such as God-the-Father is, whose word must likewise be unchangeable? Could it be that the differences which revisionist theologians across the intervening centuries worked so hard to reconcile is nothing more than the change in attitude one observes in the passing of one generation to the next?
For any child or teen gifted with the heart Jesus so plainly possessed , and every child starts out that way, how frightfully wrong the world of adults must appear to them. The world is the way it is because we adults, generation after generation, accept the world’s insanity by being too busy with making a living to do anything about what is wrong with it. We become inured, jaded; and our hearts harden toward others in response to the unremitting stresses of modern life.
How frightfully wrong the world appeared to us as teenagers, but thank god I was a teenager when Justin Trudeau’s father was our Prime Minister. Albeit the threat of nuclear war and environmental catastrophe existed sufficient to give us nightmares, I also lived full of pride with being a Canadian—you only had to sew a Canadian flag on your denim jacket and people would like you and look out for you, wherever in the world you happened to go. True or not, it was how we thought back then. If it were not for Pierre Trudeau, I could never have gone to university, and the only time there were police officers at our high school was for the dance, and that was to catch the drinkers and smokers; no one ever thought to bring a knife or a gun to school in those days. Compared to what today’s teens are encountering, life was very, very good; and we felt safe.
The world’s of the OT and NT, right through to our day, feature: might trumps right, haves and have-nots, callousness toward migrant families trying to escape war, famine, rape… We are all the children of God, aren’t we? If not, who made us? If we are god’s children—and we most assuredly are—why did the Amalekite and Amorite men, women, and children have to be slaughtered to accommodate the Hebrews in the Holy Land? Would there not have been enough room for all of them?
If Moses and the Hebrew scribes got it written down precisely as God the Father spoke it to them, and if the word of god is immutable, and if Jesus and the Father are independent of one another like human fathers and sons are, they would have found it difficult to live under the same roof, big as Heaven’s must be , given the seriousness of their differences. But things were no better for Jesus on Earth: Jesus was killed in the name of the old ways while his followers martyred themselves in favour of the new. If Jesus and the Father are one consciousness, then there is a serious disconnect going on in the Mind of God to the degree that ‘god’ is evidently of two separate and distinct minds, each operating independently of the other. No one is going to buy that one. I believe that is a recipe for insanity, not for god’s state of mind.
And so Jesus, son that he is, has had enough, packs his bags, and heads for Mother’s house (Mother Earth). God-knows Jesus is going to run into trouble if he keeps talking like that, but good father that he is, God-the-Father is going to allow Jesus to run off and learn his lesson, and, after he’s stepped on enough pricklies, open the door to heaven (in Jesus’ case, through crucifixion) and let him back in.
If it can be said of the Old Testament that it was inspired by the attitude of the ‘Father,’ then, it follows, the New Testament was inspired by the attitude of the ‘Son,’ expressed by Paul and the Gospels. But what exactly was the Son rebelling against? This is where things morph from matters of ‘faith’ to matters of human society, and all of the politics going hand-in-hand.
Jesus advocated against:
• The oppression of the weak by the strong, especially the oppression of women and children, the poor (economic oppression), the socially disenfranchised(the Indigenous, the homeless).
• Poverty and excess (wealth inequality).
• The harshness of the Law(the only thing immutable about it was punishment).
• The ‘double standard.’ Just how many times does Jesus use the word ‘hypocrite’ in the bible?
• Violence in any form, with the exception of turning over the odd table .
Now, the Conservative party has nothing at all to do with the erstwhile Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. The erstwhile PCs aspired to progress from a basis of established tradition and would assimilate religious tradition into their politics as a matter of course. When the cons from somewhere out west took over the right from the PC party which was decimated after the Mulroney years, they inherited the tradition of support from regular church-going folks. They had not, I’ll warrant, inherited the heart of the church goers, nor do they seem to have such a heart, or they would not allow poverty or lying to folks.
But, do not just take my word on this, think about it. Do you suppose Jesus, were he to cast a vote in the Canadian federal election, would vote for the Harper or Scheer Conservatives? Or Trudeau’s Liberals? The NDP? Some other party? For now, let us have a look at the values of the biblical Jesus, one by one, with a view to how they match up with the approach and attitudes of Canada’s two largest political parties, and the reader may then draw their own conclusions with respect to who would have Jesus’ vote:
On Economic and social oppression:
The Liberals– Child Tax Benefit
Lowered the retirement age to 65 (the Harper- cons had raised it to 67)
Universal healthcare and CPP to complement OAS: (That was Liberal PM Lester B. Pearson, motivated by the NDP’s Tommy Douglas)
Support the recommendations of the MMIWG enquiry and reconciliation
The Cons– Wealth inequality is all over the news, it is just that I don’t ever hear the cons talking about it. They are too busy with Trudeau-bashing-this will not fill the stomachs of hungry children, but the money they are spending on attack ads would go a long way with folks who aren’t earning enough to get by.
On Poverty and Excess:
Liberals– increased taxes on the wealthier Canadians
Cons– decreased taxes, but this strategy is of benefit commensurate with income: the more you earn and have to invest, the more you will save in taxes.
On the Harshness of the Law:
Liberals-the judge has discretion in sentencing
Cons-mandatory sentencing, anyone?
On The Double Standard:
Liberals– are they wilfully guilty of hypocrisy, or are they limited with respect to the rate at which they can make changes? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you are obliged to swim against the current, or ‘run against the wind,’ you aren’t going to get to your destination as quickly as you’d want.
Cons-the Harper con approach was that of a Hollywood Western movie maker: the main street looks authentic, trouble is, it’s all façade. With respect to social concerns, they just go through the motions, like employees who want a paycheck but do not want to have to work too hard for it, hoping the boss (or the voter) doesn’t notice.
On Violence in Any Form:
Liberals-Lester B. Pearson: Peacekeeping was just one of his many progressive and enduring legacies.
Cons-Under the Harper cons, our military appeared to drift away from their traditional (since Pearson) role as peacekeeper. Harper, no longer prime minister, thought it meet to sign off on an advertisement in the NYT congratulating Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Liberals– are actively promoting inclusion.
Cons– in their various forms aligned on the right, pay lip service to inclusion and diversity while they extol the virtues of the white patriarchal society.
I confess to be a liberal supporter most of the time. I don’t always agree with what they do in government, however PM Justin Trudeau, despite his faults, has shown himself to be a leader who is unafraid to lead and who knows the way forward. He has had one term. He is going to get better as he settles into the job. The conservative philosophy preserves tradition and promises a return to ‘the good old days,’ however one would do well to ask, ‘The good old days, for whom?’
One in seven Canadians will tell you, ‘Not for the poor.’
To have a cohesive nation, you must remove the barriers that divide us. As human beings, we should not be divided on the basis of religion because there is, ultimately, only one Creator and humans are purported to have been created in the ‘image of god.’ Neither should Canadians live in division, since there is only one kind of Canadian citizen. The land which is called ‘Canada’ is land to all who live within its boundaries. The land provides to all who live within its boundaries without reference to gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic standing…you name it, Canada the nation has it all covered or it would not be a nation.
When anyone denies/excludes a Canadian, they deny Canada. Our tolerance of poverty is a case-in-point…
This is not who we are…