Sitting here at the Waller County Jail in hour 44 of the 64 that Sandra Bland spent here before news of her death broke on July 13; making sure her voice is heard here throughout the duration. Sitting here a week after the indefensible killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; as well as a week after the targeted shooting of five Dallas police officers (Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Sgt. Michael Smith, DART Officer Brent Thompson, and Officer Patrick Zamarripa). Sitting here after Breitbart published a piece yesterday falsely claiming that the Dallas shooter was a part of protests here at the Waller County Jail. Sitting here thinking about Jesus.
Thoughts on Jesus:
• He was born as minority ethnicity within an oppressive Empire.
• He was arrested when religious leaders and the government conspired together to meet their common goals of order and control.
• The government and religious leaders engaged in character assassination, and the majority of people turned on him leaving him with only a handful of supporters.
• He was falsely convicted, and chose to remain silent and plead the 5th.
• He was unable to appeal his conviction because of his ethnicity and the fact that he was not a citizen of the Empire; whereas Paul was later able to appeal the decision all the way to Rome because of his citizenship.
• After his conviction, the enforcers of the law took him to their headquarters and stripped him and beat him up, making his head and body bleed.
• In the moment of his death, they tried to break his pride and show him his place by putting a mocking sign over his head.
• He was executed by the Empire/State and died slowly while the world watched; people have replayed it repeatedly over and over ever since. Since they did not have cameras at the time, people have used their own bodies to act it out in Passion plays.
Maybe the question we should be asking is not so much “What Would Jesus Do?” but rather “What Would We Be Doing When Jesus Died?” Currently, in a time removed by 2,000 years, you may believe that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God; but back then, he would have been just another oppressed man of non-European decent who the State called a criminal and the Religious leaders called a sinner.
The one we call perfect was rejected as a criminal in his day.
If there were televisions in that day, they would have told you:
• Jesus frequented prostitutes.
• Jesus was homeless.
• Jesus had verbally attacked church leadership.
• The followers of Jesus claimed he could perform magical feats.
• Jesus was prone to psychotic breaks and had actually waved around a weapon in a public place and destroyed property.
• Jesus mom got pregnant with him when she was not married.
• Jesus family was shiftless and moved around a lot when he was young.
• Jesus was delusional and claimed he was a god.
• Jesus associated with known criminals.
• Jesus had criminal connections in his family, as his cousin John had previously been executed by the State.
• Jesus posed a threat to the stability of the nation.
Now, answer honestly: What would you do? Where would you stand? Is that where you are standing now?
If you still find yourself wanting to hold onto this Jesus, can you not make room for the grief and outrage of those who died in similar ways?
Our theology teaches there was a purpose in the death of Jesus; it does not teach it was right and just to kill him.
This is why it is an act of faith when I say: #BlackLivesMatter