Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nietzsche on Jesus the "Political Criminal"

"I fail to see against what the rebellion-as whose cause Jesus has been understood or misunderstood-may have been directed, if it was not a rebellion against the Jewish church-church exactly in the same sense in which we use the word today. It was a rebellion against "the good and the just," against "the saints of Israel," against the hierarchy of society- not against its corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, and formula; it was the disbelief in "higher men," the No to all that was priest or theologian. But the hierarchy which was thus questioned, even if only for a moment, was the lake-dwelling on which alone the Jewish people, amid the "water," could continue to exist, the hard-won last chance of survival, the residue of its independent political existence. An attack on this was an attack on the deepest instinct of a people, on the toughest life-will that has ever existed in any people on earth. This holy anarchist, who summoned the people at the bottom, the outcastes and "sinners," the pariahs within Judaism, to negate the dominant order-using language, if the Gospels could be trusted, that today, too, would still lead to Siberia- was a political criminal insofar as political criminals were at all possible in an absurdly unpolitical community. This brought him to the cross..."

- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

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