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New Statesmen: Meet the Radical Jesus

The New Statesman's Mehdi Hasan explains why Jesus was just a big lefty radical.

Never mind that they're clearly drawing a comparison between Jesus and mass murderer Che Guavera. You've gotta' admit this is the kind of image of Jesus that could circulate rather well in college dormitories.

The piece labels Jesus "a class warrior" and "a banker basher" and uses the fact that Jesus didn't charge for His miracles as an endorsement of socialized healthcare.

Forget that liberals seem to forget that Jesus had a major run in with big government that didn't go all that swimmingly and please show me the part where Jesus forcibly made people "share the wealth." Jesus called us to a radical love. He didn't force feed a secular utopia.

And are liberals really really comfortable with the idea of government playing the role of God? Oh wait. Sadly, yes. Yes they are.

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Zilla/MJ said...

If we were like the muslims, we'd be rioting & blowing stuff up over this insulting, disgusting, blasphemous sacrilege.

H said...

I'm confused as how you could characterise the Roman imperial administration as 'big government' - by which I presume you mean socialist. The state very rarely invested in infrastructure beyond that required for the benefit of it and its military. Most public infrastructure was constructed by wealthy private individuals, and then either charged for or gifted to the community, usually to further the political career of the donor. There were no public welfare services.

I agree that Jesus does not force anyone to do anything. However, it is interesting to note that the very first major societal manifestation of the radical love to which Christ urged his followers was distinctly socialist - a fact which Acts emphasises not once, but twice:

"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 had any need." - Acts 2:44-5

"No one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. - Acts 4:32-5

matthew archbold said...

You're confusing giving with taking.

Matthew Siekierski said...

In addition, the shared possessions were not shared with everyone in the Roman Empire, but only among those within the group of Christians. One corrupt manager (say, Judas) and...

I'd rather give to the Church, or a Catholic charity, than the government.

matthew archbold said...

And there's nothing voluntary about taxes. Ask poor Wesley Snipes.

The Dutchman said...

"mass murderer Che Guavera"
Any proof of this accusation?

The Dutchman said...

"I have yet to find a single credible source pointing to a case where Che executed 'an innocent'. Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath: desertion, treason or crimes such as rape, torture or murder. I should add that my research spanned five years, and included anti-Castro Cubans among the Cuban-American exile community in Miami and elsewhere."

— Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, PBS forum

Rick said...

Deja Vu. Recycling Liberation Theology - this time to support the Democrats Socialist agenda. (And yes it is a bad thing brother.) Last time I saw it, back in Medellin, it was espousing a marriage of Catholicm and Marxism and dispelling objections over their incompatability. Oh yes. It brings back memories, "embracing the preferential option for the poor". Please go to the Vatican site for the refudiation of this mental excrement. This combox isn't enough. Those who don't learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat it's mistakes or get conned by the vile Democrats who would reuse the same lies.

matthew archbold said...

Saint Che?

Paul Zummo said...

A prolific diarist, Guevara nevertheless wrote vividly of his role as an executioner. In one passage he described the execution of Eutimio Guerra, a peasant and army guide.

“I fired a .32calibre bullet into the right hemisphere of his brain which came out through his left temple,” was Guevara’s clinical description of the killing. “He moaned for a few moments, then died.”

This was the first of many “traitors” to be subjected to what Guevara called “acts of justice”.


Sometimes I wonder if you are just contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian.

Rick said...

Post script. Liberation theology justifies the use of violence for a revolution that will destroy unjust social structures to bring about justice and peace (with the spreading of wealth). Some Church people thought that Communism will inevitably evolve as the socio-political system because of this dialectical view of history so they decided to ride the tiger and baptise it. I can't believe it is rearing is ugly head again. Then again, with the pinko-commie-Muslim-terrorist supporters in the government, I can understand how it does.

Anonymous said...

The 1960s, like jump suits and polyester, are over.

Big yawn to The Wheezing Statesman.

-- Mack

The Dutchman said...

Hey Paul!

