Jesus as the Ultimate Egalitarian
by Edwin L. Young, PhD
I am an atheist preacher preaching the essence of the teachings of Jesus without the message of salvation to immortality. The churches have plenty of preachers preaching salvation and immortality to their congregations. Who will preach to the rest of the people about resisting the evils of the 'principalities and powers of this world'? Who will teach about the necessity for becoming mature people dedicated to their own and their children's growth in wisdom, the pursuit of peace and social justice, and care for their neighbor and all of the earth and its creatures, including people considered enemies?
I remember that Jesus mingled with prostitutes, prisoners, the insane, people with all manner of diseases, and especially the poor, filthy, and ostracized, but also corrupt and insensitive politicians, the greedy and exploitative wealthy, ruthless soldiers, in short everyone. He went where they lived and listened to them, dealt with them, showed empathy and compassion to them all, and rebuked and exhorted them all as the case required. He was not squeamish but neither could anyone manipulate him. He was not a slave to the conventions of the day. He distributed goods equally among people without regard for compensation. He even showed care for animals and for life in general.
In his teaching, he took into consideration both the past and the future. However, he discouraged his listeners from fretting over either. He did, however, warn people to consider future consequences of present behavior. His congregation was not enclosed in a building or confined to an organization. His message did not include creating a stratified polity. He did not espouse a national religion, no Christendom, no Christian nation, or a dominance of his followers over any other peoples or nations. No one was a prince or king nor leader directing or exercising authority over others.
He showed no signs of exclusivity. No one was valued more than any other or accorded greater or less privilege. No one was looked down upon for their behavior, no matter how heinous. He did not elevate one gender over another. He acknowledged no artificial social boundary or border erected between groups, regardless of status or ethnicity, nor any other discriminating trait or characteristic. He did not endorse 'law' as a means of controlling or punishing people nor as the decider of disputes among people.
He sought neither status nor material gain for himself.
He was a true egalitarian of utmost simplicity and wisdom.
He was teaching the highest level of maturity to all people of the world.
Were he to be alive today and living in America, he surely would be crucified again!
Edwin is a 76 year old, retired, psychotherapist/institution reformer. His greatest satisfaction came from reforming many juvenile correctional institutions, a maximum security prison, a West Texas mental hospital, and the huge Job Corps in San Marcos, Texas. All in all there were thirteen institutions that he successfully reformed. In the last year of his PhD program, Edwin was one of the two PhD graduate students to be awarded the annual University Research Institute grant. His dissertation committee said his was the longest, best, and most complex in the history of the department. Since retiring, Edwin spends his time writing. His site is: The Natural Systems Institute.