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Jesus as Community Organizer?


There’s been a small-but-substantial ruckus about Palin’s comment that Obama was a community organizer and “not” a governor with real experience like her. Many have put a spin on Palin’s comment and said that Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius-Pilate was a governor. So there. A catchy comeback, for sure.

In the Get Religion blog, the point is made that many media outlets are covering this analogy, but none of them very substantially. It’s really a pithy argument on either side. You either demonize governors or belittle community organizers. I think arguments like this pick up traction because they are catchy, but in the end, it’s not that substantial, it’s just political posturing with Jesus thrown in.

But the comment did make me think, can we really describe Jesus as a community organizer? Personally, my answer is no. No more than we can call him an accredited teacher, a union worker, an agriculturalist, a family doctor or Big Brother. Of course, there are elements to what Jesus did that cover many vocations, and to be honest, I’m sure that there are many community organizers doing things that Jesus would do, but to say Jesus was a community organizer makes the mission of Jesus sound less than what it was, to me.

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