Jesus was a Jew till the day he died
And his followers too for many years beside
Till going to Damascus Saint Paul decides
That the gentiles ought to come along for the ride
Jesus was a gay black hippie Jew
And if you hate that then I guess he will forgive you
Jesus was a gay black hippie Jew
Some say he was a secret Buddhist too
With his sandals and his beard and his messy hair
He'd be shunned by rednecks everywhere
And he'd turn the other cheek if you hit him there
Yet a pacifist Christian is pretty rare

The folks in the region of Palestine
Were mostly fairly dark-skinned in Bible times
Yet he's straight-haired and blue-eyed in our painters' minds
Making god in our own image is a telling sign

Christ always preferred the company of men
And he never was ashamed of his love for them
There are some who think Saint John was his 'special friend'
But many more the idea would just offend...

Listen to the song (and possibly even buy it) on Bandcamp

So... okay, Jesus may not literally have been a gay black hippie Jew - but then again, maybe he was. He was certainly a Jew, although there are sections of the Old Testament he doesn't seem to have taken very seriously, which is why modern Christians have abandoned so many of the old laws, notably those in Leviticus. Based on archaeological and historical records, Jesus was probably black, or at least a good deal darker-skinned than the Christ we are familiar with from Christian iconography.

Whether he was a hippie obviously depends on how you define your terms; but he was certainly a pretty laid-back peace-lover with a dress sense which would have fitted in better in 1960s Haight-Ashbury or Carnaby Street than the Bible belt America of today, and there are several reasons (none of them entirely compelling) to suspect that he may have used ganja. There is also circumstantial evidence - some would say downright implausible evidence - that he spent some time travelling in India, where he flirted with Hinduism and later Buddhism - tales are told there of a Saint Issa closely matching his description, who is said to have left Israel in a merchant's cart in order to escape an arranged marriage...

Which brings us on to the question of Christ's sexuality, about which opinion is very much divided. One widely-held traditional view is that he was celibate. Certainly the Bible never makes any explicit reference to him having sexual relations with women, although there are hints that he was intimate with Mary Magdalene - indeed, many believe that she married Jesus and bore his children, and that the wedding feast at Cana may even have been theirs. The fact that this is not made clear in the canonical books of the New Testament may say more about misogyny in the early Church than it says about Christ's relationships with women; it is hard to be sure. The fact that she is almost universally believed to have been a prostitute almost certainly has more to do with misogyny than scripture.

On the other side of the coin, there are several references in the Gospel of John to Jesus's 'beloved disciple', and a disputed fragment supposedly coming from a fuller version of the Gospel of Mark than the canonical one describes an incident in which a youth came to Jesus 'wearing a linen cloth over his naked body' and 'remained with him that night'. Even leaving aside dubious extra-canonical fragments and ambiguous references from John, many have felt they detect homoerotic undertones in the relationships of Jesus and the Apostles; I leave it to the reader to judge the accuracy of this perception.

Whatever the truth in all of this, Jesus was undoubtedly one of the all-time great teachers of tolerance - which for me, at least, makes it hard to imagine him approving of the oppression of Jews, homosexuals, blacks and assorted hippie types which has been perpetrated in his name over the years.


You've read the song, now buy the t-shirt! http://www.cafepress.com/secretbuddhist


Selected links:


Yes, I wrote the song myself.
Give it a fat bassline and call it reggae, sing it round the campfire and call it folk, play the guitar loudly and call it rock, clap and wave and call it gospel.
Or help me get it into the charts, and call it pop. Musicians wanted now!* :)

*seriously.

One of these statements is true. The other three are dubious or meaningless. I will discuss each one of these assertions in turn, and then discuss whether the idea behind the idea holds any weight at all. But first I will talk about the factual case for each of these four statements.

To truly settle any of these questions, of course, would take a degree of expertise in archeology, history, and several different ancient Languages. Lacking these skills, I can point out some of the more obvious holes using only a slight bit of common knowledge.

So, in order:

  1. Black. Was Jesus Black? If you see the world in terms of black and white, and in the late 20th century world view that history is the progression of the conquering white hordes against the helpless darker hued people of the world, you could say that Jesus was black. Jesus was not a European. But Jesus was not a sub-saharan African. While the Jewish people were not the same culturally or racially as the Roman or Greek peoples (and, of course, were sometimes extremely antagonistic to them), they were integrated into the Mediteranean world much closer than they were into the African world. So to say Jesus is black may be a dubious statement, or it may be a meaningless statement. "Black", as a racial and cultural identity, was created in the last few hundred years, as a result of the slave trade in North and South America. Jesus' possible darker skin tone does not mean he would share cultural features relating to events that happened thousands of years later.
  2. Gay. Possibly the most baseless assertion, and quite possibly the one that depends the most on modern people projecting our modern concerns and attitudes into the past. While we have much writing on the views of the Roman, Greek and Jewish people's views on sex, there was not always a consistent attitude; and we can't always tell what the common people's attitude towards sex was. I think that most people would agree on this: that the Romans and Greeks had different attitudes towards homosexuality than we did, and in general were fairly permissive towards homosexuality. Jewish society was in general, especially in the prophetic tradition very much less inclined to sensuality. However, Jewish society, to this day, does not look upon celibacy as a positive thing. The questions about Jesus' sexuality, then, if they were to take a more scholarly tone, would be as to why and where Jesus, his followers, and later Christianity split from the Jewish tradition on this matter. However, just as there was no "black" people in the ancient world, there was no "gay" people. Homosexuality wouldn't be invented for another 1800 years, or so. So I think taking dubious evidence to assert something meaningless means this second item is doubly struck down.
  3. Hippie . This is, by far, the most meaningless assertion. What, exactly, constitutes a hippie? I know many people who in some way or another share traits that might be attributed to hippies, although few would describe themselves as such. Some people may look at to the hippie movement as exemplars of simple, upright living, concerned more with spiritual matters than the rules of society. Others may see hippies as a bunch of self-indulgent, self-righteous losers passed out on a pile of beanbags with their hands in a bag of Doritoes. The truth may lie somewhere in between, but I can say that what may have been called a hippie in London in 1967, in San Francisco in 1968, and in New York City in 1969 would have been three very different people. To project this amorphous subcultural label, only valid for the past thirty or forty years in parts of the Western World, two thousand years into the past, is meaningless. For the sake of argument, Jesus believed in a communal society that set itself against the dominant society. Does that make Jesus a hippie? Maybe, but if we say Jesus is a hippy for those reasons, maybe Jesus was a Juggalo.
  4. Jew Jesus was most definitely a Jew. No argument there.

So, having shown that most of these statements as unsupported, or more importantly, as meaningless, I will state the statement that was trying to made in the original: Jesus was not a member of the dominant culture of the time, and would probably not fit in in the dominant culture of the present day. This radical idea has already occurred to others. The problem that Euopean culture has been trying to wrestle with, with not a terribly good rate of success, for about 1500 years now, is the fact that they are trying to base a solar culture on a lunar culture. Roman society, and the European culture that followed them, used a solar calendar. Jewish society followed a lunar calendar. This is more telling then it might seem: in the natural world, the moon reflects the sun, but in the world of culture, it often goes the other way. The bright, outgoing world of European culture, whether in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, or in the form of modern day secular humanism, knows that its promise of supremacy relies on what is hidden. As the Solar reflects the Lunar, Being reflects Non-Being. To say that Jesus was a modern category of outsider may be inaccurate, but to say that the fact that European society has based itself on a man who is not a European, and that that same society cruelly murdered, is all too true. This is something that is again and again impossible to integrate.

Jesus

We aren't talking about your average Jesus here, boy. He's not a guy from Spain or Latin America and his name is pronounced gee-zis, not heey-zoos. It's the Big J right here, Jesus of Nazareth, descendant of King David, carpenter extraordinaire, inventor of the table, rabbi, doctor of theology, political and spiritual leader, unauthorized Messiah of the Jewish people, founder of our era and Son of God. That's a pretty good resume, at least in my opinion.

But hey, was there even a Jesus? As Bertrand Russell, a writer who is most famous for writing books says himself: "I may say that one is not concerned with the historical question. Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him, so I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one. I am concerned with Christ as he appears in the Gospels" (Why I Am Not a Christian). 19th century historians, apparently suffering from a bad case of photosensitivity, were fond of classifying entire epochs in such intelligent and subtle names as "the Dark Ages" and "the Age of Enlightenment." An other productive hobby of theirs was to question the existence of historical characters, and they proved without question that not only did Jesus (that's still "gee-zis") not exist, but neither did Socrates, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Alexander the Great or Jules Cesar, because we only know about them from the contemporary, ancient historians who made up characters, like, all the time.

So basically you're saying "Jesus was X," but Jesus probably never even existed! While we're at it, Elvis is dead. Accept it.

 

Gay

Was Jesus gay? Well boy, that's a very interesting question. Come sit on my lap. Yes, right here. ... What were we talking about again? Right. Well, of course Jesus was gay, boy!

Just like proving historical characters never existed was hip in the 19th century, proving that they're gay is the historian fad of the 21st century. It's the new black! Or the new pink, maybe. Anyway, ask anyone: Lincoln was gay, probably a zoophile even. So was Alexander the Great (or would have been, if he'd existed), but everyone knows that. Oscar Wilde was most likely straight though, but that's an other discussion altogether.

For Jesus, it's pretty easy: the guy never got married, never shacked up, and no known girlfriends? That smells pretty fishy, and not the good kind of fishy. We're talking about a guy who spent all his time around other men—the apostles and disciples. Most were originally married, but they left their wives to follow him—I don't know about you, but that sounds like coming out of the closet to me. And they followed him on the road, where they would live and camp out as a community, and God knows (He should) what would happen after sunset, in the privacy of the tents, between the members of this all-male community.

I mean, the guy only spent time around other guys, except for his mum. And Martha. And the other Mary. And Mary Magdalene, whom historians have speculated he was involved or even married with. But let's be serious here, we're not speculating, we're doing scientific historical research, so it's imperative that we completely ignore anything which might inconvenience our theory.

Right boy, now that we're back on track—you know your hand feels good here—I can safely say that, with the self-evident premise that all historical characters, especially fictional ones (and we've established that Jesus is), are gay, then it becomes irrefutable that Jesus was, in fact, quite gay.

And I don't mean in the "happy" sense of the term either, boy—oh yesss, right here...

 

Black

Now this one is tough. I mean, how do you define "Black"? A person of African origin? But wait, people from North Africa aren't "black," at least by any accepted connotation of the term. Dark-skinned people from South Asia are called "black" by some. But not by others. Should I capitalize Black?

But to some people, being "Black" (black? It's an adjective, isn't it?) isn't about colour. It's a cultural thing. Eminem is black. But not too much, so he can still sell rap records to white audiences. So, is Jesus the Eminem of religion? I guess you're the judge of that. Or maybe the judge of that is a street-talking but wholesome, mildly funny black comic like Chris Rock. I guess that's one of the mysteries of the world.

I could also go down the easy road and explain that since it was sunny in Israel or Galilee or Palestine or wherever where Jesus lived, and that the evangelists haven't invented sunblock to slather on their strange science fiction hero (that walking on water stuff has got to put it in the SF box), so therefore he must have been kinda dark, and that's a lot like being black, right?

But as I said before, we're not speculating here, we're making serious scientific research. Anthropologists have long discarded the theory that Jews are "ethnic semites," a notion which is linguistically and culturally useful but is anthropologically meaningless. The most likely hypothesis is that they were originally ethnic Egyptians who splintered from the ancient Egyptian empire. And not only is Egypt in Africa, but it's also pretty close to Nubia, which was black country when the Egyptians warred and also traded with them and when what would become the Jews (jews?) took off. Now, it's a historically proven fact that, much in the way of roomates, populations which settle next to each other eventually mix.

So, the Egyptians lived next to the Nubians. Therefore, the Egyptians are at least slightly Nubian. Jews are at least slightly Egyptians. Thus, Jews are at least slightly black. And Jesus is a Jew. (Or is he? Find out in the next episode)

Ergo, Jesus was black. QED. That was easy. So, what's next?

 

Hippie

Hahaha, are you serious? Of course Jesus was a hippie! The man was homeless, had long hair and a beard, went around the country spreading a message of peace and love which was considered subversive by the authorities, wanted to change the world, and, as pointed out before, he lived in a freaky commune. He's the mother of all hippies. Father. Son. Whatever. Jesus is a hippie (Hippie? ...Hippy?), that's what I'm trying to say. Are you following, boy? No, don't talk with your mouth full.

 

Jew

This one seems pretty straightforward, but as I hope you learned from this lecture, with science, nothing is ever obvious.

As Jean-Paul Sartre, a non-jewish writer, philosopher and very very ugly man (I'm serious, Google him, he was almost as arse-faced as his girlfriend), clearly states: "Jewish identity is neither national nor international, neither religious nor ethnic, nor political: it is a quasi-historical community." (Anti-Semite and Jew), arguing that anti-semitism fosters the sense of community among Jews, so much so that Jewish communities are strengthened if not formed by anti-semitism, and that therefore "it is the anti-semite who creates the Jew."

However, some of the stupidest people in the world have accomplished some of its smartest intellectual works—this is also something you'll learn if you hang out with scientists, or most people with PhDs for that matter. The category of people I'm talking about here are Christian anti-semites, which have simply got to be in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Most Stupid." I mean, you have to be pretty amazingly stupid to hate Jews, but hating Jews while worshipping a Jew God has got to break some kind of a record.

