Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rebel Jesus......

....I wanted to post some sort of greetings, something noting this day that seems to carry so much for so many...however my own notions about the way things are makes such difficult.

Luckily the world of vegan blogging offers multiple inspirations and Vegan Feminist Agitator wrote the perfect entry. She also posted the words (which I reproduce here) to a song that I am totally in accord with and that marks this day wonderfully. Jackson Browne has written a number of songs that are very powerful (Lives in the Balance being one) and that have impacted me greatly.

Rebel Jesus will also always be one of those. (you can listen/see here)


The Rebel Jesus

by Jackson Browne

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by "the Prince of Peace"
And they call him by "the Savior"
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus


Christina said...

I am not religious. I dont consider myself a christian. (although I was raised that way) Many of the Christmas traditions and customs are pagan in origin and most folks dont know it. It doesnt matter to me one way or another what people believe in, as long as their beliefs arent forced on me. The only thing I enjoy anymore about Christmas are decorations. Organized religion is destructive in my opinion. I do believe in something beyond ourselves but I think "whatever" that power is, it simply waits for us. I have had a couple of experiences in my life that proves it to me. It doesnt interfere in our daily lives. I do think if Jesus were to walk the earth again he would STILL be a rebel. He was a rebel before (yes, I believe he was a real person but whether or not he was the son of god....Hmmm, the jury is still out for me) I think he would be spending his time with the hurt beings of the world. Not the richest and arrogant.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting Christina. Your approach sounds similar to deism ( which supposedly many early united states government founders operated off of.

Rebel Jesus sounds cool to me, even though I tend to lean toward something akin to pantheism ( Animism ( and polytheism ( hold interest for me too.

Certainly the notions that being rich is abhorrent and the less powerful should be protected are ways of being that seem wise and desirable to me.

Anonymous said...

A Holiday Thought...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"Any great change must expect opposition because it shakes the very foundation of privilege."
Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793-1880, minister, women's rights leader, abolitionist, peace activist, humanitarian

Christina said...

This is a discussion that I can really get into. I could certainly use the term Deism to describe myself. I cant believe in miracles personally. Why? Because how come only some people are deserving? I cant believe in a God that plays chess with people's lives. "Oh here, you get a miracle but YOU dont." "Okay, this child gets to be raped and murdered but this one is going to be spared". Frankly, it infuriates me.
I have often considered the whole "God is nature, nature is God" idea. I see cruelty in nature too (maybe not deliberate but still there) so I cant embrace that one either. As for Polytheism-well, that would be too many Gods for me. LOL, kinda like the government. I dont believe in the devil either but I have seen pure evil once. Wow, sorry to take this blog and run with it.

Christina said...

OH and as far the evil I saw? An animal came to my aid. Crazy huh? I like the search of the answer. Just doubtful I will ever have it all figured out.

veganelder said...

Thanks for your interesting observations Christina, they are always welcomed and enjoyed.

If you do figure it all out, be sure to clue me in. :-)

Krissa said...

Looks like there was an error when I left a comment on this post? If not, just ignore this - it will be a repeat. ... In my 'baby book' is a sheet from when I was in first grade. Our teacher gave us a fill in the blank at Christmas. Like, "my favorite Christmas song is _______", etc. The last one said "Christmas is _______.". I wrote "Jesus love for us". All these years later and I'm not sure what I'd write in that blank now. And it makes me sad that I don't know what I would write. It would be a lot more than 4 words, though. ... Interesting song lyrics, btw. Thanks for sharing.

Harry said...

Good old Jackson Browne - I share your thoughts as regards many songs he has penned. Thank you for posting the lyrics.

Rebel Jesus indeed. Many of those revered in religions now were real 'troublemakers'/ rebels in their day. Unfortunately what made them so remarkable seems to so often get lost along the way ...

Sue and I had the fortune of travelling to Assisi last year on a pilgrimage of sorts; while neither of us is religious, the Patron Saint of Animals naturally holds some pull for us. The disappointment was immense - Assisi is by no means a patron city for animals with St Francis and animals truly taking a back seat to St Francis and the church, and St Francis' memory has been significantly altered by the church.

A man who renounced every possible possession (the opposite of the Catholic church of the day) he was allowed to form an 'order' by the Pope due to his large following at a time when the church was in decline. Following his death the Pope elected to celebrate his life (he was canonized with some rapidity) by building a shiny, grand cathedral - and setting up a collection urn to raise the funds required. When one of Francis' closest 'brothers' broke the urn with a shout of 'You've got it all wrong - Francis would never have wanted this,' he was beaten by the church elders and banished from the city. Yes, within months of his death Francis' rebel status had been forgotten - for the health of the church. And those he had walked with were tossed aside.

Rebel Francis - little changed in the millenium plus following Jesus' death and little has changed in the last 8 centuries. We need a few more rebels to reach critical mass (no pun intended) to force lasting change (I think particularly of how the birth of one is celebrated with the slaughter of millions).

I wish you all love and good health.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting Anonymous, Krissa and Harry.

Anonymous, thank you for sharing the information and links.

Krissa, the lyrics are great, aren't they?

Harry, thanks for the story about St. Francis. As for more rebels....the more the merrier... :-)

Bea Elliott said...

I'm not religious either... Not by any stretch of the imagination - Yet since becoming aware of the (vegan) sacredness of life I admit to a deeper reverence for things some might call "spiritual".

Unfortunately ever since my journey my only "Christmas" wish has never been granted: World Peace. (sad isn't it?)

I now celebrate this holiday as the time to mark the birth of a man who had a profound gift to offer us all. Such a pity that we ignore this highest value in trade for the murder of the innocent in the way of leather garments, "furs" and stuffed dead birds...

I hope all the genuine beauty in this season made it's way to into the lives of the truly awakened, kind ones.

veganelder said...

Thank you Bea.

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

Jesus was a rebel for sure. And if he were to walk the earth today there's no doubt in my mind that he would be vegan.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting SITOGV. If he wasn't vegan he wouldn't be on my christmas list. :-)