Thursday, December 16, 2004

Don’t Fuck with The Jesus, Mang

[Jesus said] "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Why the right cheek? How does one strike another on the right cheek anyway? Try it. A blow by the right fist in that right-handed world would land on the left cheek of the opponent. To strike the right cheek with the fist would require using the left hand, but in that society the left hand was used only for unclean tasks. …. The only way one could strike the right cheek with the right hand would be with the back of the hand.

What we are dealing with here is unmistakably an insult, not a fistfight. The intention is not to injure but to humiliate, to put someone in his or her place. One normally did not strike a peer in this way, and if one did the fine was exorbitant … A backhand slap was the normal way of admonishing inferiors. …

Why then does Jesus counsel these already humiliated people to turn the other cheek? Because this action robs the oppressor of power to humiliate them. … Such a response would create enormous difficulties for the striker. Purely logistically, how can he now hit the other cheek? He cannot backhand it with his right hand. If he hits with a fist, he makes himself an equal, acknowledging the other as a peer. But the whole point of the back of the hand is to reinforce the caste system and its institutionalized inequality.

Lest we forget: A nice examination, in social-historical context, of the Christ as poetic terrorist, the Trickster tearing down Power by mocking its hypocrisy. The Son of Man, come down from heaven to fuck shit up.

The Prince of Peace was badass, bro—and non-violence is not for pussies.

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