Anyway, boy. Perhaps intuitively realizing the inherent contradiction in their idiotic fucking beliefs, very erudite Christian antisemites, perhaps to kill time between sessions of forging the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, wrote entire, very complicated books full of historical, archaeological and genealogical research, explaining that Mary really wasn't jewish and that therefore, since Jews are Jews because their mother is a Jew, Jesus was not a Jew and they could worship him and a follow religion which is based on judaicity and was built by Jews—all of it without feeling bad about hating Jews. Nothing like intellectual dishonesty and cowardice to get your spirits up, is there, boy?

Now don't expect me to prove or disprove that research, it's not like I'd open an anti-semitic book, they probably smell bad. So I can't tell you if their research is accurate or not. But it doesn't really matter anyway, because even if Jesus is not a Jew, he is certainly singled out that way by anti-semites.

And as we've seen, it is the anti-semite who creates the Jew. So by proving that Jesus was not a Jew, the anti-semites have really made him into one. Thus, Jesus was indeed a Jew.

 

Ergo, 
Jesus was a
Gay
Black
Hippie
Jew!

 

Ahhh. So there we are, boy. Did you enjoy it too? Learn to. It's an acquired taste.

 

This writeup was obviously meant as a joke. If it has offended you I can't say I'm sorry, you crybaby, but I do apologize for any feelings it may have hurt. I am not gay, black, hippie or jewish, and certainly not Jesus. However, this joke is not about something I am completely insensitive about, since I am a Christian. This little piece can very easily be interpreted as a breach of the Third Commandment, so I'm pretty much betting my eternal soul on the belief that God has a sense of humour. And if He can take a joke, you certainly should be able to.

Let's examine the parts of this proposition from a more purely lexicographical perspective. First, what does it mean to be "gay"? Well, historically, gay meant happy, joyous, romping about in carefree delight. Was Jesus happy? Surely he was at some times, if morose at others. But did he romp joyously, was he carefree, doing cartwheels among the daisies? At times it seemed that Jesus felt he carried the weight of the world upon his narrow shoulders.

This leads us right into the second word of enquiry. Was Jesus black? Well there are a couple of different possible interpretations of that proposition. One could be that he reflected no light, which would have made him well nigh invisible. Miraculous though this might be, there is no historical or Biblical suggestion of so remarkable a capacity as this. But there's another historic meaning of "black," that being of a mood, of a deep psychological depression, of a foul moroseness of the heart. It seems immediately contradictory to suggest that Jesus exhibited a persona both gay and black, though a person suffering from serious bipolar disorder might be both by turns. In other words, simply put, Jesus (like most of us) may have been gay at some times and black at others, but never gay and black at the same time.

Now to the question of the hippieness of Jesus. While it is poor grammatical form, it remains common to address physical characteristics by appending -y (or less commonly -ie) to the body part being described (ie chesty, leggy, toothy). Most every pictorial depiction of Jesus casts the character as being rail-thin, and indeed he did not come from such times of plenty as where the average Joe (or Joseph) working as carpenter, fisherman, or rabbi, would have a filled out frame. Jesus probably had hips that were either narrow or, at most, typical of men in his day. And so, it is fairly safe to say that Jesus was not hippie, or hippy, or any other spelling which connotes roominess of the hips. But, if we give the word a broader meaning -- that of simply being in possession of hips -- Jesus surely had hips, and so was as hippie in that respect as any other man.

Lastly, was Jesus a Jew? This is a more interesting enquiry, for amongst the characteristics inherent to Judaism is the conceptual denial of the notion of "God" having a son who is somehow thusly distinct from mankind. The God of the Jews may well have already been cast in a conceptual state superior to that notion, and so if Jesus adopted such a belief, then he was not religiously a Jew. And yet, there are all the signs of Jesus participating in Jewish ritual, and hewing to a Jewish identity, which presupposes a broader and more thoughtful and encompassing philosophy than is usually credited to him. For if we recognise that the entirety of our Universe is merely the physical manifestation sustained by a force of nature; and if we recognise that such force might as properly be called "God" as anything else, and that the label "God" might as properly be applied to such force as anything else; it then follows that all things in our Universe are expressions of this one "God," and so all men are "God," and all sons of men are, as well, sons of "God."

This is, granted, a theological reading far more advanced and informed than what might have occurred to men of Jesus' day. But if Jesus was in some sense a theological savant, he might well have expressed that all men were indeed the sons of God, and that there was no way to reach God except, for each man, through one's own self -- that is, for each man to proclaim there to be "no way to the father but through me"!! And since such a theological breakthrough would not of necessity inherently conflict with the precepts of at least the most liberal strains of Judaism, we may still find it possible that Jesus remained an ultraliberal Jew, to the very end of his thinking.

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