Tag Archives: Jesus

What if Jesus had been a chicken?

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What if Jesus is Lilac?!

By Michelle Kretzer
 
It’s the most important day in the Christian calendar. Easter Sunday is the day when we celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered death and darkness so that His followers could have eternal life, and it is the foundation of our faith. We go to church to hear the Easter story every year, and we shake our heads in disgust as our pastors describe the extreme barbarism with which religious and government leaders tortured and killed Him. But what if similar abuse were being meted out to this very day — every day — to others who are just as innocent?
 
The similarities between the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the ways in which animals are raised and killed to be eaten are uncanny and undeniable.
 
Jesus was killed because people refused to believe that He could truly be the son of God sent to save the world from sin. Animals are killed by the billions every year because people refuse to believe that they could be thinking, feeling, intelligent, emotional beings whom God created and blessed and whom He loves very much.
 
The soldiers who were responsible for guarding Jesus after He was arrested mocked and beat Him. Numerous PETA investigations have exposed farmworkers who mocked and beat the animals for whom they were responsible. PETA’s eyewitness investigation of a New York state dairy farm found that workers routinely jabbed and struck cows in the face, udder or hindquarters with a pole or a cane. A manager electro-shocked at least one cow in the face repeatedly and called a downed cow a “dumb bitch.” At a pig factory farm in Iowa, PETA’s eyewitnesses documented that workers beat pigs with metal gate rods and a herding board, jabbed clothespins into their eyes and defended their own violence by saying things like, “You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry.” Similar abuse has been revealed at farms across the country.
 
Jesus’ broken body was nailed to a cross, and He was left hanging there to die. In slaughterhouses, animals are routinely strung up by their legs, their throats are cut—often while they’re fully conscious—and they are left hanging there to die.
 
The soldiers stripped Jesus of His clothes and cast lots for them. Animals are skinned and cut into pieces, often while still conscious, and their body parts are sold for profit. One worker at a cow slaughterhouse told The Washington Post, “They die piece by piece.”
 
The major difference between the Easter story and the fate of animals who are killed for food is that while Jesus didn’t want to suffer and die, He nevertheless offered Himself up as an innocent sacrifice in order to save God’s children from death. Animals value their own lives, too, but they have not offered themselves up and don’t want to die just to give humans a fleeting taste of their flesh.
 
At the Last Supper, Jesus commanded the apostles — and all of us — to “love one another.” The name of the day on which we remember the Last Supper, Maundy Thursday, even comes from the word “mandate.” But there is nothing loving about the ways in which animals are abused and killed for our plates. Each animal is God’s perfect creation, an individual with the ability to feel pain, joy, fear and love. And thus, each human has a choice to make three times on Easter Sunday and every day when sitting down to eat: Shall I contribute to suffering, or shall I extend mercy?
 
Michelle Kretzer writes on Christian issues for the PETA Foundation.

Cherish the bunnies!!!! LOVE = Jesus

Franny just sent us these bunny pics!

Stella, Greta and Linus celebrating Easter with a fantastic breakfast! Timothy hay for dessert!

These guys are spayed/neutered, litter-box trained, indoor, (daytime) free-roamin’ , beautifully socialized family pets who are owned by a loving family that has done its rabbit homework! They’re rescued rabbits (try saying that fast 5 times!) who needed to be adopted and who are now sooooo happy in their forever home!  … Did you know: When rabbits are ecstatic they jump for joy?! Hop high into the air, as if they were clicking their heels! Rabbit lovers call this leap to the heavens a binky!!!  – R. T.

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All gone!!!!

Franny also sent me this page, from today’s BOSTON GLOBE MAGAZINE!  A big binky thank you to The Boston Globe!

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HAPPY EASTER! Whether or not you believe he rose from the grave is a god/God (I don’t) IT IS STILL JESUS’ DAY – A GUY SO RADICAL, COOL, LOVING, BRAVE THAT A WHOLE WORLD RELIGION SPRANG UP around him. Still going strong because of Jesus and his LAST-SHALL-BE-FIRST teachings and his love for all – especially the reprehensible. No wonder he was crucified.

But TODAY the WORLD says JESUS AND HIS LIFE LIVE!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N6mp11PBcY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Springtime … new beginnings for Green Hill Park … and humankind?

By Edith Morgan

On March 20th, the calendar said that spring begins in these parts and, after a winter to remember, we watched as the mountains of snow slowly melted down;  again the roads were wide enough for two cars to pass, the pavement showed gray and black and passable, crews were out filling in the cracks and potholes left by the winter.

