What Would Jesus Do (with $40 million)?

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

– Matthew 25: 33-40

I was reminded of this little passage today as I reviewed these numbers:

  • Colorado Independent reports that “donations supporting Proposition 8 from Focus on the Family, one of its major benefactors and an offshoot lobbying organization totaled more than $1.251 million…”
  • This money was being funneled into the California campaign at the same time the organization was laying off 202 employees.
  • “The Knights of Columbus, the Connecticut-based political arm of the Catholic Church” chipped in another $1.275 million.
  • The Mormon Church donated nearly $190,000, and it’s guesstimated that when you add in the amount spent by all Mormons individually the total climbs into the $20 million range.
  • All told, individuals and hate groups like Focus on the Family, the Catholic Church and the Mormons ponied up $39.9 million to make sure that gays living in places they couldn’t find on a map if their eternal souls depended on it can’t get married.

Now, why would my twisted little mind put these numbers together with that little passage of scripture above, you wonder? Because it got me to thinking about what Jesus might have done with nearly $40 million if he were around today. See, that’s $40M that wasn’t spent

  • feeding the hungry
  • giving drink to the thirsty
  • providing shelter for the homeless
  • clothing the poor
  • caring for the sick
  • visiting those in prison

I’m not a mathematician by trade, but I believe the following statements are close to accurate:

  • $40M could provide three square meals a day for a month for over 65,000 people.
  • $40M could buy winter coats for four million poor children.
  • $40M could build a couple of schools. Because, you know, the children are our future.
  • $40M could operate middle-of-the-road quality youth homeless shelters for over 30,000 people for the two coldest months of the year.

I mean, that is the kind of pussy liberal bullshit that Jesus was always whining about, right?

But maybe you don’t believe in rewarding failure and bailing out losers. Okay, Mr. Get-Off-Your-Ass-and-Work-For-It Conservative, you’re a smart guy. How many productive, useful community projects could you get done if I gave you $40 million and a legion of poor people who are willing to pull their weight? If the answer is less than 100, you’re a pretty pathetic excuse for an entrepreneur.

So as I see it, wasting $40M on something as patently ignorant as Prop 8 is a bipartisan offense against common decency.

If the Bible is to be believed – and parts of it probably should be – there are things that mattered enough to Jesus that he pretty much never shut up about them. Then there are other things – like deficit spending, the proper way to groom a poodle, homosexuality and whether Van Halen was better with David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar – that we have no evidence he ever spoke about at all.

With that in mind, let’s review the rest of Matthew 25:

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

42 replies »

  1. But. But. But. All those parts of the Old Testament that talk about homosexuality! And Sodom and Gomorah! And. And. And….

    You just hate freedom. And pointing out that the Old Testament says nothing about Jesus will just prove that you hate Christians as much as you hate the U.S., you pinko atheist hippy freak.

  2. Further proof that churches who engage in denying civil rights to Americans should be considered political organizations – and TAXED accordingly.

    Render unto Caesar, mfer’s….

  3. You’re right man, you’re not a mathematician.

    $40 million could by three square meals a day for 2 million people for a month if you could buy 90 meals for $20, which would be $.22 per meal.

    $40 million could buy winter coats for 4 million children if you could get the coats for $10 each.

    But your heart’s in the right place, and I agree with you if the point you were trying to make is that these so-called Christian entities are anything but Christian, if we define “Christian” as someone who tries to emulate Jesus of Nazareth — the way he lived and the things he said about how his followers should live.

    In fact, I’d call them “Pharisees.”

    • $40 million could by three square meals a day for 2 million people for a month if you could buy 90 meals for $20, which would be $.22 per meal.

      Hmmm – missed a step in there. Assuming you could feed someone a healthy diet for $20 a day – that’s not luxury, but it’s more than enough to keep them in decent shape, I’d think – it looks like my number should be around 66,000 people instead of 2M. My bad. I’ll adjust the post accordingly. Thanks for the catch.

      $40 million could buy winter coats for 4 million children if you could get the coats for $10 each.

      I did some snooping online and I actually believe you can do just that. Again, not the greatest coats in the world, but a big improvement?

  4. Jesus liked David Lee Roth better. Sammy Hagar is an abomination in the eyes of the lord.
    Even if DLR does look like he was on the wrong end of a smiting lately.
    I’ve always found it kinda strange the people that yell long and loud about “Doing the Lord’s work.” are generally talking about the randomly wrathful OT god and not Jesus.
    Wonder how many sick people 40m would’ve taken care of. (That whole leper thing.)

  5. Sammy,

    Actually the Food Bank of the Rockies claims to be able to feed people nourishing meals for about $1 per day. That gets you back up to 1.33 million fed for a month. Remember as a charity they pay no taxes and they can buy directly from the source at special lower prices.

