James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Was Jesus a Conspiracy Theorist?

Jesus said, "You can not serve God and money" and that it is easier for a rich man to go through the "eye of the needle" than attain the kingdom of heaven.

Many interpret statements like these to frame Jesus as a socialist. But even more deny that that was Jesus's intent, and use Objectivist/Reagenesque rhetoric, which by itself may sound quite reasonable, to claim that no decent person can be a socialist.

Maybe both sides miss the point. I'm thinking of a well-intentioned, good person who by talent, acumen, sacrifice, and virtue prospers, does so honestly, and gives charitably and generously to those less well-off. But at the peak of his success, when he is on the verge of attaining even greater riches, even more potential to do good, and receive acclaim for his humanitarianism, he is informed that the entire political and economic system has been controlled by a Satanic cult (though perhaps not so bluntly stated). He had maybe elevated himself somewhat by his talent and "merit," but his biggest gains were beyond his control, and were in fact created because he was an unwitting dupe of a hopelessly corrupt and evil system.

And what if he is told, "Play ball with us, or see you and your family destroyed. Even if you come forward to the media, you will be quickly discredited, mocked, and ruined. We may even arrange your 'suicide.' If you come forward, in time even your own church will become embarrassed to have been associated with you."

This is a good, honest, well-meaning man. What's he going to do?

I wonder how many well-meaning people, in business, government, academia, and the non-profit sector, have unwittingly gotten in "too deep," see nothing but defeat at every turn, and conclude that their best hope for goodness and justice to triumph is to survive by "playing ball" for just one more day.


  1. Hey Jim -
    Count one here for the stepped out and walked away rather than playing the game again. But to earn a living, you must play at some level - the question is where? Balancing morality and ethics in a world where they are not shared as common is difficult, especially since the games unwritten rules trump the virtuous. But it goes back to morals to define virtue.
    Most people fear walking out of a bad ethical situation, but for sanity sake - you have to. Unfortunately - there are no new frontiers.
    But we can live in our own realities - GW obviously gets away with it.

    I found myself in agreement with a bureaucrat yesterday. somewhat. but we both agreed whole heartedly that what's happening now isn't working and will have to stop. wow - what an admission. but it was his first day out of salem since accepting his job, so the sunshine and social arrangement had his guard down on my home turf.

  2. Let's not forget the "I can do more good from the inside" rationalization. That one had me working as a tool for the state for way too long.