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Circa 29 AD, illustration of the new Testament story when Jesus purged the temple of the money changers. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

That Ye Love One Another

Abby Zimet

A nod to the real meaning of the holiday, the birth of a Jesus who was not divine but "supremely human" - a "radical non-violent revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks... was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer; but was never anti-gay, never mentioned abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for copay, and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, community-organizing anti- slut-shaming Middle Eastern Jew." In a 1914 essay, Eugene Debs called Jesus "as real and persuasive a historic character as John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, or Karl Marx...brought forth for no other purpose than (to) set up the common people as the sole and rightful inheritors of the earth: 'Happy are the lowly for they shall inherit the earth.'" Debs celebrates "the martyred Christ of the working class, the inspired evangel of the downtrodden masses" and calls on the commandment that was "the pith and core of all his pleading, all his preaching, and all his teaching" - love one another, be brethren, make common cause, stand together." A lifetime's work. Wishing you all peaceful healthy holidays, and many indictments.

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. 

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