  6. Rho, that was my guess as well. I was pretty sure that if you did this through soup kitchens, they could feed a hell of a lot more people than you could if you went out and bought $20 worth of groceries.

  7. Although I may be interested in the spiritual beliefs of people I care about, and interested on an intellectual level in comparative religion, my gut feeling about this entire issue is that I DO NOT CARE WHAT JESUS WOULD DO. Or Mohammed, or Vishnu, or L. Ron Hubbard, or any religious spokesperson/symbol/deity of any kind, anywhere. I also don’t give a rat’s ass about the spiritual beliefs of the writers of the Constitution or the Judeo-Christian basis of our Western code of ethics (hint: not that unique; check Hammurabi, check the Quran).

    I am a female agnostic married to a male atheist. We were married in the office of our district judge, located in the corporate building belonging to Taco Cabana. Religion has very little relevance to our lives other than as a minor irritant… and sometimes, here in the Bible Belt, a major pain. However, the validity of our marriage is above question according to the laws of this state and this nation because we cannot be discriminated against on the basis of religion… oh, and we’re different genders. Apparently, we’re not a threat to society despite our godless ways, and there’s not one damn bit of rational evidence that same-sex couples are, either, which leaves (surprise) irrationality as the only rationale for this particular form of bias.

    That, in a hate-filled inverted nutshell, is precisely what supporters of Prop 8 are trying to do: make their religious beliefs the basis for legalized discrimination.

    I already know that there are those who use faith as a weapon and those who use it as a tool. In this context, I find it completely irrelevant. I’ll keep my sarcastic, agnostic ass out of your church. You keep your religion out of my laws. We may be able to get along.

  8. Jesus was a Liberal and Socialist, you can’t say you follow him and then say all policies that effect your wallet are different than all policies that effect morality. All or nothing. For this one very reason, if not lots of others, I despise the “religious right”. The massive dirty hypocrisy of it all.

    And what’s more, I find it funny that we have agnostics and atheists that are more “like Jesus” than most on the religious right. That just cracks me up.

  9. Nah, it was a nice strong rant. I could almost hear the coffee cup bang on the table.

    Lara Amber

  10. I love you, Ann. Will you marry me?

    (oops, wait. Can’t. Guess I’ll have to stick with Djerrid, then.)

  11. Excellent points by both posters (Sam and Ann)! Too bad that those to whom these arguments are directed will (no doubt) fail to see the logic. Their minds are made up, so don’t you dare confuse them with the facts!

    Side rant in response to Ann’s comment about keeping religion out of the laws:
    One thing that really kills me, is the so-called separation of church and state. You get a huge debate every Christmas about whether you can have Santa and baby Jesus together on the church house lawn, while the Mints continue to churn out money emblazoned with “In God We Trust”, and courts still have people swear on Bibles (er–they do, don’t they?). You put a non-Christian on the stand, for instance, sure they’ll swear on the Bible–it’s not relevant to them. Might as well have ’em swear on the phone book. Or have a Christian swear on the Quran, maybe. I don’t get it.

  12. I don’t think you need to swear on a Bible if you don’t want to. The last few times I served on jury duty in California, we just held up our right hands and swore. No mention of God anywhere in the oath.

    Of course, Cali— I was going to say that Cali is full of pinko libruls…but after Prop 8, I’m not so sure…

  13. I refuse to even call the Sammy Hagar incarnation by Van Halen. Jesus would agree with me, he always does.

    • You cannot serve two masters [GOD and Mammon] spiritualism versus materialism]]

      Before we tackle the somewhat troublesome assertion that you can’t serve both, can we begin with the even more troublesome assumption that it asks us to swallow uncritically? To wit: would you be so kind as to demonstrate the existence of God?

  14. To wit: would you be so kind as to demonstrate the existence of God?

    Hugh Jackman’s ass. Done and done.

  15. There being no Babel fish, which serve to prove the non-existence of God, He therefore must exist after all. 😛

  16. So, Ann, if I’m reading you right, you find the faith aspect of the debate irrelevant because it shouldn’t be relevant in the first place?

    That seems a little too normative, doesn’t it?

  17. Well, Steve, in a therapeutic sense, there are no “shoulds,” are there? There is only what is and what we do. That will be $275.

    However, in a “just come out and say what you mean if you want to argue” sense, yes, Steve, I seem to feel that the faith aspect should be irrelevant… in a perfect world full of perfect people and perfect justice. No, Steve, the world would seem not to be like that, and I’ve figured that out, as, apparently, have you (and hey, congratulations, big boy), making what you so coyly describe as the “faith aspect” entirely relevant. Unfortunately.

    And no, Steve, if you’re using “normative” in the prescriptive sense, it doesn’t “seem a little too normative” to me to ask that the standards of law be the, hey, standards of law. I didn’t make ’em up. If it’s the descriptive sense you’re groping toward, my attitude seems pretty abnormative (is that a word?), given that the norm here seems to be dragging individual spiritual beliefs, false data and inaccurate historical anecdote into a decision about the greater good of society and the rights of human beings.

