Talking Points for the “End the Shutdown” Protesters

Just some helpful, encouraging ideas for the heroes who rally in defense of the dying system, enjoying the rebellious rush of imbibing one another’s mucosal droplets in shouted sessions in classic settings.

Some thoughts to discuss with friends and supporters, especially with the devout religious people leading the movement:

*Pontius Pilate washed his hands after condemning Jesus to death. It didn’t help. Just washing hands can’t wash your sins away, Nancy Pelosi!

*Jesus “suffered the little children” to come unto him (Matthew 9:14). Jesus didn’t maintain social distancing; look at the pictures, he was all over them. He even touched lepers to heal them. Yes, that slogan, “Jesus is My Vaccine” is excellent. Time to get back to work because America wasn’t made to be shut down.

*At the Last Supper Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, beginning with Peter (John 13). Peter wonders why Jesus would do it, especially because of what the feet represent. He suggests Jesus instead bathe his whole body, but Jesus replies, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you” (John 13:10).

The (obvious) point is: if you’re not Judas you’re probably clean (in Jesus).

*Jesus broke bread with his disciples (Matthew 26:26). It is true that he had washed them in the course of cleaning his disciples’ feet. But there was no running water. Can we be sure his hands were clean when he broke the bread?

*Jesus knew Peter and Andrew, James and John were all fishermen (Matthew 4:19). They gutted fish by hand getting scale particles under their fingernails and probably just rinsed slightly in the Sea of Galilee afterwards. But did Jesus care? NO.

*Who knows the last time that inn table had been wiped? Were there cockroaches? Rats? Did it make any difference to God? NO.

*Jesus and the disciples shared a wine cup. He (if you believe) had them drink his miraculously transformed blood and eat his flesh (1 Corinthians 11:23). He let Judas kiss him on the mouth, which was normal then (Matthew 26:47-50). Before Pilate he declared his blood would forever be on the heads of the Jews (Matthew 27:24-25), and died on the cross spraying blood and water (John 19:34) on the Romans.

*He descended into the infected domain of Hell itself (1 Peter 3:18-20)! But the risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in the cave where he’d been buried. He told her not to touch him (John 20:17), but soon appeared in front of Doubting Thomas urging him to stick his fingers in his still open wound (John 20:24-29).

*Then he breathes on all the disciples, right into their faces, deliberately. He tells them to take the gospel out to everybody everywhere. He says nothing about washing their hands or wearing masks.

*The disciples practiced the laying on of hands (Acts 6:5) to confer blessing. St. Paul recommended his correspondents “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12). The early Church was all about the sharing of bodily fluids, close up and spiritually.

Yes, that slogan, “Church is Essential”—good, very good! Back to the Bible! We want full pews this Sunday!

Some other suggestions, for the less Christian folks in the movement.

*”Survival of the Fittest!” This secular mantra has a religious power comparable to a the most soul-moving Bible verse. Let the young and vigorous obtain herd immunity through normal herd behavior, letting the least fit pile up in body-bags.

*”The Invisible Hand” of the marketplace will soon deliver the masks and ventilators needed to all who demand them. Emphasize that the iron laws of supply and demand, the foundations of our system, if allowed to operate naturally produce the best results.

*”China did this to us! China must pay!” This is a highly promising line to pursue in mobilizing the Trump community to focus on the origin of the problem. The China virus came from China, the Communists knew it and covered it up, it spread while they laughed at us.

Just some ideas for now, buttheads! Don’t thank me.

Gary Leupp is Emeritus Professor of History at Tufts University, and is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 and coeditor of The Tokugawa World (Routledge, 2021). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: