Right, here's the vid:
Basically, i believe that if Jesus was around us today, he'd be on the side of the anti-religious new atheism to which we lazily refer as atheism. Militant atheism and Jesus's mission have a lot in common and share many motivations. Gandhi once said that he liked our Christ but didn't like our Christians.
Here's a bit of a rant list about what people professing to be Christian have to my knowledge done:
- Plant people in a crowd to pretend to be converted by a street preacher.
- Make posters deceiving people into thinking a meeting was organised by spiritualists when it was actually propaganda against spiritualism.
- Suggest that God wouldn't want my wife to wear a black T-shirt but a nice long floral dress.
- Accuse a friend of lying when he thanked God in a prayer that he was getting more freelance work because it was the "wrong" kind of work and they couldn't believe God would bless something which wasn't a "proper" job.
- Gang up on a gay member of their congregation and chant "OUT, OUT, OUT!" like they were at a Nuremberg rally until he left the church.
But, how can you ever say it's Christian to exhort the poor to give all their money away to the church as a test of faith? An individual might make that choice for themselves, but they can't impose that decision on anyone else, particularly when the person attempting to impose it happens to be a millionaire.
So it comes as no surprise, really, that actually looking at the sayings of Jesus, assuming him to be merely a fictional character, come out on the side of anti-religious atheism on the whole. You can even go further than that and play with the idea that he was actually an atheist himself, although going by what it says in the gospels that would make him dishonest and a hypocrite. However, if you wanted to get a powerful message across and the whole world, as far as you knew, was theistic and would probably kill you before you got anywhere, it wouldn't just be suicidal to assert that God didn't exist but also stupid, because it would defeat your aim by getting you murdered before you got anywhere. Epicurus was very probably atheist but decided against saying that he was for similar reasons. However, of course i believe that Jesus knew there was a God. I also believe he was a historical character, and the idea of the Jesus myth is an example of the oddly old-fashioned views taken by the so-called "new" atheism, but that's a blog entry for another time