The New York Times has an article today about the tendency of candidates in Brazil to adopt creative and at times outlandish pseudonyms. From that article I learned that “Christ of Jerusalem” lost an election back in 2008, while Batman and a couple of James Bonds are currently on various ballots.
The appearance of a “Christ” on the ballot got me thinking. There are plenty of people who say that their true allegiance is to Jesus, and they will even make T-shirts, badges, and bumper stickers which say things like “Jesus for President.” Here are a couple of examples:
What needs to be remembered by contemporary Christians is not only that Jesus is not literally running for office today, but that “running for office” might be a useful analogy for what Jesus did – and didn’t do – in the first century. The evidence suggests that he didn’t garner enough popular support so that, had it been a matter of elections, Jesus would have been the successful candidate.
I suspect that most people who talk about “voting for Jesus” really don’t have a clear sense of who Jesus was as a historical figure and what he stood for. Jesus is an icon for them, who stands for their own cherished values.
If they really had to deal with the actual historical figure of Jesus as a candidate, without the benefit of hindsight but as a person confronting them with his claims and statements as Jesus did in his time, I suspect that a significant number of Christians would not vote for him. And I think that would be true across the political and economic spectrum.
What do readers think?
Let me close with one last example. I have to say that I find this banner striking – it seems as though whoever made it didn’t click that “son of man” is one of the ways that Jesus is referred to in the New Testament…