The Common Good
September-October 2012

From the Archives: Fall 1971

by John F. Alexander | September-October 2012

Dear Jesus...

Apparently you have never really understood the white man’s religion. If you had, you would not have begun your public ministry by calling for repentance. I mean, repentance is radical change, a recognition of guilt, a reversal of its past, an about-face. You can’t expect that from people.

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You must have read the multitude of studies that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that no means of communication can do more than make very slight changes. But you talk about “rebirth.” What nonsense! ... You ought to focus on smaller changes that might reasonably be expected. But no. You make outrageous demands that force people to conclude that you are irresponsible. ...

Honestly Jesus, you are so confused I hardly know what more to say. All this talk about love in a world that only understands power. And surely it is a mistake to insist that you came “not to bring peace, but a sword.” At a time like this, people need to be reconciled to each other, and you can’t do that by insisting on righteousness. Personally, I am left absolutely speechless when I hear you tell responsible citizens to sell what they have. Don’t you realize how this strikes at the very heart of our economy?

So I just don’t know what to say. But I do know this. If you continue following your present pattern, the same thing will happen to you as happened to John the Baptist and most of the prophets in the Old Testament.

John F. Alexander was editor of The Other Side when this article appeared.

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