I live two houses down from Green Hill Park, and for over two weeks I heard the roar of heavy equipment: sawing and chipping and hauling away the wooded cover on the hill, leaving a few skinny trees, with daylight filtering through where before there was dense forest growth.

Muddy ruts and stumps mark the hillside, making the area look like a war zone.

But I have lived near the park long enough to know that Mother Nature is not so easily stopped.

While the habitat of this generation’s wildlife (the voles, skunks, squirrels, coyotes, wild turkeys – myriad other animals, small and large) have lost their homes and their cover, in two or three decades, the devastated hillsides will once again sport trees.

The old meadow on Denmark Street where we picked wild blueberries and strawberries so long ago, which was overrun by trees, is now once again nearly bare. But spring is here, and nature abhors a vacuum and will soon replant itself. Hopefully, the birds and wildlife will return, as they have so many time before, despite human depredations. And so, I am hopeful, and will go out and look for signs of life when the last snow is gone and the mud dries.

This is the season of spring holidays. We celebrate Passover and Easter at this time: both are festivals of new beginnings, celebrating the coming of the new and hopefully better beginnings for humans, at a time when nature is also coming back to life all around us.

Worcester does a big cleanup called Earth Day on Saturday, April 18!

Spring housecleaning is a yearly ritual. Jews clean for Passover, remove leavened foods, change to special dishes and, in a great many ways, remember and celebrate the exodus from slavery in Egypt three millennia ago by recalling the suffering of those days and celebrating the ultimate arrival in the promised land.

Christians celebrate the return of Jesus risen from the grave, and everywhere are seen the symbols of rebirth – the eggs, the flowers, chicks and bunnies for the children, and a spirit of renewal and hope pervades us all.

But as I look around our country, our world, I see too many people still mired in the winter of war, poverty, hatred and fear. Too many are still enslaved by their addictions, their hatreds and their irrationalities. How great it would be if this season of hope and appreciation for what we have could spread like a great contagion and envelop our world. Could the dove of peace have a chance to survive the constant assault of the hawks, eagles and vultures filling our skies?

I wish all our InCity Times readers joyous beginnings at this time! Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all!

A different kind of Lent

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Jesus blessing the dirty snow of Cambridge Street    (R.T.)

By Sarah Withrow King

I was under the influence of a nerdy-cute camp counselor in high school when I decided to give up meat for Lent. My resolve held until my first trip to a sub shop, where the call of deli slices overcame any desire to impress my crush.

What I didn’t realize then was that Lent isn’t about giving up meat or sugar or cutting down on Netflix binges. It’s not about denying ourselves something so that we can hang on to some semblance of self-control. It’s not even about starting a new healthy habit for self-improvement.

Lent isn’t about us.

Both Ecclesiastes and the Byrds tell us that there is a season for everything. And I’ve learned that the 40 days of Lent are a time to reflect, repent, repair relationships and consider what we might do to help bring restoration to a deeply troubled world.

Lent is about looking around us and asking how we can make our part of the world a little better for others. That makes far more sense and has a much more profound impact than the usual Lenten–New Year’s resolution do-overs.

Take a look at the news headlines or your Facebook feed. There’s a lot of brokenness over which we have no control. It can all feel a bit bleak.

But there’s an important issue over which each of us has tremendous power to bring healing and wholeness: that of animal suffering. Many people don’t realize how many choices they make each day that either help or hurt animals.

Choosing cruelty-free make-up or shampoo can keep rabbits from having chemicals dripped into their eyes in a testing laboratory.

Choosing a warm coat made of vegan wool can prevent sheep from being sliced open and crudely stitched up without painkillers in a shearing shed.

Choosing family activities that don’t involve captive animals can keep elephants from being beaten and orcas from being imprisoned in chlorinated pools.

And those of us who have an abundance of food also have the privilege, three times a day, of choosing mercy or suffering.

Each animal is an individual with the ability to feel pain, joy and fear. Anyone who lives with animals knows that each animal has a unique personality with strong needs and desires. But the enormous meat, dairy and egg industries are built on cruelty, oppression and abuse. Animals raised for food may be castrated, have body parts such as beak tips or horns chopped off and have brands burned into their skin—all without painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, animals are strung up by one leg and their throats are cut, often while they’re fully conscious. Animals are routinely skinned or dismembered while they’re still alive.

But animals aren’t the only ones to suffer. Although there’s more than enough food in the world to feed the entire human population, more than 1 billion people suffer from food deprivation each year, thanks to the meat-based diet of wealthy nations, since so much life-giving grain and water is fed to farmed animals raised for meat instead of going to people who need it. And the farmed-animal industry also exploits the poor people, immigrants and children who work for paltry wages in filthy and extremely dangerous conditions.

