Why Christianity is Popular, but Jesus Isn’t


Public Service Announcement: Jesus was a pretty chill dude. In what I’ve studied about him, he was. He chased money-changers out of the temple who used belief in God to manipulate people, he condemned public and showy worship, he advocated submission to a tyrannical government…and he was crucified because he refused to enact the Roman ass-whooping that all his disciples thought he was there for.

Here are some of his own words:

But all their [the scribes and Pharisees] works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues. (Matt 23:5,6)


Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel…Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matt 23: 24,27)

Dayum. Jesus serving up that hard shit. That guy must have been killer at parti-…oh, wait

Many of Jesus’s words couldn’t be explaining modern Christianity any better…maybe that’s why they don’t like him too much. And for a further explanation of that, I leave the rest of this in the capable hands of my good friend, Camden “Bear Arms” Bowman! Take it away.

“Jesus’ message was inherently anti-imperial, radically inclusive, and awkwardly incompatible with capitalism.

When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he needed to do to be saved, Jesus told him to be a good guy. He was like, “Yeah, I’ve got that down.”

Then Jesus was like, “Oh, and by the way, you have to give all your stuff to the poor.”

The guy just went home. He was fine with making Jesus a religious figure (much like American Christians), but he wasn’t really o.k. with doing the stuff that Jesus was about.

Americans have a hard time with Jesus, cause we live in the biggest, baddest empire that ever was. And we benefit (or at least we think we do) from being thuggish.

We are, in many ways, the polar opposite of Jesus. 

Jesus was homeless, opposed all sorts of physical violence, and when faced with the opportunity to lead a violent revolt, instead quieted Peter down and got himself killed because he wouldn’t resort to the Empire’s tactics.

He was very un-American.

In the end, Americans would rather do the crucifying than be crucified.

It’s not just an American thing, though. Europeans in the middle ages made their swords in the shape of the cross. Only the Europeans designed their swords that way, and it’s a pretty awful design.

They did it for religious reasons. They preferred to wield the cross than suffer it. Most of us would, really.

So as popular as Christianity is, Jesus is pretty unpopular.

Jesus is a difficult character to build a religion around. That, I think, is why Christianity is so obsessed with his death, and not so interested in his life.”

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