By Richard O. Jones
As the world watches one pundit after another scrutinize the democratic presidential candidates for seemingly innocuous acts committed by millions of Americans, I'm reminded of the persecution of Jesus Christ. I am strongly aware that neither Obama or Clinton comes close to the purity of Jesus, that's not what I'm implying. However, certain pundits, journalists, political analysts, and many in the public come very close to mimicking the Pharisees, a self-righteousness that sought to destroy the ministry of Jesus.
Jesus Christ traveled through the countryside preaching to love thy neighbor, and nonviolence. Jesus said that if a man smites you on one cheek that you should turn the other cheek. Jesus continuously encouraged people to follow him. What would the pundits say when they discovered that one of Jesus' loyal followers, Simon Peter, a man that Jesus had previously declared in Mat. 16:18 - on this rock I build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it, not only carried a knife but actually cut off the ear of another (John 18:10)? I believe the media and public would have encouraged Jesus to publicly disown Simon Peter in order to savage his campaign.
Publicans (tax collectors) were hated by the Jews and considered traitors because they worked for the Roman Empire. Jesus preached fervently against sin. However, one day Jesus saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom, and said, "Follow me." And Levi made him a great feast in his own house and there was a great company of publicans and others that sat down with them. But the scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciplines, "Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" (St. Luke 5:27-30). Isn't that just like the pundits of today? They would surely claim Jesus was not fit to be president because of his unsavory companions.
Suppose the journalists of today received a video clip of Jesus Christ not wearing a flag pin or saluting the flag along with everyone else at a public gathering. Jesus said in St. Mark 12:38 - Beware of the scribes (lawmakers) which love to go in long clothing (adorned for show) and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues and the uppermost rooms at feasts, which devour widows' houses and for pretense make long prayers (public salutes), these shall receive greater damnation.
There are dozens of examples of Jesus ruffling the feathers of the public by not following protocol. By current American standards, he surely would be called unpatriotic and unworthy to be elected president of the United States. Neither Clinton, Obama or anyone else is without personal blemishes; therefore, we should stop looking for evidence of the slightest human sniffle and start evaluating the candidates on real issues.
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