well, if you ignore that whole “eye of the needle” thing

one of the things that fascinates me, in a twisted, horrifying way, is how people bend religion to their own needs. sort of like what i posted yesterday–people get so caught up in their own interpretation of christianity that they end up being complete assholes, seeming to forget that jesus was all about peace and love, dude. (jesus was a hippie, you know.) i find this especially interesting in looking at the way that people find ways to combine fundamentalist christianity (or any christianity, really) with the culture of american greed and consumption. and on this topic, perhaps nothing has awed and repelled me as the following:

“The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest,” Goldman’s Griffiths said Oct. 20, his voice echoing around the gold-mosaic walls of St. Paul’s Cathedral, whose 365-feet-high dome towers over the City, London’s financial district. “We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all.” (Bloomberg via Taibbi)

mind-boggling, in so many ways. the jesus who said “turn the other cheek” and “it is as easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven as a camel to pass through the eye of a needle” and told the parable of the widow’s mite, he would be down with naked greed and self-interest? natch.

this all reminds me of nothing so much as a cheesy country/gospel song of the mid-1980s, “Would Jesus Wear A Rolex?”:

Woke up this mornin’, turned on the t.v. set.
there in livin’ color, was somethin’ I can’t forget.
This man was preachin’ at me, yeah, layin’ on the charm
askin’ me for twenty, with ten-thousand on his arm.
He wore designer clothes, and a big smile on his face
tellin’ me salvation while they sang Amazin’ Grace.
Askin’ me for money, when he had all the signs of wealth.
I almost wrote a check out, yeah, then I asked myself

(chorus)

Would He wear a pinky ring, would He drive a fancy car?
Would His wife wear furs and diamonds, would His dressin’ room have a star?
If He came back tomorrow, well there’s somethin’ I’d like to know 
Could ya tell me, Would Jesus wear a Rolex on His television show.

Would Jesus be political if He came back to earth?
Have His second home in Palm Springs, yeah, a try to hide His worth?
Take money, from those poor folks, when He comes back again,
and admit He’s talked to all them preachers who say they been a talkin’ to Him?

(chorus)

Just ask ya’ self, Would He wear a pinky ring,
Would He drive a fancy car?
Would His wife wear furs and diamonds, would His dressing room have a star?
If He came back tomorrow, well there’s somethin’ I’d like to know:
Could ya tell me, would Jesus wear a Rolex,
Would jesus wear a Rolex
Would Jesus wear a Rolex
On His television show-ooh-ooh?

 

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