FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Jesus the Litigator

by ANDREW J. SCHATKIN

I’ve been a New York-area lawyer for more than 30 years, but I also received a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973. My theological studies intensified my desire to help make the world a more just and equal place. The practice of law gave me the means to do so. Today, I see a strangely distorted and mean-spirited view of Christianity dominating the media.

Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus Christ, continues to intrigue all sectors of society, all peoples, all races, both rich, not so rich and, most particularly, the underclass and poor. In an age that emphasizes money, materialism, outright greed, and admiration for the rich and powerful, he offers an alternative.

Yet Jesus is an enigmatic and troubling figure. For many people in the world, he is seen as a kind of general love figure, the ultimate nice guy. After all, that’s what the world wants to see in other people – niceness, tolerance, humanity, and kindness. Far from being solely concerned with being loving and nice to people, however, he is the ultimate litigator. One might see Jesus as an advocate of the underclass. Perhaps one could see Jesus as a socialist or communist, since in the Gospels he seems to make a point of associating with and advocating for the poor and working class.

Jesus is the beginning point of advocating a new world system without class, economic, race, or sex divisions. Jesus is the ultimate litigator. But his litigation is for the poverty stricken and the underclass. Jesus was himself a working man, a carpenter, and he spent his entire life with working people or even less. He himself walked about with a group of working men, one a tax collector, and some fishermen, working miracles and making observations to the working class, for the most part. Jesus is criticized as consorting with undesirable people, or better put, tax collectors and sinners. Perhaps today, Jesus might be seen as a labor organizer, or a community organizer, opposing the forces of government and wealth.

Jesus did not respect or admire wealth or power. Quite to the contrary, he says the poor or humble – poor in spirit – are blessed, and that in future years, they will be the ruling class, replacing the present oligarchs and plutocrats. Jesus approached Jerusalem as a king, but rode on a donkey, with a somewhat disheveled appearance before the crowds. He was tried and executed as a criminal, and died beside criminals. He forgave a criminal beside him on the cross, and told him on that day he would be with him in paradise. When a woman was caught in adultery, and stood condemned, he forgave her, and told her to sin no more. He tells us not to merely love people that are attractive, friendly and nice to us, but even to love our enemies.

Jesus stands before all the world as the advocate and litigator for the poverty stricken of society and its fringe members. He tells the world that its values and attachment to the rich, famous and successful are wrong. Jesus advocates and litigates for what the world sees as the bottom of society and tells the world that he will raise them up from their poverty to the greatness that he says they deserve. Jesus litigates for a world without division, without dominance, without distinctions of class, wealth, or economic status. Jesus is the ultimate advocate for those whom the world concedes no value and no importance, for those the country clubs and mansions of the world exclude. He is the litigator for the 98% who are presently powerless before the forces of the world.

ANDREW J. SCHATKIN has been a New York-area attorney for more than 30 years. His articles on the law and society have been published frequently in journals such as the Nassau Lawyer and New York Criminal Law News. He is the author of “Select Legal Topics: Criminal, Federal, Evidentiary, Procedural, and Labor” (University Press of America ISBN 0-7618-4644-1) and “Essays on the Christian Worldview and Others Political, Literary, and Philosophical” (ISBN 978-0-7618-5343-5).

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail