I saw the statement below and thought that it fairly well fits the images of both men.
Many of the regular readers and contributors of this blog know that I have been searching for the meaning of religion in the lives of The People for some time- especially in the lives of Americans. I have been examining the paradox I see in the people who belong to Christian churches here in the U.S. and their political views and I find a great disconnect. That list of beatitudes in Matthew and Luke as well as the commandment to ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ do not seem to be reflected in the politics of many Christians- and woefully so the further to the right one moves on the political spectrum.
I am reminded of the artist’s composite of the face of Jesus and I think of what right-wing Christians might think of a man like this walking through their neighborhood.
Would a neighborhood watch team call the cops? Would the police ask him for his citizenship papers? Would the TSA take him to a holding room at the airport for further questioning?
A foreign-born socialist giving away free health care! A revolutionary! Communist! “Get a job!” “Go back where you came from!” “You don’t belong in this neighborhood!”
How can groups of Christians have such diverse views of the man called Jesus of Nazareth? What’s up with that? Why would one group of Christians cheer the Affordable Health Care Act while another group of Christians disdain it and call for its repeal?
Why would one group of Christians wish to give unemployed workers benefits during their time without work while another group of Christians want to cut those benefits?
Why does one group of Christians wish to protect the well-to-do while another group of Christians wish to make sure that all of the citizens share in the accumulated wealth?
Why does one group of Christians make laws and vote to ban the civil rights of the citizens?
Why do groups of Christians promote destruction of the earth and its environment?
Why do groups of Christians want less education for children and less protection for their parents at the workplace?
Why do groups of Christians want to build fences and walls to keep ‘those people’ out?
Why do groups of Christian support the death penalty?
Are there 2 separate and diverse versions of the gospels? Does it all depend on interpretation? Does it depend on the viewpoint of the reader? The reader’s personal circumstances?
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”