Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jesus Was a Community Organizer. Pontius Pilate Was a Governor

This will be uncharacteristically brief because I'm running out the door to volunteer at the Fairfax Obama headquarters where I work every Sunday between 3 and 6 pm as a greeter. I also enter data for them, so the stuff the canvassers bring back, I, and lots of other volunteers, put in the database to be used later on for the GOTV effort. One more pitch, if you haven't done so yet, please volunteer.

Meanwhile, I want to direct your attention to a great discussion on RK about the real importance of community organizers. Since speaker after speaker at the Republican Convention, following Sarah Palin's lead, mocked community service and poor people, it might be useful to read about the value that community organizers bring to underserved communities.

Best quote in the diary was something said on the Diane Rehm show on September 5.
"As a committed Christian I was deeply offended by Sarah Palin and the Republican delegates mocking and belittling community organizers the other night. Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a Governor." - Diane Rehm Show, 9/5/08


Anonymous said...

Huh? Community organizer? I thought he was a social revolutionary?

Seriously, though, a Christ reference? THAT'S really going to convince people that Obama doesn't have a God complex!

Mike said...

Yeah, I have to follow up with rwl, since I can't post at RK (and won't even try).

These political references to what Jesus was, what he did, how he'd vote, etc. are borderline sacrilegious, but more than that they're absurd.

Referencing Jesus in a political context is the first clue that you don't understand who he is. That goes for Republicans as well as Democrats.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Mike you're right that it goes for both Republicans as well as Democrats. So, I take it you were as incensed at the borderline sacreligious Republican video ad of a few weeks ago that practically called Obama the anti-Christ and showed him parting the seas - or did that amuse you because - well - because Republicans made it?

RWL, Obama did not make that quote. So, it's not his God complex. It was a quote from the Diane Rehm show.

And I hardly think anybody should assume whether anybody else "knows Jesus." Nobody actually owns Him and Democrats are hardly the ones who walk around pretending they know His mind.

Mike said...

Actually the ad was hysterically and dramatically effective. It wasn't in the least mocking God. It was mocking "The One" or "The One Who Thinks He's the One."

That's entirely different than ascribing a particular political viewpoint to Christ.

And yes, it is the Democrats, okay the left not exclusively "Democrats" with a capital "D" but it's the left who says Jesus was a vegetarian or Jesus was a Democrat, or whatever. Then you have the lunatics like Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson. Sorry, they're on your side of the aisle.

Not that we don't have our fair share, but the difference is on the right, the Bible is used to interpret politics. On the left the Bible is just used.

Indie Girl said...

Apparently, some "committed Christians" like Ms. Rehm need a bit of a brush up on their Roman and early Christian history. Far from being a "best" quote, I thought her quote was a bit idiotic.

A "governor" in the Roman sense was not remotely the same thing as a governor in the American sense. Pilate was a prefect or a procurator, depending on whose version you believe. He ran a troublesome outpost of the Empire. No one voted him in. He was sent there on behalf of Rome.

Jesus was not a "community organizer." I must say I have a low opinion of Ms. Rehms as an alleged Christian if that is what she thinks. Theological implications and all Christian beliefs aside, Jesus described Himself as a "prophet." A prophet is someone who makes theological and moral sense of the times. His disciples often referred to Him as "teacher." I prefer to view Him in His human aspect in the terms they did. I think Ms. Rehms thought she was being clever, but she wasn't really.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Actually, you're right on historical points. Pontius Pilate was a procurator. And he was appointed by the Roman Emperor, not voted into office by his Jewish subjects.

And Jesus was known as the Rabbi, or Teacher. He was also considered Lord to those who followed him. I'm not sure whether they considered him a prophet though. Might have.

However, the Bible clearly has, what Catholics call, a "preferential option for the poor," and what Jews refer to as the "Prophetic tradition" of speaking up for justice, which makes the "community organizer" theme not so far off base.

Many community organizers, working with the poor, the unemployed, the homeless work out of church basements. And it was during this period in his life that Obama, who had been raised with secular values, became a Christian.

I've known priests and nuns who worked as community organizers too.

Anonymous said...

Indie Girl :
Hearing something on the Diane R. show and hearing it come out of Diane's mouth are two very different things. ALmost certainly it was a guest who made the statement.
No one here has said that it was Diane who said these things. She is one of the best interviewers out there, and very rarely interjects her owns beliefs, with the exception being when a caller uses a bigoted remark. She invariably cuts them off and explains why. (Those events are rare though.)

written by thegools

Sister said...

AIAW, the devil may quote scripture to her purpose and you are appear to be quite good at it.

Sister said...

Actually, we now know that Pilate was not a procurator. He was a prefect.

This is all "tomayto, toMATTo" to me.

Comparing anyone to Pilate or Jesus gets silly. We all have some element of the flawed and the divine in us, by virtue of free will and by virtue of our own creation in God's image.

It's all distraction from the real issues of foreign and domestic policy. It's high school kid rhetoric. It's actually below that education level.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

sister said,

Yes, you've guessed my secret. I am Satan incarnate :)