By Erik V. Williams
The Trinity of Robertson, Falwell and Swaggart, the American Axis of Good, has been busy preaching to its flocks on the evils of the religion of
These scholars, who only a short time ago thought Muslim was a coarse weave fabric Jimmy encountered under his liaisons in the cheaper motels, are
today world-renowned experts, with Falwell credited with inciting riots in India.
Falwell called Muhammad, the founder of Islam, "a terrorist ... a man of war," while another reverent man of God, noting that one of Muhammad's
many wives was but 9 years old, labeled him a "demon-possessed pedophile."
That is hardly the worst that has been said, but it does highlight the Right's usual prurient preoccupation with sex and violence.
Any historian will explain how inappropriate it is to measure the behavior of the people of one age by the moral standards of another. Muhammad's
conduct, occurring more than 1,300 years ago, when warfare was business as usual and females were married while still children, was consistent with
his contemporaries, even Christians.
If the right-wingers really studied the matter, they'd find they have more in common with Muhammad than with Jesus. Muhammad was a merchant, a
businessman and entrepreneur - a capitalist. Before Jesus walked off his job, he was a carpenter, a common laborer - and with his talk of brotherhood,
no doubt would have been a union man.
He hung out with the dregs of society: the poor, prostitutes, tax collectors, and finally thieves. Not exactly the kind of person to whom you would
entrust your most precious and eternal possession: your stock portfolio.
Jesus revealed his anti-business agenda as soon as he threw the money-changers out of the temple. To the orthodox for whom taxation is government
organized theft, Jesus' clear advocacy of paying taxes by "rendering unto Caesar" is a complete abomination. Scholars are still divided over
whether the raising of Lazarus was to escape the death tax or an intent to pay it twice.
In addition to depriving the mortuary services industry of business, Jesus had a bad habit of healing the blind, lame and sick without prior approval
from health maintenance organizations. He also offered these treatments without regard to ability to pay, an early attempt at universal health
The Right is thankful that this has as much chance today as it did 2,000 years ago - barring another miracle.
Yet more subversive acts were the turning of water into wine and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude. Supply-side
economics and the careful management of scarcity would be utterly wrecked by cheap and plentiful goods on the market. Profits would collapse, CEOs
would lose their jobs, and the specter of want would be lifted from the land.
What a capitalist nightmare. The unemployed rabble-rouser from Nazareth was obviously pushing for a welfare state.
Jesus mollycoddled the poor and went out of his way to condemn the rich. His warning that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for a wealthy man to get into heaven was typical socialist blather. The affluent have had to devote themselves to breeding smaller camels and
building larger needles ever since.
And in answer to that age-old question - what would Jesus drive? - he did not ride an elephant into Jerusalem but a donkey, clearly an endorsement of
the Democratic Party and the liberal socioeconomic agenda, not the Republican.