I once responded to a poll posted on social media about whether Jesus would be allowed into America. That was a few years ago. I got in the habit of upgrading and modifying the post every year around the Holiday and Christmas time. Here is my modified updated version for this unusual year of 2018:
- He, Jesus Son of Maryam the Virgin as we call him, wants to come to America. They call him Christ, the anointed, or Messiah/Massih in Hebrew/Arabic/Persian. He has heard that this new land is the last bastion of his true-blue red followers, those who truly adhere to his small sect of Judaism, or so he thinks. He knows they call themselves Christians now. He wants to come visit his true believers in what was and is called the Old Confederacy and the Bible Belt West, once called fly-over land. As well as some inland pockets on the two coasts.
- He, Jesus Christ, would probably not be allowed on a connecting flight from Europe (back in the Middle East there are many who look like him). Eventually, After some agitation, he will likely be put on a no-fly list as a potential terrorist.
- If not, or if he manages to sneak through the controls, he will face the next obstacle. Some other passenger (most likely an American) would complain that he/she feels uncomfortable with someone dressed in long a robe, a hairy man mumbling in some strange language, a typical raghead, on the same airplane. So, Jesus would likely be bounced off the flight anyway (maybe he’ll be handed a check for $300 as compensation).
- Let’s assume that he manages to make it after all, perhaps walking across from Mexico or Canada. He will not be allowed into many churches because his attire (robe & sandals) is deemed un-Christian. The first Mega-Buck Church would throw him out because he does not fit the image of a “member” of their House of God.
- Besides, he wouldn’t know what a church is. Jesus would look for a synagogue upon arrival. Lucky for him, he’d most likely land in New York City.
- He wouldn’t be any more welcome in a synagogue than in a church. Memories of the Diaspora and pogroms and massacres and the Holocaust perpetrated by his alleged later followers do not fade easily. Besides he has no money to pay the very high New York annual fees required for joining.
- He, as Son of Maryam and fruit of Immaculate Conception, might be allowed into a mosque (no fees usually needed there; Mosques are not used as exclusive or exclusionary private clubs). But that welcome of a non-Muslim would be only with the hope of converting him to the teachings of the illiterate Arab shepherd from Mecca who came after him. It wouldn’t last long.
- He would also wonder who this blue-eyed blond namesake of his was, whose alleged birthday is celebrated by corporate America so eagerly every year. From September to January of each year. Whose image is posted all over towns and museums. And he would wonder what he has to do with a fat jolly Germanic man who likes to wear red and white tights, and jingle his bells, his only utterances: ho ho ho.
- Once enlightened, Jesus would wonder what do Amazon and Apple and Macy’s and gas prices and NASDAQ have to do with his birthday.
- Most of all, he is intrigued about this new noisy Roman governor of America who is all orange, who is pushing a vague new creed that he calls MAGA. He knows it involves some kind of new miracle or, as someone explained: “Rich people elected mainly by poor people taking money from the poor and giving it to the very rich, in the hope of somehow making the poor richer“.
- Makes sense?
Cheers & Have a Merry One……
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
First there was the real Western Frontier that shaped America.
Then there was the New Deal of FDR.
Then the Greatest Generation that helped save the world.
Then there was the New Frontier of JFK which ushered the graceful but brief era of Camelot.
Then the Great Society derailed by Vietnam and IndoChina….
Then the heroic era of NASA and space exploration culminating in the Apollo projects and what came later spanned a couple of generations.
Now we are on the eve of the Fourth of July 2018. Deep in the opportunistic age of MAGA which has ushered in the silly but very accurately expressive era of “I Really Don’t Care Do U“.
And That’s Not All, Folks……
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“One of the reasons this episode is deeply confusing might be because the “vibe” in Iran, the general feeling of walking down the streets, through the markets, the way we were received everywhere by total strangers and passersby, was overwhelmingly friendly. I have said that Iran is the most outgoingly warm, “pro-American” place we’ve ever shot—and that’s true: in Tehran, in spite of the fact that you are standing in front of a giant, snarling mural that reads “DEATH TO AMERICA!”, you will, we found, usually be treated better by strangers—meaning smiles, offers of assistance, curious attempts to engage in limited English, greetings and expressions of general good will—than anywhere in Western Europe, It would be hard to imagine strangers in Germany or France or England, on recognizing you as American, giving you a thumbs-up and a smile simply for your nationality. That was overwhelmingly the case in Iran…………”
This is a love-hate relationship: more love on the popular level, more hate on the political level. I have seen it in the Middle East and even among some Iranians in America. Many Iranians dislike American foreign policies in the region. They especially hate the unilateral economic blockade that they correctly believe Israeli leaders and their American political allies have pressured and browbeat Mr. Obama into imposing on their country.
Many mullahs and hardliners also naturally suspect and fear an opening to America. After all, they see how China has changed under Chairman Mao’s heirs so that it is now a “people’s republic” and “communist” only in name. Can the “Islamic Republic” be far behind? Probably not: many people in Iranian cities hope so. It is already changing profoundly from the inside.
Iran still probably has the most pro-American people in the whole Middle East. Many Iranians have relations, family ties, among the huge Iranian-American diaspora. They are also a relatively young population reacting to an orthodoxy their government has tried to impose on them, with waning success. They welcome mainstream American journalists who often visit, then go back home and declare their undying support for the economic blockade. (No surprise there: few if any would dare declaring against the sanctions and keep their jobs with the New York Times or Washington Post). Talking on a popular level, not on a government level: most mullahs and Revolutionary Guards are hardly pro-anything American and the U.S.
Knesset Congress is violently anti-Iranian.
It is different from the Israelis that media propaganda here routinely picture as the most pro-American. Maybe they mean some shared ‘Western’ political and social values, and in many cases shared citizenship. Maybe the Mossad and the CIA and the military have some close cooperation, maybe, but that is government. The Israeli ties also reflect a degree of dependence, what many Muslims see as a one-way street that is often shaped by domestic American politics.
Nor do many others in the region feel friendly toward American policies. After all, the biggest attacks on the American homeland were planned and executed mainly by terrorists from two major allied Middle East countries. No doubt more are being planned and thwarted even now.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum