(Our intrepid reporters recently overheard a conversation between Jesus and his Public Relations Advisor who seemed quite concerned the, so-called, Kingdom of God platform he is putting out there may not connect with voters. The advisor seemed truly concerned Jesus may be unelectable. We present an unedited version of the conversation …)
Advisor: Jesus, I’ve been reviewing your platform and I have a concern. It’s really nothing that serious, but if you really want to see a change in the polling numbers we’re currently seeing I’d suggest you take them seriously.
Jesus: I’m always up for feedback of any kind. What is your concern?
Advisor: OK, well it may be more than just one, but let’s start with an easy one; health care.
Jesus: Perfect, that’s one of my favourite topics. As you know, I didn’t come here for people who are well, I came to help the sick.
Advisor: Yes, so you keep saying, but my concern is that the way you are going about helping the sick isn’t really connecting with some of our more affluent voters.
Jesus: What do you mean?
Advisor: Well, take for example, I heard the other week you had a young man lowered through the ceiling of a building and you simply healed him without any concerns for the person’s house that was destroyed. And the rumours circulating on Buzzfeed suggest you first announced his “sins were forgiven”. I’m concerned if we encourage people to reach you in that way it will cause anarchy. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just have people take a number and wait their turn? And on this “sin-forgiveness-first” thing; can we just please try to stay on message? You’re confusing issues and people who might be happy with your focus on health are getting confused and offended by your claims to also be able to forgive sins. I’d suggest we just focus on the health care thing.
Jesus: I don’t see how I could do that. I mean they are so closely connected …
Advisor: I’ll work that out with the writers anyway, so you don’t have to worry about it. Although your continual refusal to follow their script is making my life difficult. I sometimes wonder why we even have them on staff if you don’t want to use them.
Jesus: I told you that in the beginning. You realize I have been the Word of God for a long time so I’ve been doing this speaking thing for quite a number of years.
Advisor: Like I said, that’s a topic for another day. So, back to your platform. I think the biggest issue people have in this election is the economy.
Jesus: That’s a very important topic. Do you realize how many people are enslaved by the love of money? It’s easier for an elephant to learn to play the piano than it is for a rich person to …
Advisor: Sure, sure … I’ve heard you say something like that before, but we really need to focus on what your plans are to grow the economy.
Jesus: Well, I’m sure you heard when I announced myself publicly one of the first things I addressed was the economy.
Advisor: Could you jog my memory.
Jesus: I told everyone that I was hear to proclaim good news to the poor, release of the captives, healing to the blind, to set free anyone who is oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
Advisor: OK, the Lord’s favour; let’s develop that a bit more because I think that could really resonate.
Jesus: Well, it’s actually a synonym for the “year of jubilee” …
Advisor: So a joyful year when God will bless the nation’s economy.
Jesus: Ummm, maybe not in the way you’re thinking. It’s the year when all debt is forgiven. If anyone has purchased or taken land from others for any reason it must be returned. The land and all people should be given the full year off so that it can recover. It’s a way to re-level the playing field; it’s all about reducing inequality and refusing to allow people to make a profit on the backs of others.
Advisor: I think we need to tone that down just a bit. Sure the poor may appreciate debts being forgiven, but how is that going to actually create jobs? Polls show people believe rich corporations are the ones who create jobs and if we tell them to forgive all debts and shut down operations for the year it could create chaos. It would remove all motivation to innovate and work hard. It would throw our entire economy into a tailspin. It’s just not feasible.
Jesus: Maybe in the way you’re thinking, but I keep telling you my Kingdom is not like this world’s kingdoms.
Advisor: Yes, and that line sounds fantastic until people start looking at what you mean when you say it.
Jesus: Should I try to say it more clearly?
Advisor: No, definitely not. I’m suggesting you maybe try being less drastic. Maybe do a few token things to help reduce inequality, but you’ll need to keep things relatively “status quo” if you want most voters to support you. After all, it’s middle class and richer people who vote most often. You seem to be wasting a bit too much time catering to a voting block that doesn’t vote.
Jesus: It’s kind of what I’m all about …
Advisor: One last thing before I forget; military and defence.
Jesus: I’ve told you so many times that if my kingdom were of this world, my followers would fight …
Advisor: What I’m concerned about is that people like their leaders to appear strong and decisive. We need to stand up to our enemies and defend our borders. The things you keep saying about loving our enemies and turning the other cheek when we are attacked … well, they seem very weak and people won’t vote for someone they don’t think could stand up to our enemies and instead keeps getting the worst of every conflict. They’re afraid you’ll extend this from the personal to the entire nation.
Jesus: I didn’t come here to conquer anyone; I came to sacrifice for others. Sacrifice is true strength.
Advisor: I get it, but people really need to know what your defence policy would be.
Jesus: I’ve said it many times. Remember I told Peter to put away his sword because people who live that way will die that way. I even told people my vision was that weapons would be destroyed and turned into things more useful … like farm equipment. I want people to be willing to lay down their own lives for the sake of others; even their enemies.
Advisor: But, Jesus, if you keep saying things like that, you’ll turn off voters in droves. Your political opponents will crucify you.
Jesus: Wouldn’t be the first time.