A quick google search turned this up:

"In his diaries, Guevara described the execution of Eutimio Guerra, a peasant army guide who admitted treason when it was discovered he accepted the promise of ten thousand pesos for repeatedly giving away the rebel's position for attack by the Cuban air force.[1] Such information also allowed Batista's army to burn the homes of rebel-friendly peasants. Upon Guerra's request that they "end his life quickly", Che stepped forward and shot him in the head, writing "The situation was uncomfortable for the people and for Eutimio so I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal [lobe].""

So — Guerra WAS a traitor and was executed according to ordinary ideas of military justice. Stuff like that happens in war, right? I'll bet George Washington ordered a few such executions in his war of liberation.

Again, I ask: what proof is there that Che was a murderer (as opposed to executioner), much less a "mass murderer."

And, no, I'm not being a contrarian, it just irks me when reactionary politics are confounded with Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church, despite what Rick says, is a distinctly pro-working-class institution.

Mary De Voe said...

The gentle face of Jesus catches and holds one's attention. The other garb looks out of place which it is.

Rick said...

Here's the hook and reel:
At address bar, type: http://www.vatican.va/
Select English or German.
Go to search box and type: "Liberation theology"
and you'll get 14 results. Pick a few to peruse.
Go to search box again and type" "Social teaching" and you'll get 392 results. See how the Church supports the poor without compromising Her primary spiritual mission and turning the Incarnate Son of God into a Marxist homosexual.

Anonymous said...

Jesus was first and foremost a savior, not an economic liberator. That is heresy, and it is why liberation theologists are heretics.

Anonymous said...

The Lying Dutchman probably wants proof of a holocaust too,

"Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!"
Che Guevara

"Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become … "
Che Guevara

Paul Zummo said...

The Lying Dutchman probably wants proof of a holocaust too,

Heh. It's kind of sad when someone goes out of his way to defend a mass murderer, and then calls other people "reactionary." What a sad old man.

The Dutchman said...

So now I'm a liar?
Just for the record, where did I lie?
(Remember — calumny is a sin!)

Anonymous said...

In 1997, Pierre San Martin, a Cuban who was jailed by Che, recalled an incident that happened in 1959. A 12-14 year old boy, beaten and bloody, had been thrown into the cell with him. The boy said he was there for simply defending his father. The boy was trying to keep his father from being executed. He failed.

Later, the guards came for the boy:
Near the wall where they conducted the executions, with his hands on his waist, paced from side to side the abominable Che Guevera.

He gave the order to bring the boy first and he ordered him to kneel in front of the wall. We all screamed for them not to commit this crime and we offered ourselves in his place. The boy disobeyed the order with a courage that words can’t express and responded to this infamous character: If you’re going to kill me you’re going to have to do it the way you kill a man, standing, not like a coward, kneeling.

Walking behind the boy, the Che said you are a brave lad. He unholstered his pistol and shot him in the nape of the neck so that he almost decapitated him.

Last I knew, even in war, Killing Children is murder. What kind of person would defend a man such as Che?

Anonymous said...

A Cuban prosecutor of the time who quickly defected in horror and disgust named Jose Vilasuso estimates that Che signed 400 death warrants the first few months of his command in La Cabana. A Basque priest named Iaki de Aspiazu, who was often on hand to perform confessions and last rites, says Che personally ordered 700 executions by firing squad during the period. Cuban journalist Luis Ortega, who knew Che as early as 1954, writes in his book Yo Soy El Che! that Guevara sent 1,897 men to the firing squad.

In his book Che Guevara: A Biography, Daniel James writes that Che himself admitted to ordering “several thousand” executions during the first year of the Castro regime. Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-American CIA operative who helped track him down in Bolivia and was the last person to question him, says that Che during his final talk, admitted to “a couple thousand” executions.
Che ordered 27 Batista soldiers executed as “war criminals.” Dr. Serafin Ruiz was a Castro operative in Santa Clara at the time, but apparently an essentially decent one. “But Comandante” he responded to Che’s order. “Our revolution promises not to execute without trials, without proof. How can we just….?”

