How bad of a rap can you get? For years other people have told my story for me. Unfortunately, whenever it is told I always get cast as the villain, even by those who claim I had no choice in the matter. If a person has no choice but to follow a course of actions, can those actions possibly be wrong, or Heaven forbid, a sin?

Some claim that I was a thief in their holier than thou manner. They came from a family owned fishing industry, or receiving gifts of gold as a birthday present from foreign royalty. They owned their own property and boats. One was even a tax collector - you think he ever went hungry? Life was a bit different in the city. There you had to fight over every scrap and money just to get by. And when people gave away their last coins in hopes of getting them back thousand fold in the afterlife, where did this money go to? I'll tell you - expensive perfume, the price of which could run a soup kitchen for months.

My history is a bit different than theirs. Many of my friends where a bit more extreme than me, constantly complaining about the oppressive government. Yes, there were token people in government, but most of it was just to pacify the masses with some laughable representation. Their job was to keep us quiet and not upset the real government too much - if we got too loud the soldiers came in, and I can assure you when that happened it was not fun at all.

So my friends, they keep looking for a leader. "A great general who will help us throw off the yoke of tyranny so we can become a free people once again" Ha! They wanted someone to do all the work for them, bringing down lighting bolts from the sky above and wouldn't accept anything less.

This guy I'm following around keeps saying that he knows the way and has a promise of a new kingdom. Is he who my friends think they're looking for? I don't know - at first it seemed he was and they kept trying to woo him, spur him into action. It turns out he won't even lift a finger to change the world we are in - the here and now. Whats even worse, he tells everyone to be happy and don't worry. I'll tell you, this really irked my friends - their great general turned into a hippy who seemed to be working against them.

So my friends say to me, we need to get rid of him - he's working against the cause. I know some people who know some people who would really like to get rid of him. It turns out he's upset the provisional government too and things are heating up to the point where they're thinking of bringing in soldiers to silence the mobs he stirs up with this peace and love talk. Apparently peace is good when it comes from the government but not when it comes from an individual.

I head off to these people in the government and I get a tidy sum for just a bit of information - where he will be. Its not that hard to find out, there's a mob following him all the time. Still, money is money, and easy money is better than having to shovel stables. It turned out to be enough money to buy a small plot of land on top of that - not bad for someone who grew up on the streets.

So the soldiers came, took him away, and things seemed to settle down. My friends never found their general, but I'm not sure if any mortal man could have filled the shoes of the image they had.

Years later, the mobs are still there for their martyr. When the account is written, I get made into a villain. They wouldn't even accept my account of what happened - it was 'too real' they said. Instead they pick some other accounts that are filled with mystical mumbo jumbo. There I am, a villain - even when they claim I didn't have a choice in what I did. How's that for double standards?

My name? I'm sure you've heard it somewhere along the road. Its Jude. Judas Iscariot.

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