By John W. Whitehead
The Rutherford Institute
December 21, 2020
LD: This is an edited abridgement of a much longer article by John Whitehead. I have taken the liberty of adding a few bits and pieces of my own to the text in order to compensate for the cuts I have made and to reinforce the excellent points made by the author. I will take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. [LD]
in the Olden Time
The Christmas story of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one.
The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There being no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable, where Mary gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. Warned that the government planned to kill the baby, Jesus’ family fled with him to Egypt until it was safe to return to their native land.
Yet what if Jesus had been born 2,000 years later?
What if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, Jesus had been born at this moment in time?
What would Jesus, who grew up to become an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, do about the injustices of our modern age?
After all, Jesus—the revered preacher, teacher, radical and prophet—was born into a police state not unlike the growing menace of the American police state today. When Jesus grew up, he had powerful, profound things to say, things that would change the world: “Blessed are the merciful,” — “Blessed are the peacemakers,” — “Love your enemies”.
These are just a few examples of his most revolutionary teachings.
When confronted by those in authority, Jesus did not shy away from speaking truth to power. Indeed, his teachings undermined the political and religious establishment of his day. It cost him his life. He was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be.
Can you imagine what Jesus’ life would have been like if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, he had been born and raised in the American police state?
Consider the following if you will.
Instead of being born in a manger, Jesus might have been born at home. Rather than wise men and shepherds bringing gifts, the baby’s parents might have been forced to ward off visits from state social workers intent on prosecuting them for the home birth. One couple in Washington recently had all three of their children removed after social services objected to the two youngest ones being born at home naturally.
Had Jesus been born in a hospital, his blood and DNA would have been taken without his parents’ knowledge or consent. Personal details of his birth would be recorded in a government biobank. Jesus’ genetic material would be hidden away for research, analysis, and for purposes undisclosed.
From the time he was old enough to attend school, Jesus would have been drilled in lessons of compliance and obedience to government authorities. Had he been daring enough to speak out against injustice while still in school, he might have found himself tasered or beaten up by a school resource officer. At the very least, he would have run the risk of being suspended under a school zero tolerance policy that punishes minor infractions as harshly as more serious offenses.
Had Jesus disappeared for a few hours—let alone for days at a time as a 12-year-old boy in his native Palestine—his parents would have been handcuffed, arrested and jailed for parental negligence.
Rather than disappearing from the history books from his early teenaged years to adulthood, Jesus’ movements and personal data—including his biometrics—would have been meticulously documented, tracked, monitored and filed away by governmental agencies and corporations such as Google and Microsoft. His student records, without his knowledge or consent, would then be offered freely to outside companies for commercial profit.
From the moment Jesus made contact with an “extremist” such as John the Baptist, he would have been flagged for surveillance because of his association with a potentially dangerous political activist.
Jesus’ anti-government views would certainly have resulted in him being labeled a domestic extremist.
While traveling from community to community, Jesus might have been reported to government officials as a “suspicious” character. Government snitches, provided with phone apps, would soon be taking photos of the potential terrorist engaging in suspicious activity, such as sitting in silence for long periods (praying) instead of watching TV or checking his emails obsessively (normal behavior).
Rather than being permitted to live as an itinerant preacher, Jesus might find himself threatened with arrest for daring to live off the grid or sleeping outside. In a country where homelessness is a crime, where camping or sleeping in a vehicle is antisocial, and where loafing on the street corner is seen as “loitering with intent”, Jesus might well get into trouble as an itinerant preacher.
Viewed by the government as a dissident and a potential threat to its power, Jesus would soon have government spies planted among his followers to monitor his activities, report on his movements, and entrap him into breaking the law. Such Judases today—called informants—often receive hefty paychecks from the government for their treachery.
Had Jesus used the internet to spread his radical message of peace and love, he might soon find his blog posts infiltrated by government spies attempting to undermine his integrity, discredit him or plant incriminating information online about him. At the very least, he would have his website hacked and his emails monitored.
Had Jesus attempted to feed large crowds of people, he would have been threatened with arrest for violating various ordinances prohibiting the distribution of food without a permit. Florida officials arrested a 90-year-old man recently for feeding the homeless on a public beach. Jesus would not be allowed to distribute loaves and fishes with impunity, let alone multiply them. Handing out free food to the masses would not please Walmart or Wall Street.
Had Jesus spoken publicly about his 40 days in the desert and his conversations with the devil, he might have been labeled mentally ill and detained in a psychiatric ward against his will, with no access to family or friends. Had he cast out devils, or cured people suffering from blindness, paralysis, or leprosy, he would have been regarded as a threat to the medical profession and Big Pharma. Had he raised the dead, he would have outraged the funeral industry. Had he exorcised demons by casting them into the Gadarene swine, making them hurtle to their death over the clifftop, he would have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals.
Had Jesus attempted to overturn the tables in a Jewish temple, lashing out at the moneychangers with a knotted cord, or raging against the materialism of religious institutions, he would have been charged with a hate crime. Currently, 45 states have hate crime laws on their books. Jesus wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Had anyone reported Jesus to the police as being potentially dangerous, he might have found himself confronted and killed by police officers, for whom any perceived act of non-compliance—a mere twitch or frown—can result in them shooting first and asking questions later.
POLICE STATE AMERICA:
Shoot first, ask questions later.
Instead of being detained by Roman guards, Jesus might have been made to “disappear” into a secret government detention center where he would have been interrogated, tortured and subjected to all manner of abuses.
Charged with treason and labeled a domestic terrorist, Jesus might have been sentenced to a life-term in a private prison where he would have been forced to provide slave labor for corporations or put to death by way of the electric chair or a lethal mixture of drugs.
Indeed, as I show in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it is painfully evident that whether Jesus had been born in our modern age or his own, he still would have died at the hands of a police state.
As we draw near to Christmas with its celebrations and gift-giving, we would do well to remember that what happened on that starry night in Bethlehem is only part of the story. That baby born in a manger two thousand years ago grew up to be a man who did not turn away from evil but spoke out against it fearlessly—and paid the price.
And we, too, must do no less.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, AMERICA,
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
LD: As one who is deeply concerned at the hatred and contempt nowadays directed at Christianity by the Christ Bashers, it is my hope that these troubled souls will refrain from mocking Christianity during this season of goodwill. The core teachings of Jesus have stood the test of time. My short poem, ‘The Core Teachings of Christ‘, is offered to these fellow travellers as a companion piece to this article.