    Of course, if I did decide to get all normative on everyone’s asses, the world would be a better place. No seems about it.

  18. The “faith aspect” is irrelevant simply because it isn’t required for law, nor is there anything about law that says it has anything to do with faith or morality.

    Another reason the faith aspect is irrelevant is because it isn’t something shared by all people, therefore the discussion of law and rights can not be governed, or even guided, by “faith” in any aspect. We only have reality and fact in common. We can come to agreements on various things with or without faith being involved, and policy and law should not be made without the force and effect of fact and reality as its main creator.

    Laws are of man, for man, about man, and affecting man. There is nothing in any of that that requires faith. If its not required, its irrelevant to the process.

    To the topic at hand, your god has no bearing on the rights of those who don’t share your faith, and you have no right to force your faith, via proxy, on any of your fellow citizens. There should never have been a serious discussion about the merits of homosexuals sharing the same rights as heterosexuals in terms of the contract of marriage. All we have in the realm of “fact”, in a legal contractual sense, is that two people have legal right and obligation to each other, a contract willfully signed by two consenting adult human beings. The legal aspect has nothing to do with your faith, and, your faith has nothing to do with the legal aspect. Nothing in logic or reason or fact shows any reason NOT to grant the same legal protections to “those two people” as to a different “two people”, therefore we acknowledge the rights. Period.

    That people keep trying to bring god into this discussion shows a failing on THEIR part, and nothing else.

    We’re talking legal contracts.. and ones that used to be about parents transferring ownership of their daughter to some man; the man became contractually obligated to care for that woman, his new property. We left that basis for the contract a long time ago, and now marriage is not a property transfer, but a willful melding of two people into one legal entity (for all practical purposes). From that perspective (the only perspective our lawmakers are allowed to make laws from), two men or two women wanting to get married, when their desire is for the same reasons one man and one woman want to get married in the contractual sense, is no less valid than what has been happening for many decades now.

    And the straw man argument, the insanity that is prevalent in religious types (of the ilk that seek to oppress others), that “next will be people wanting to marry animals!”, is so twisted and sick and just not connected to _anything_ in logic or reason that one has to wonder how those people aren’t laughed out of virtually every conversation they try to get into. The guiding principle, of course, is that animals can’t engage in contracts, so it’s fucktarded to presume that applying long standing rules to current situations implies that we’ll all become demented and decide to toss all semblance of sanity out the window simply because logic conflicts with superstition. … guess what, it always has and always will. Animals are not in danger of gaining the ability to sign contracts anytime soon, not if logic and reason have anything to say about it.

  19. Quite the contrary, when you read the bible in Ancient Greek – he DOES respond to homosexuality.

    When the Centurion approached the Rabbi with his wounded “servant” the word used in Matthew is “Pais” (boy) and Doulas (body slave) in Luke.

    Okay, WHY would a ROMAN take the risk of approaching a Rabbi to ask him for a blessing? seems like a pretty heavy-duty concern for his body slave to me. Knowing what we do about the Roman empire and their culture, I think its not a far stretch in the least to assume that this Roman soldier and his Doulas to have been sexually involved.

    Jesus bloody well knew and understood the situation presented to him – and decided instead to show compassion, refrain from judgement and to love and heal equally.

    Who’da thunk it?

  20. Here in Uganda I’m feeding primary schol children a healthy diet, suplemented with a permaculture garden, on $0.25 per meal.
    $40M could go a long way!


  21. The “faith aspect” is irrelevant simply because it isn’t required for law, nor is there anything about law that says it has anything to do with faith or morality.

    So, to restate, law and morality have nothing to do with each other?

  22. Correct. Law and Morality are not dependent on each other.

    Moral is gray, and depends on how the actor interprets life. Law is meant to be exacting and everyone is meant to be able to read the law, understand the intent, and decide if that intent was abused or not. … Since we don’t live in an ideal world, sometimes laws aren’t written as clearly as they could/should/would be. Sometimes that’s by design (lots of business laws/rules/regulations written to benefit the business type at the expense of the masses.. not moral, but still law), sometimes because the subject is difficult to put into words. And sometimes we legislate morality in absence of any logic or reason, and those laws should be removed from the books.

    Laws may correlate with morality, but the relationship isn’t causal. Or, at least, shouldn’t be.. because your interpretation of morality might be different than mine, but we can all agree on what actions of mine hurt your rights.. Case in point, homosexuals being married does _nothing_ to your rights. But to some, it’s “immoral”, and to some it’s not. How does that get resolved? .. you remove the morality question and legislate on the logic and reason points (if you’re a sane species, that is).