Continuing to celebrate Zingcreed‘s new motto: Just Jesus, No God!
Zingcreed is not a blog in the traditional sense, it is a library. Two of its most unique categories are the sections headed “Red Christians” and “Red Christian Documents”. These can be accessed by way of the Alphabetical Index on the title page (under the butterfly.)
Zingcreed is dedicated to doing three things:
(i) Reporting on the third quest for the historical Jesus (Google ‘Jesus Seminar’).
(ii) Pointing out examples of ‘Structural’ or ‘Institutional’ sin, e.g .capitalism as they are far more significant than an individual’s sins.
(iii) Looking for overlaps between the teachings of Jesus and socialism in all its many forms. This includes examining the relevance of Latin American Liberation Theology from the 1970s for today.
Here I give you 4 brief extracts from Zingcreed’s ‘Red Christian Documents’ that illustrate point (iii). In my humble opinion Jesus preached a primitive form of anarchistic socialism. If he had been alive today he would have been known to his mates as ‘Comrade Jesus’ or ‘Comrade Yeshua’ to give him his real Aramaic name. Click on the links below to access the full Posts from which these extracts are lifted.
Capitalism in Jamaica by Bertell Ollman
Capitalism, the system under which we are now living, may be described as a way of life in which, “One soweth, and another reapeth”(John: 4; 37). Well might we say to the wealthy few who own our large estates and factories what Jesus said to his disciples: “you…reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor”(John: 4; 38). Do you believe that Jesus favored such injustice, he who said, “by their fruits ye shall know them”(Mathew: 7; 20)? The fruits of capitalism in Jamaica can be seen even by the blind; they are poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, crime, greed, and disease. Could the kind and loving Jesus have wanted us to live like this? (1)
Jesus’ Revolutionary Politics by José Miranda
The church claims that Jesus did not get involved in politics. This is simply outrageous. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the Old Testament prophets and a complete misunderstanding of Christ’s intransigent condemnation of the rich. We know with great certainty that Jesus got involved in politics: here are five pieces of evidence:-
(i) The most incontrovertible of all scientifically certain historical facts is that Jesus died by crucifixion and that crucifixion was the penalty reserved for political trouble-makers. The Romans inflicted it on rebels, bandits, insurgents, slaves, and freedom fighters who strove to gain their peoples’ independence from Roman authority. (Stoning, on the other hand, was the punishment for religious crimes like blasphemy, as Stephen found out. -ed.)
(ii) Pilate’s ‘INRI’ sign on the cross (probably Iesus Nazaretae Rex Iudorum in latin, or “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews” in English -ed.) tell us he was charged with being a royal pretender. From the words of Jesus about his Kingdom, Pilate could only infer that he was a king and that accordingly his action concerned the political sphere. And, remarkably, Jesus admits it “You have said it”.
Jesus was executed for political sedition. This is a fact that no serious person, Catholic, Protestant, or agnostic, can call into question.
(iii) Jesus was crucified between two ‘robbers’; ‘robbers’ being the derogatory term the authorities applied to rebels and insurgents, as can be seen by comparing “Barabbas was a robber” (John 18:40) with “who had been imprisoned for an uprising and homicide occurring in the city” (Luke 23;19)
(iv) When Jesus was crucified side by side with these two other rebels, his was a more serious charge than theirs, so he was put in between them with a placard stating his crime: that of being a royal pretender.
(v) Suetonius in his ‘Vita Claudii’ (25:4) describes the early Christians as “ever in a frantic tumult at the instigation of someone called Chrest” (sic) (Sure sounds like a rabble-rouser to me! -ed.) (2)
The pure teaching of Jesus by Wilhelm Weitling
The gospel is preached to the poor
Repent, become better people, unite. The promised Messiah is coming. The kingdom of heaven, the best kingdom on earth, the most perfect society, the victory of the poor and oppressed, the overthrow of the rich and the oppressors is at hand.
This was the earliest preaching that Jesus and John offered the people.
Lk 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Lk 6:20. Blessed are you poor for yours is the kingdom of God.
21. Blessed are you that hunger now for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now for you shall laugh.
24. But woe to you that are rich for you have received your consolation.
Jas 2:5. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him. But you have dishonoured the poor man. It is not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme that honourable name by which you are called?
Js 5:1. Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you. Be patient therefore brethren until the coming of the Lord. (3)
The accord between religious doctrine and revolution by Fidel Castro
If the church were to create a state in one with these (Christian – ed.) principles, it would organise a state like ours. They would, for example, do everything possible to prevent gambling in such a state governed by Christian principles. We’ve eradicated gambling.
You wouldn’t have beggars. Cuba is the only country in Latin America which has no beggars.
You wouldn’t allow a little child to remain abandoned or to go hungry. Not a single child in our country is forsaken or hungry.
You wouldn’t leave the elderly without the help and assistance they need. In Cuba all old people have help and assistance.
You wouldn’t put up with a high unemployment rate. In Cuba there is no unemployment.
You wouldn’t permit drugs. In our country drug addiction has been eradicated.
You wouldn’t allow prostitution which forces women to sell their bodies to eke out a living. In our country prostitution has been eradicated and discrimination based on sex eliminated, making it possible for a woman to work, to live in better conditions and play a more prominent role in society.
All these things we’ve fought against, all those problems we’ve solved, are the same ones the church wold try to solve if it were to try to organise a civil state in keeping with its Christian principles. One of my theses is to have a strategic alliance between Christians and marxists to to carry out the social changes that the people of the third world need. Christ multiplied the fish and the loaves to feed the people. That is precisely what we want to do with the revolutionary society:
multiply the fish and loaves to feed the people;
multiply the schools, teachers, hospitals, doctors;
multiply the factories, jobs and fields under cultivation;
multiply industrial and agricultural production, and multiply the research centres and the number of scientific research projects for the same purpose.
(1) 291: Red Christian Document #1: “Socialism is practical Christianity” by Bertell Ollman (Jamaica 1965)
(2) 330: R,C.D. #24: “Jesus’ revolutionary politics” by José Miranda (Mexico 1982)
(3) 346: R.C.D. #32: “The pure teaching of Jesus” by Wilhelm Weitling (1843)
(4) 543: R.C.D. # 40: “The accord between religious doctrine and revolution” by Fidel Castro and Frei Betto (Cuba, 1982)