Political Pontius Pilate(s) – Jesus, Politics, and the Mob

Political Pontius Pilate(s) – Jesus, Politics, and the Mob March 3, 2016

"Ecce Homo" (Behold, the Man) by Antonio Ciseri, Public Domain, Wikimedia, United States Public Domain tag
“Ecce Homo” (Behold, the Man) by Antonio Ciseri, Public Domain, Wikimedia

This is a guest post from pastor and good friend of Teaching Nonviolent Atonement, the Rev. Tim Seitz-Brown

Political Pontius Pilate(s)
They have to follow the mob
They need to satisfy the unruly, thirsting for blood crowd
They nominate potential, popular targets to be sacrificed
To quench the mob’s need for someone or some group to pay

The Media
The Chinese
The police
Gay People
The Religious Right
Donald Trump
Hilary Rodham Clinton
Lazy socialists
Greedy capitalists
The US Congress
The corporate lobby
All those other politicians who are not like me, Pilate, at all

I know how it goes
I love, love, love to export my pain onto others
I like to import feeling good about myself
I am righteous and holy and justified and good
Did you know that my political party has all the “good guys”?

I’m addicted to shaming and blaming
And demonizing and dehumanizing
Put me together in a crowd like me
Get us all fired up
What do you get? A blood thirsty mob!
One we get that person
Sacrifice those “sinners”
Then peace follows
For a little while
That’s how it works

But then, after the election
After we have sacrificed the “loser”
It begins all over again
The “peace” starts to wear off
And we need a new target

Here is what is wild
We have multiply multiplying Pilate(s)
We have replicating mobs
The madness is infectious
The name my little Girardian heart gives to all of this?
The Satan
The Devil
The demonic

I like how the other side, the other party, they are always little Nazis
And they are always led by pathetic little Hitler
Did you know that if I lived in the 1850s as the white man that I am
That I would have been an abolitionist and not a slave owner?
See what I do
This is a confession
Maybe I’m the only one who does this
Maybe my church will relieve me of my duties by Sunday
But I am an expert “exporter” of my sin onto “those people”

Meanwhile, something happened
Jesus jumped inside my little delusion.
He received the pain I dished out to him
That I exported onto him
That my mob team beat into him until he died a bloody death
God was NOT responsible for Christ’s death.
I am. My mob team. We are.

Funny how I turn into this little orthodox Christian, isn’t it?
All of a sudden, I am aware of original foundational sin
At the bottom of every civilization, there are bodies
Upon these bodies, my fraudulent “peace” is built
And I live on a mountain of lies, a myth mountain

How did I come upon this little insight?
By being visited by the One who was “crucified under Pontius Pilate”
Under Pilate
The One who handed Jesus over
And released the terrorist, Jesus Barabbas
While the mob chanted with ecstatic joy, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

And Jesus kept repeating, “Father forgive them”
And “they don’t realize the find-a-target-to-bleed cycle” they are trapped in
Jesus was dead
And buried
For three days
Then God reversed the verdict
By raising Jesus from the dead
And Jesus returned
Not with vengeance
Not as a vindictive Lion
But as a loving, forgiving, innocent Lamb, saying “Peace be with you”
Right there
A new kind of “peace”

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