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Reader responds to Rev. John Bressler column


Rev. Bressler's recent article "Who Was Jesus?" appears to be more about the question of "Who Are We?" with his answer suggesting that we need a superhero to protect and rescue us from the dangers of our world — storms, disease, judging-condemning-murdering people, falsehoods about ourselves, feeling somewhat dead and not alive enough, ignorance of what we need to function at our best, lacking knowledge of why we do bad things to each other such that we need special revelation, a Son of God, forgetting that for the Hebrew mind "son of god" is not an ontological but a functional statement, meaning one who functions like God, doing what God does.

When someone thinks, believes, and functions "out of the box" many of us, as Rev. Bressler said, put that one into the box of "he is beside himself" — mentally ill. Missing from the article is the biblical observation, "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," clearly saying that the suffering and evil experiences of humanity result from breaking divine laws and the consequences of divine revenge for doing so; and the rescue of humanity from such suffering and evil results from Jesus becoming the scapegoat, sacrificial lamb who dies taking the vengeance on himself, sparing us.

Again these words say more about our wounded-broken humanity than about Jesus, as acts, not of divine vengeance, but of human anger-vengeance carpeting our newsrooms and our stories spreading across the house of humanity, as in Jodi Arias stabbing her boyfriend 29 times and then shooting him, as in Joran Van Der Sloot brutally beating to death and splattering Stephanie Flores' blood over the walls of his hotel room, as in Sgt. Robert Bales killing 16 Afghan citizens and having no awareness of why, as in honor killings of children, as in Adam Lanza killing his mother first and then 20 6-year-old children and six teachers, as in Hitler scapegoating 6-plus-million Jews, as in closing down a big bridge in New Jersey.

Elizabeth Gray


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