“Look Serafin” Che snorted back. “If your bourgeois prejudices won't allow you to carry out my orders, fine. Go ahead and try them tomorrow morning–but execute them NOW!”

Anonymous said...

executioner, murderer. Sound like the same thing in Che's case.

Why, why in the world would our Savior be compared to this abomination.

Anonymous said...

The Dutchman Says; "I have yet to find a single credible source pointing to a case where Che executed 'an innocent'. Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath: desertion, treason or crimes such as rape, torture or murder. I should add that my research spanned five years, and included anti-Castro Cubans among the Cuban-American exile community in Miami and elsewhere."

— Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, PBS forum

To which I say; Yes, John Lee's Anderson's popular lie which has been refuted as often as it has been parroted.
Instead of pointing out that Anderson's source for this claim is Castro's minister of Propaganda (go ahead, look it up) I'll let Che's own words debunk the Goebbels of the Cuban Revolution:

"To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."

Now, shucks. How on earth does Anderson get off saying that he personally investigated and debunked the notion that Che executed innocent men, when Che himself actively mocked the notion of a fair trial?
Simple: Because he is deliberately revising history to glorify and evil man and his evil actions and ideals because Anderson finds them romantic, and thereby thinks that his devotion to ideals supercedes objective reality or journalistic integrity.

The Dutchman said...

1] You called me a liar. Prove it. What statement that I made was false?

2] When I quoted someone, Jon Lee Anderson, I gave my source, please give your sources.

3] Jon Lee Anderson is a writer for the New Yorker, a pretty reputable publication. Do a Google search on your "firing squad" quote and all you get is hysterical right wing sites and comments on discussion boards, no authoritative source shows up.

Anonymous said...

Actually the above quote about the firing squad comes from a book by Humberto Fontova. It is footnoted in the book and thoroughly researched because Humberto did something John Lee Anderson Didn't. He interviewed the people who fled. Anderson admits in an interview with Bomb magazine that he aligned himself only with Che's inner circle and that those people didn't ask certain questions. Anderson is a Marxist sympathizer. Which if you want to be communist fine, but the whole premise of it is to force others to be that way too, usually through force and killing, which is what Che did. Of course left wingers hate Humberto, who was exiled from Cuba. Anyway, there is no doubt in my mind that Che was a murderer. As for whether you are a liar, you are lying to yourself if you think Che is some sort of hero.

The chaplains account of the prison makes me want to vomit.
Javier Arzuaga, the Basque chaplain who gave comfort to those sentenced to die and personally witnessed dozens of executions, spoke to me (Alvaro Vargas Llosa
The New Republic)recently from his home in Puerto Rico. A former Catholic priest, now seventy-five, who describes himself as “closer to Leonardo Boff and Liberation Theology than to the former Cardinal Ratzinger,” he recalls that

there were about eight hundred prisoners in a space fit for no more than three hundred: former Batista military and police personnel, some journalists, a few businessmen and merchants. The revolutionary tribunal was made of militiamen. Che Guevara presided over the appellate court. He never overturned a sentence. I would visit those on death row at the galera de la muerte. A rumor went around that I hypnotized prisoners because many remained calm, so Che ordered that I be present at the executions. After I left in May, they executed many more, but I personally witnessed fifty-five executions. There was an American, Herman Marks, apparently a former convict. We called him “the butcher” because he enjoyed giving the order to shoot. I pleaded many times with Che on behalf of prisoners. I remember especially the case of Ariel Lima, a young boy. Che did not budge. Nor did Fidel, whom I visited. I became so traumatized that at the end of May 1959 I was ordered to leave the parish of Casa Blanca, where La CabaƱa was located and where I had held Mass for three years. I went to Mexico for treatment. The day I left, Che told me we had both tried to bring one another to each other’s side and had failed. His last words were: “When we take our masks off, we will be enemies.”

Pax Christi of Bakersfield, CA said...

An to think Che once said he'd like to squish Jesus like a bug.

The Dutchman said...

"As for whether you are a liar, you are lying to yourself if you think Che is some sort of hero."

That's the best you can do?

