Hello, I’m Emerican Johnson, this is the Christmas special of non-compete, and we’re taking it literally. We’re gonna talk about Jesus Christ. I’m here in Charlston, South Carolina. My hometown also known as the holy city because there are so many old beautiful churches and it would be a great place to film a video on Jesus because you know you can walk around and show all the pretty old churches and stuff, but apparently it’s Freaking flooding downtown today, that’s not gonna happen. So I borrowed a friggin Tablecloth from my mom to make a green screen and we’re doing this at my parents house That’s just the way it is so Sorry So before we get into this Let me tell you what this video is not gonna be it’s not gonna be. about religious stuff at all I don’t really care If you believe that Jesus was the Divine Son of God or if you’re an atheist and you hate Christianity None of that’s gonna matter for this video because I’m not talking about like the religion of Christianity I’m talking about the more secular positions that Jesus held, and and the philosophy of Jesus Christ and Yeah, I also know some of you’re gonna be like, but Jesus didn’t even exist historically. It’s a figment of your imagination And just cool it with that. It doesn’t matter if Jesus was real or not because The words that were attributed to Jesus have been the foundation for like 2,000 years of human thought in many places around the world so just Anyway, let’s make the – a YouTube video. So yeah, as you can tell from my multiple disclaimers here It’s really hard to talk about the philosophy of Christ because it’s wrapped up in centuries of cultural and religious baggage There’s so much controversy about religion, especially today, especially on YouTube but I think you can strip away all of those religious aspects of Christianity and we can examine the philosophical positions of Jesus so the Gospels contain a pretty broad spectrum of moral teachings and Jesus also touched on some political subjects in his teachings and These are what are gonna be primarily of interest to us when we’re trying to figure out where Jesus is gonna sit on that dirty commie Capitalist pig dog spectrum, but wait, you cry in turmoil and confusion? If Jesus Christ did exist He lived about 18 centuries before capitalism and communism were ever even conceived of, so clearly there’s no way that Jesus was actually a capitalist nor a socialist I know that Silly goose. I know that So, you know the best that we can do is examine what Jesus did say in relation to Socio-economic issues and politics and try to extrapolate where he might stand today on the more modern subjects of capitalism and socialism Render unto Caesar. So here’s one of the first Bible stories that gets thrown around in this kind of discussion There were these people called the Pharisees who wanted to kind of trap Jesus By forcing him to take a position against paying taxes to the Roman Empire Because if Jesus said that they should not pay taxes, you know, that’s like super Illegal, and you know, he’d quickly be arrested by the Roman authorities and getting a lot of hot water So the Pharisees came up to Jesus and they were like “So Jesus, You’re a cool dude so like should we pay an imperial tax to Caesar or what?” and Jesus you know, Jesus was a smart guy. He saw right through this little scheme and he was like “Show me the coin you used to pay taxes” and they brought him a coin and he was like “Who’s this dude on the coin?” and they were like, “well, that’s Caesar, Jesus” and then Jesus was like “Render, therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are god’s” so this is one of the few things that Jesus said that was like directly related to something political and Therefore people have been arguing about its philosophical and political significance Ever since and before we go really deeper into the whole render unto Caesar thing I want to talk about the way Jesus taught moral lessons. See Jesus didn’t usually tell his followers what to do directly. when anyone would ask him a question, He’d typically answer with like a parable or an anecdote or by turning around and like asking them a question back And this used to really annoy the crap Out of me back when I would sit through Bible School every Sunday when I was a kid, you know I’d always be sitting there like “come on Jesus. Why can’t you just answer the freaking question already?” It wasn’t until you know, years later actually pretty recently that I realized the significance of this kind of teaching You know in the context of Christianity and Christ’s philosophy Because Christ seemed less interested in making like a long list of specific rules to follow Which a lot of religions, you know preceding it did You know Christ was more interested in inspiring his followers to think for themselves So to illustrate this point a little further I’m gonna take a look at another story, which really doesn’t really have much to do with politics And this one always confused the Dickens out of me when I was in Sunday school. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan So there was this lawyer and he went up to Jesus and he was like, “hey, hey Jesus What do I need to do to get eternal life?” And Jesus was like “well, you’re a lawyer what’s written in the law?” “How do you read the law?” and the lawyer was like “Well, according to the law you gotta love God with all your heart and you got to love your neighbor the same as you love Yourself” and Jesus was like “yeah, man, cool. That’s right. So just do that stuff and you’ll live forever” But the lawyer was not happy with that answer. He wanted Jesus to be more specific. So he was like But wait Jesus, who is my neighbor? *audio from movie*”Who are they called?what were their names?” And jesus answered with a story and it goes like this A dude was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and he got robbed by some robbers and they Stripped him naked and they beat him and they left him half dead on the side of the road So then later a priest was going by and he saw the naked dying, dude but he pretended he didn’t see him and he just kept on going and then a few minutes later a Levite came by and he did the same thing man. He just walked right on by without stopping Then a Samaritan came by and he saw the dying naked dude And he was super worried and he stopped and he poured oil and wine His wounds which was like, I guess what they used for band-aids back then? Anyway and then he put the dude on a donkey and and then he took him to an inn and he gave him he gave the innkeeper two coins and he was like Take care of this dude, man. He’s in rough shape And if you spend more than that, then you know, I’ll pay the rest when I come back So then after telling this story Jesus looks at the lawyer and he asks “So which of these three guys that walk past the dying dude, do you think was his neighbor?” and the lawyer said The guy who showed mercy on him and Jesus was like, “yeah, so go and be like that Samaritan, dude” *audio from movie* He’s making it up as he goes along!
No I’m not! Now the story takes on a lot more meaning when you know about the Samaritans and the relationship that they had with the Jews The Jews hated the Samaritans and the Samaritans hated the Jews. They’ve been hating each other for a really long time The Jews actually destroyed the Samaritan Temple. There was just bad blood between these people and this is the real Significance of the story you see the Jews hated the Samaritans so much that this story would have been completely shocking to the Jewish lawyer He was telling the story to. It was controversial It was a hot take. so you know, this is how Jesus liked to teach people. He didn’t tell the lawyer Explicitly who to love as a neighbor instead he answered with this kind of shocking parable about loving a person that you’re trained to despise and this was supposed to inspire the lawyer to think more deeply about the question’s implications So this brings us back to the render unto Caesar line. See Jesus didn’t answer the Pharisees Directly whether or not the Jews should be paying the Imperial taxes. He said “Give Caesar what Caesar owns.” it’s a super indirect response It can even come off as dodging the question and this is exactly why people have been arguing about what Jesus really meant when he said “render unto Caesar” for hundreds and hundreds of years Some people have interpreted “render unto Caesar” as a justification for obeying secular laws of the land and other people think it means that Jesus was arguing for a separation between church and state which You know was backed up by some other stuff that Jesus said like one time when he was being Interrogated by Pontius Pilate over, you know the nature of his supposed Kingdom and Jesus said My kingdom is not of this world if my kingdom were of this world My servants would have been fighting that I might not be Delivered over to the Jews, but now my kingdom is not from the world So, you know you could see this as maybe Jesus kind of dodging the question It’s definitely kind of vague, you know, you can interpret that in many ways and people have interpreted it in many ways over the years *movie audio* Don’t pick ya nose!
I wasn’t pickin my nose I was scratching!
you was picking while you was talking to that lady!
