The Radical Jesus: How Would the Baby in a Manger Fare in the American Police State?

Sunday, December 25, 2016
By Paul Martin

By John W. Whitehead
Rutherford.org
December 19, 2016

“Jesus is too much for us. The church’s later treatment of the gospels is one long effort to rescue Jesus from ‘extremism.’”—author Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant

Jesus was good. He was caring. He had powerful, profound things to say—things that would change how we view people, alter government policies and change the world. He went around helping the poor. And when confronted by those in authority, he did not shy away from speaking truth to power.

Jesus was born into a police state not unlike the growing menace of the American police state.

But what if Jesus, the revered preacher, teacher, radical and prophet, had been born 2,000 years later? How would Jesus’ life have been different had he be born and raised in the American police state?

Consider the following if you will.

The Christmas narrative of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one.

The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable, where Mary gave birth to a baby boy. That boy, Jesus, would grow up to undermine the political and religious establishment of his day and was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be.

However, had Jesus been born in the year 2016…

Rather than traveling to Bethlehem for a census, Jesus’ parents would have been mailed a 28-page American Community Survey, a mandatory government questionnaire documenting their habits, household inhabitants, work schedule, how many toilets are in your home, etc. The penalty for not responding to this invasive survey can go as high as $5,000.

Instead of being born in a manger, Jesus might have been born at home. Rather than wise men and shepherds bringing gifts, however, the baby’s parents might have been forced to ward off visits from state social workers intent on prosecuting them for the home birth. One couple in Washington had all three of their children removed after social services objected to the two youngest being birthed in an unassisted home delivery.

The Rest…HERE

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