You slander me by calling me a liar, and then this "lie" isn't something I've actually said, it's supposed to be something I've thought?

Well, calumny is a sin. Be sure to mention it next time you confess.

matthew archbold said...

I guess they all deserved killing from Che.

Anonymous said...

It's not slander when it's written, it's libel. And who said you are a liar. I thought you were Dutch and you were lying down.

The Dutchman said...

I guess sarcasm isn't a sin, and I suppose sarcasm has its uses, but sarcasm is a really pathetic way of not admitting that you are wrong.

I haven't lied about anything. (If I have, then show me where and I will apologize.)

You have called me a liar and you are too pathetic even to sign your name to it.

Anonymous said...

I never called you a liar, someone else above did. I just pointed out that Che was a murderer. Not all Anonymous postings are the same person. My name is Sue. I don't know the name of the person who called you a liar. And now look who is name calling. Lighten up Dutchie, it's all that anger that starts at others that makes the world end up so messed up.

Sue said...

One last thing there is a list of verified victims of Che at the Cuba Archive. They believe there to be many more victims, but this list are the ones they have verified.


John said...

Hey Dutch, Just had to weigh in on your collapsing defense. It never seems to fail that when one takes a stand (in your case,that there's no evidence that "Che" was a mass murderer--and, by extension, that he's just a misundersttod "freedom fighter")that is shown to be idiotic, one attempts to change the subject. Whether you are a "liar" or not is not particularly important to me; On the other hand, that you would read Archbold's post and then take the time to defend "Che", apparently without many facts, is significant to me. It tells me you are not to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is a dead as Che's victims, but I wanted to come back and check on something: did The Dutchman own up to being wrong? I'm not saying he was a liar; he initially quoted what he thought was a legitimate source. But now, having had that source totally discredited and having read some extremely pointed and well-vetted counter evidence, I ask The Dutchman: will you admit you were mistaken?
(Does the Left ever admit to being wrong? About Ukraine, about Mao, about Che, about Cambodia? Ever?)

The Dutchman said...

C. Johnson:

Thanx for making a thoughtful contribution. Please examine the thread again and I think you will note that, after quoting a source that struck me as legitimate, I was offered the case of Eutimio Guerra, which a quick google search would seem to show to be a case of military justice, not murder. And then the accusations of lying began, which are completely uncalled for, as all I did was quote sources.

As for the sources offered to me, they are merely lengthy accusations without source, or highly biased right-wing accounts, and one link that causes my computer to crash every time I try it out. Jon Lee Anderson might not be an acceptable source to you (despite his writing for Time and the New Yourker?), but Humberto Fontova is not even a journalist for a reputable publication, so its a bit of a stretch for you to expect me to accept him over Anderson.

I find it rather tiresome that people criticize the Castro regime as "repressive" instead of comparing it to the brutality of the preceding Batista regime or noting that, according to the UN's Human Development Index, Cuba is faring better than any other Latin American country except Argentina. Yes, Castro's regime is autocratic and repressive, but it is probably better than any real world alternative for Cuba.

Lastly, I don't know much about Che. I honestly don't know if he is a mass murderer and would be interested in reading what reputable journalists or historians have to say about the matter. None of the main-stream references that I have looked at make any such accusations and there is usually "more to" the accusations made by right-wing polemicists (as in the case of the execution of Eutimio Guerra, a bona fide spy and traitor).

Anonymous said...

Mr Dutchman: You sir, are a liar. There is a mountain of evidence and eyewitness testimony that Che Guevara was, in fact, a mass murderer. And still you equivocate and prevaricate. That, in so many words is lying. You continue to foster a perverse, obscene, and contemptible lie that Che Guevara was someone to be compared with Christ, when in fact he is known by witnesses and by his own statements and writings to be a homicidal monster. And still you say it is not so. That is lying. You are a liar.

The Dutchman said...

You are foaming at the mouth.

I never, ever said that Che was to be compared with Christ. I just asked for verifiable, reputable proof that Che was a mass murderer.

Of course, I do see Jesus as being a lefty: "The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade."

Yes — it was the bankers killed Jesus.

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