I wasn’t! Now some people think that Jesus wants his followers to have personal choice as Individuals on which laws to follow and which laws to break since “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesars” Raises the question automatically of well, what belongs to Caesar? It’s an answer that just leads to more questions. And I think that must have been the intent the fact is “Render unto Caesar” is is just too vague and it’s very open to interpretation And that kind of limits its use in deciphering the political and economic outlook of old JC So the fact that Jesus was so often in so many Different stories, you know vague and indirect with his discourse That gives some pretty stark contrast to a lot of what he said about Money and greed and wealth. Like like listen to these verses “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle Than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” “If you would be perfect go sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none and whoever has food is to do likewise” “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees brother in need yet closes his heart against him How does God’s love abide in him? No one can serve two masters for either He will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other you cannot serve God And money” “do not store up treasures for yourself on the earth” I mean the New Testament is just filled with lines like this when Jesus talks about greed and selfishness and material possessions It’s honestly like the most direct that Jesus ever gets about anything. He clearly felt very strongly about these issues and he laid out these concepts in no uncertain terms Jesus basically thought that rich people were kind of assholes and he strongly discouraged hoarding wealth and he Really very strongly recommended that human beings should love each other You know as they love themselves and share material possessions with one another and he was not vague about these points at all So that’s most of what I could dig up as far as what Jesus explicitly said about economics and politics But I think it’s also important to see how Christ’s earliest followers the ones who were closest to Jesus, you know in time Interpreted these teachings and incorporated them into their lives The book of Acts talks about some of the earliest Christians and how they lived and all who believed were together and had all things in common and they were selling their possessions and belongings and Distributing the proceeds to all as any had need. Hmm giving to each according to their need where have I heard that before? **Sick electronic music*** Anyway, it seems that the earliest Christians shared all their property in common and they took care of each other and they supported each other Selflessly, so then there are the teachings of James in the book of James now Nobody’s really sure who James was all we know is that he was an early Christian and his writings were rolled up into the New Testament as wisdom that followed and expanded on the teachings of Christ and James actually wrote my personal favorite bible verse Come now you rich! Weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you! your riches have rotted in your garments of moth-eaten your gold and silver have Corroded and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire You have laid up treasures in the last days behold the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud! are crying out against you and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts! you have lived on the earth in luxury and in Self-indulgence you have fat in your hearts in a day of slaughter. Oh That’s brutal so a lot of Christians socialists and Christian anarchists believe that Christ and the earliest Christians practiced and promoted a Socialist way of life and they think that the church has been in a state of decline ever since Emperor Constantine of Rome Became a Christian and basically transformed the church from this humble socialist bottom up organization into an authoritarian top-down state-sponsored hierarchy This is known as the Constantinian shift which puts the church at the hands of the ruling elite and merges Christianity with the state ultimately leading to the foundation of the Catholic Church Since the earliest foundation of the Catholic Church debates have raged about how humans should incorporate the teaching of Christ into life on earth and the early Roman Catholics romanticized poverty while building up incredible wealth within the church itself and by the way There’s this guy francis of assisi and he made it really in vogue to romanticize poverty and he created the first franciscan orders where they would just live very simple lives and a lot of people have attributed this to a Glorification of poverty and use it as an excuse for exploiting the poor so it’s like oh it’s noble to be poor You should be glad that you’re poor meanwhile, you’d have the bishops and the Lords and the nobles and the kings and queens all living these lavish lives of luxury and in Fact that’s part of why Martin Luther was so disgusted by the wealth accumulation of the church He thought it was very hypocritical and interestingly He was also disgusted by the secular developments of capitalism, which he witnessed in his day There’s a historian named Carter Lindberg who wrote the following about Luther Luther found the calculating entrepreneur extremely distasteful he was convinced that the capitalist spirit divorced money from use for human needs and necessitated an economy of acquisition Luther himself described these entrepreneurs as “Desiring that the entire world be ruined in order that there be hunger thirst misery and needs so that he can have everything and so that Everyone must depend upon him and be his slave as if he were God” In the 19th century the new thought movement emerged in the USA and this philosophy was first developed by Phineas Quimby as The Mind Cure Movement so Quimby believed that sickness and poverty are caused by an unfocused mind and You know if you had faith in God and you focused your mind, you worked really hard Then you would live a healthy prosperous life. These ideas were expanded on by Russell Conwell who was another preacher in the late 19th century He would he was really famous on the chatauqua circuit. Chautauqua’s were basically like 19th century. American TEDTalks So anyway Conwell laid the foundations for modern-day prosperity gospel so his most famous speech was called acres of diamonds and here’s a Choice little tidbit of an excerpt “I say that you ought to get rich and it is your duty to get rich The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly 98 out of 100 of the rich men of America are honest That is why they are rich let us remember that there is not a poor person in the United States who is not made poor by his own shortcomings” What a d*ck. So throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries New Thought Christian leaders Like Quimby and Conwell taught that hard work and a focused mind would lead to prosperity You know that you can make your own way in the world pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and Jesus Wanted his followers to be prosperous. So later on around the middle of the 20th century This prosperity gospel was transformed even further by a new movement of tent revivals Which mingled Pentecostal faith healing beliefs with this new thought prosperity gospel and the most famous of these early prosperity evangelists was Oral Roberts, who began teaching prosperity theology in 1947 Roberts explained that donations to the church would be returned Sevenfold and he promised that any donation that you’d make to the church if it did not lead to an equivalent unexpected payment then he would return that donation back to the donor so this kind of preaching leads to an even more egregious form of Christian profiteering and you have faith healers like A. A. Allen who’s selling everything from a book called “The Secret to Scriptural Financial Success” to merchandise such as miracle tent shavings and prayer cloth soaked in miracle oil In the 1960s this prosperity gospel made the leap to television and modern and Televangelism was born *clapping* I think they like you!
