Monday, March 24, 2008

necessary evil

CNN analyst and Hillary Clinton advisor James "the ragin' Cajun" Carville had this to say about Bill Clinton's Super Bowl watching buddy. (Doesn't he look pissed that he has to watch the game with Richardson?) "Mr. Richardson's endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic," he said, calling it "[a]n act of betrayal."

Now Carville is known for his crazy commentary that is some times apt--"it's the economy, stupid"--some times outrageous and some times light heartedly funny. And I could get into the Godfather-esque ways Clintonistas (and not the Clintons themselves) talk about Richardson ["How many times did [Clinton] appoint him?" McAuliffe marveled {after Richardson's strategy to tell his supporters to go to Obama if they didn't meet 15% "caused" Hillary to get 3rd place in Iowa}. "Two? U.N. Ambassador and Energy Secretary?" He looked at me, half-glaring, awaiting confirmation. "I don't know," I joked, "but who's counting?" "I am," McAuliffe said firmly."] But I would rather focus on the Easter message that is being distorted.

The more I think about it, the more I don't get why people "blame the Jews" or "Judas" for "killing Jesus." In case you forgot, Jesus wanted to be killed. He knew that one of his disciples was going to point him out to the authorities, and since it was Jesus, he probably knew it was Judas but just didn't want the other 11 to attack him before Judas did the deed. Assuming Carville is a Christian, which I believe he is (a Catholic, I think), then he knows that it was necessary for Jesus to be crucified for our sins. Without Judas or the Jewish authorities turning him over to the Romans, how would Jesus have died, and would Christianity have got on the way it did? What symbol would one use to connote one's belief in Jesus? Not a cross.

Unless you assume that the same or similar thing would have happened anyway. Really, the whole thing gets one into one of those debates involving any piece of fiction that involves time travel or engaging in hypothetical situations where history is altered. Would Lincoln or Kennedy be considered great presidents if they hadn't been assassinated? Would the Reconstruction or Vietnam occurred? Would Marty McFly have made his parent fall in love? As much as I like to debate topics like this with friends--I do love pointless arguments about silly topics like Back to the Future parts I-III--I think the whole "blame Judas" or "blame the Jews" thing is stupid and counterfactual.

To be clear I am not saying that Clinton is Jesus or that she needs Richardson to endorse Obama in order to win. Who knows how that will all play out. What I am saying is that Judas--and the nominal authorities of Jeruslem in 33 CE--played a critical role in creating Christianity as a world religion and was a necessary act for Jesus to be the redeemer of sinners under that same faith. Anyway, Happy Easter Monday.

1 comment:

Watch 'n Wait said...

Speaking of Judas...Frederick Ramsay has a new book out: "Judas:The Gospel of Betrayal". Just published, it's a novel written from the point of view of Judas. Ramsay was a minister and is known to friends (I am one) as the Rev Fred. His research is impecable and the story as told by Judas is fascinating.