an essay by George Stark
“In God We Trust,” reads the American dollar, mouths the American government.
The bosses put their hands on bibles and take office, they put their hands on
bibles and swear to be truthful and honest and follow the teachings of the
But are they following God’s will? Have they ever been?
JESUS: AN ANARCHIST?
Throughout history Jesus Christ has been regarded as a revolutionary, but an
Yes, the answer. As time has passed and covered the once passionate spirit in
commonality, however, Jesus’ true meaning has been lost in Sundays and
collection baskets. Jesus’ true meaning is that of the anarchist.
“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” said Jesus to his
disciples in one of many stories in which he shunned wealth and society’s view
of ‘success’. We see in the story of the poor widow’s contribution Jesus’
message of devaluing money, and placing the true importance on the spirit in
which it is given. We see Jesus sit down and observe how the people give money
to the treasury, and his commentary on the donations shocks his disciples.
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other
contributors to the treasury. For they have contributed from their surplus
wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole
livelihood,” says Jesus, teaching us an important lesson, one he stressed
throughout his ministry. Jesus taught that the poor would be raised up, that the
powerful, the bosses as modern day anarchists say, will be layed low. Jesus
talks of the kingdom of God, we today talk of Anarchy.
The gospel of Luke, chapter 12, presents to us a wonderful group of stories in
which Jesus’ underlying Anarchism is revealed. Luke 12:15, “Take care to guard
against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of
possesions.” And what is capitalism but a system by which the greedy and
scrupulous are made stronger, the dependant and the honest pushed aside? Luke
12:18-21, “There was a rich man… and he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I
shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my
grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so
many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” But God
said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the
things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for
himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” And what, asks the capitalist
as he sits in church on Sunday, matters to God? Your neighbor matters to God,
says Jesus. The way you treat him and the way you must love him and care for
him. That is what matters to God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or
about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and body
more than clothing… instead, seek God’s Kingdom, and these other things will
be given you besides.” This is the bible that the president of the United
States of America has sworn upon, weeks before renewing trade with China,
America’s current Most Favored Nation. The same China that has enslaved the
country of Tibet in what is no less than a modern day holocaust, killing over a
million Tibetans and exiling over 100,000 since 1950. 6,000 monasteries have
been destroyed, 1 in 20 monks are allowed to practice. Wildlife has been
depleted to extinction, famines have occured for the first time in history,
natural resources are devasted. Peaceful demonstrations by nuns and monk and
laypeople have led to deaths, and Tibetans are a minority in their own country.
The U.S. congress heard all of this, including testimonies by numerous senators
and citizens of Tibet against renewal of China’s trade status, and in the end
voted to renew China’s Most Favored Nation status. The Chinese government
arrests those who speak out as political prisoners, torturing them and holding
them in sub-human conditions. The Tibetan culture is nearly gone, but goddamn
those Chinese make a great automobile.
In the face of these atrocities done in the name of the dollar, would Jesus be
a capitalist today? Would he sit in his high rise while the wretched of the
earth struggled and died below his feet? Or would he love, serve, and protect
his brothers, in the way that his God loved him, in the way that is the nature
of humans, the nature of Anarchists?
“Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible
treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy,” says Jesus, and
provide it, by loving your neighbor.