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WWJD: What Would Juan Do?

By The Reverend Published: April 9, 2008

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Whenever I hear Knee Pad Media members talk about Jesus, my Reverend ears perk up. Nothing can be as potentially funny or misguided, or both, than narcissistic, self-absorbed Knee Padders giving opinions about the Christian Saviour and what he would or would not do.

Juan Williams is a switch hitting Knee Padder working for both FOX News (the far right network) and the, allegedly, left wing National Public Radio.

Here's Juan opining about the greatest of questions facing the western world in the 21st century.....should Barack Obama have left his Chicago church?

But when Barack Obama, arguably the best of this generation of black or white leaders, finds it easy to sit in Rev. Wright’s pews and nod along with wacky and bitterly divisive racial rhetoric, it does call his judgment into question. And it reveals a continuing crisis in racial leadership.

What would Jesus do? There is no question he would have left that church. Source

Now Juan Williams comes across week after week as an awshucks kind of fellow. A harmless fellow. What caught my attention was the fact that Williams is a "biblical scholar", or at least that's what the short bio said about him. This further amazed me.

A switch hitting Knee Pad Service Representive who believes he knows the Bible. A scholar, no less.

Referring to Barack Obama's church pastor and the 30 second video clips, out of 30 years worth, of Jeremiah Wright's more theatrical moments, Juan Williams states oh-so-self-righteously, "there is no question he (Jesus) would have left that church." Obama didn't leave Wright's 8000 member church because of Wright's hyperbolic sermon punctuation mark sentences and gyrations. Juan Williams, being a biblical scholar, knows for certain, all things being equal, that Jesus would have left a church where such goings-on were going on. About this Williams declares there's "no question".

The Reverend...umm...has questions.

To be a biblical scholar and to come away from that scholarship with the idea that Jesus was a politically correct wimp-ass who would do anything to shy away from what might be considered extreme by the religious or political establishment......isn't scholarship at all. I don't know exactly what it is.....but it ain't biblical scholarship. It may be part of our whacko new-Puritanism in America. Juan Williams may simply be one of the new post modern Pharisees of the 21st century. Without doubt, however, Juan Williams has not a clue of what he's talking about with his foolish answer to..... What would Jesus do?

I'll do my best McCain imitation.....let me give you a little "straight talk".

Jesus, in Juan Williams' comparison, wouldn't be Obama sitting in the pews somewhere. Jesus would be starring in Jeremiah Wright's role. Jesus IS the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Jesus would have been the guy making those volatile comments. Far from leaving out of shock or tender and bruised sensibilities.....Jesus would have been the leader, the radical, the agitator, the conscience for a totally corrupt and hypocritical religious and political establishment.

Rather than sit through hyperbolic challenges to the most powerful, Williams' Jesus can't even put up with hearing those challenges. They're just too....you know.....extreme. Jesus, according to "no question" Juan, was so pious, oh-so-very-religious, so virgin eared.....he could never bear hearing any such "wacky and bitterly divisive rhetoric".

Biblical revisionism perhaps, but not biblical scholarship.

In the first century days of Jesus, when the man from Nazareth carefully fashioned up a whip out of ropes, entered the courtyard surrounding the "church" sanctuary and proceeded to drive out, physically, the money changing religious establishment.....an action that led directly to his crucifixion....was Jesus being "wacky"? Was the Lord of Christianity a pious, spiritual internalist, passive and never involving himself with controversy or radical teachings or behavior?

Of course not.

When Jesus was overturning those money changer tables, do you suppose the onlookers were thinking, "now there's a guy who would get up and leave a religious community if anything radical or divisive was going on?"

Jesus took on the biblical "scholars" of his day. The scholars who, like Juan Williams, had "no question" what God would do. The Pharisees, the great and pious scholars of the Torah, had "no question" about what God wanted Jews to do in their lives. They burdened down the commoners with meticulous interpretations of Mosaic Law all for the purpose of self-aggrandizement.

The man Juan Williams said would leave any religious group that didn't conduct themselves according to proper protocol.....told the scholars of his day that they were "whited sepulchres". Juan's non-radical, non-divisive Jesus told the religious leaders of his day that they looked all white and pure, like whitewashed grave stones, but inside they were full of dead men's bones. If Juan Williams would have been there, "no question", he would have fled from such divisive and hateful rhetoric.

The radical nature of the man Jesus has been revised and defanged over the centuries. The divisive religious upstart said and did many things that made the establishment scholars of his day pick up stones to kill him. Repeatedly, the Gospel accounts recorded Jesus, the young, radical, divisive rhetoritician at odds with the religious establishment. Juan Williams depicts Jesus as being just the opposite. Williams, by questioning Obama's judgment, clearly demonstrates that his judgment is the one that is bankrupt.

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