They want some of that chicken… I think that’s the Housewives of America thanking you for fixing dinner tonight Okay. Now look I’m gonna stop here I personally feel like it’s pretty obvious that this modern state of Christianity with prosperity gospel It’s pretty far removed from those original teachings of Christ. You need Jesus Moving on. So how would Jesus weigh in on this modern question of capitalism versus socialism? Those are we getting the most capitalist sympathising theologians who are telling us that Jesus would have adamantly opposed communism They argue that Christ’s typically vague and indirect answers were intended to convey advocacy for individualism Lawrence W Reid is the former CEO of BB&T, which is an evil shitty bank I used to use He had this to say about Jesus is lying about rendering unto Caesar and an article for a right-wing libertarian think-tank Notice that everything depends on just what truly did belong to Caesar and what didn’t which is actually a rather powerful endorsement of property rights Jesus said nothing like it belongs to Caesar If Caesar simply says it does no matter how much he wants, how he gets it, or how he chooses to spend it. Now, I’m a dirty dirty communist So admittedly I’m biased but to me this interpretation that Jesus was advocating for property rights when he said render unto Caesar requires a tremendous amount of Torturous lawyering. I just find it to be a very bad faith interpretation Remember Jesus might not have explicitly said you are not allowed to hoard wealth and withhold support for your fellow human beings that might not be like a Black and white rule according to Jesus and he might not have it advocated explicitly for a modern communist revolution You know the way the Marx describes but Jesus absolutely Implored humanity to utterly abandon wealth and to share everything in common with our neighbors So it’s not surprising to me that a friggin Bank CEO would have some you know cognitive dissonance about these teachings but seriously, this is just a weird interpretation to me and it’s absolutely It feels like an attempt to twist And control the framework of the question Because this interpretation requires us to focus on the letter of Christ’s law and not the Spirit Reconciling capitalism with the philosophies of Jesus requires us to hyper fixate on what Christ did not say You know Christ did not say we have to share with each other therefore I can be a rich banker and hold millions of dollars in personal wealth and Grow Rich by Exploiting poor people through credit card interest and overdraft fee’s. Jesus didn’t say I’m not allowed to do that Check in your rule book. Bet you won’t find anything in there says a dog can’t Play. He’s right! ain’t no rules said the dog can’t play basketball. and this position just completely ignores all the things that Jesus did say very clearly about how you should really really really consider abandoning your wealth and living in commune with your neighbors and Treating others as you want to be treated and love each other and and and love other human beings as much as you love yourself I don’t know there’s a lot more that can be said on this subject. We’ve really just barely scratched the surface here Was Jesus a communist? I mean not explicitly I don’t even think he would have had the context to understand what modern communism and capitalism even are in our modern context but I do think that Jesus spoke out against the foundational philosophies of capitalism because Capitalism worships the accumulation of material wealth capitalism conflates the value of a human being with financial success Capitalists exploit other people to put themselves ahead and under capitalism It’s taken for granted that some people will have and some people will not. If Jesus were alive today Would he be a communist would he be an anarchist would he abstain from politics altogether? I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure about one thing. Jesus would have hated capitalism I know I do. I’m Emerican Johnson. This is non-compete. See you next time Happy holidays everybody Why don’t we why don’t you all pass chicken out to the studio audience why work before it gets cold right now And Yeah Colonel let’s have a feast. Oh Henry oh Jim. I knew Henry is dying over they just smell on that chicken. Oh, yeah drooling over lookin for a Wing but I don’t see it Give me that whole bucket of chicken. I’ll give it to Henry. Henry like I have a right wrong. Yeah, yeah Find the colonel a wing there. He likes wings. Graham Irwen Liked the wing, too – that was her favorite so colonel *laughter* a ha ha ha Well here we are handed Colonel, I’m sorry scuse the fingers here here it’s finger-licking good anyway, huh? Ain’t that what they say?