In addition, using animals for food is wreaking havoc on the environment. A recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.

By going vegan, one person can save more than 100 animal lives a year, help conserve vital natural resources and drastically reduce his or her participation in a system that exploits immigrant and impoverished humans. Going vegan is an important and powerful step toward healing our broken planet, and the season of Lent is an ideal time to start that journey.

No Worcester City Council meeting this Tuesday … and a tune

Woo city council doesn’t meet this coming Tuesday (Passover). The Worcester School Committee is also taking a break – Holy Thursday.

Here is one of my favorite video clips re: JESUS!!!! Mary M. falls in love with him …

From one of my favorite movies about Jesus – JESUS CHRIST SUPER STAR! Seen it so many times!!! Watch it this Easter and be moved!

Jesus was/still is a super star! Lover of whores, tax cheats, lepers, poor people, prodigal sons (and daughters, like me)! Fuck ups of every stripe. Why not love the outsider?! he said. So easy to love the cool! Easy to be cold, easy to be hard …

I don’t know if Jesus is the son of God (What’s that anyway, except life lived?!). I haven’t gone to church – except for my late mom’s funeral – in 30 years. Yet I love Jesus! I love his earthiness, his righteousness, his ability to throw a wicked excellent party! He was an amazing human! So amazing we have a religion all about HIM.

If Jesus were to come to earth today, I would drop everything, leave everybody (but take Jett!) and follow HIM!

– R. Tirella

The tribulations of Occupy Worcester

By anonymous

Where are they? Been searching high and low. Where’s Worcester Occupy Wall Street camping out? Got a box of donuts to drop off.

So who would have thought, Occupy Worcester KO’d not by a mob of 1%-ers, but by a single person – a priest no less: The Rev. Robert Bachelder of the Worcester Area Mission Society, part of the liberal United Church of Christ, stopped them dead in their tracks, based on a misunderstanding. Allegedly his flock’s parking spaces were in peril. Yes, parking spaces.

I wonder if the reverend got 30 pieces of silver in exchange for handing over OWS? One of Jesus’ own selling out. Biblical history does repeat itself. I think there’s more to it than parking spots. I may be wrong.

What strikes me as hypocritical is that an avowed disciple of Jesus Christ turned his back on a handful of youths and by extension, the most critical issue affecting our society today – the subjugation of the masses by the Wall St. cabal and their Washington henchmen.

So why did he do it? Someone forced him? His irate flock? The property owners, The New England Dream Center, an obscure non-profit housed in a former church on Chestnut Street, trying to snuff out OWS for ideological reasons? Wall Street’s agents got to him? Who knows.

An aside here. I always get an strange feeling when I see the Dream Center’s vans, filled with kids. Their apathetic expressions, their listless eyes staring out into a void. Certainly not dreaming.

Anyone know what the Dream Center does, except give away toys to the needy every Christmas? I’ll answer that: Help the needy. Like Bachelder’s Mission Society is supposed to do. If the mission of the Worcester Area Mission Society is to help the homeless and inner-city youth, then why not our OWS. I’m being factious of course. Obviously they have other priorities – protecting parking spaces from filthy heathens.

OWS has of course made for interesting news in our so called local media: The T&G cackled over its demise, WOMAG bemoaned a story, and InCity Times [covered it from a national perspective via filmmaker Michael Moore]. Even Jordan Levy did a radio interview with an OWS participant – his contempt couldn’t have been more palatable. And local bible-thumper Mike Benedetti tried to transform it into a journalistic coup touting himself. Mike milked it for all he could – gave everyone the impression he was Occupy Worcester. But once the spotlight dimmed, he pretended it never existed. Reminds me of Nicole Apostola’s antics not too long ago: No spotlight. No Nicole. How superficial.

The question I have is, why didn’t power-Christian Mike Benedetti rally the enlightened Christian-bloggers to save Wusta’s OWS? Yet not a soul stepped forward. Not a hand extended. It’s ironic that Mike Benedetti fills the Barnard Blogroll with Christian-blogs espousing their enlightened values, yet not one came forward, or even gave OWS lip-service. Not a peep. Geez… I wonder what Jesus would say?

Funny, why do I get the feeling that organized religion is part of the 1%? Considering their enormous financial wealth they have a vested interest in defending the status quo. No Wall St. No corrupt politicians. No church. No job.

Obviously Occupy Worcester needs to rethink its strategy – more marketing, more presence. Another incident like this could obliterate OWS.

I’m sure spring will sprout a new improved OWS. And beware of false prophets.