Da Vinci and Eyman: Deconstructionists at Work
This morning’s Seattle Times, completes the cycle of how I’ve encountered deconstructionists over the past week. Just about a week ago I finished reading the Da Vinci code, and have been intrigued by those scholars who would suggest that there is a whole different Jesus out there, unlike the one portrayed in the 4 gospels. This other Jesus has a wife, makes no claims about his own divinity, and probably didn’t rise from the dead.
Conservatives are in an uproar. I won’t go into all the details right now, but while I disagree with much of the rationale behind conservative fears, I agree with most of the conservative scholarship. Postmodernism tends to view history through a deeply skeptical eye, but then, interestingly, comes up with their own versions of ‘true’ history (or they default to the common nihilist posture of Tom Hanks in the movie’s conclusion, where he says that since we can’t know anything with certainty, it doesn’t really matter what we believe, as long as we’re happy).
Meanwhile though, many of those same conservatives are doing a deconstructing of their own. Under the banner of Sound the Alarm, and Faith and Freedom Network, there are a host of churches in my beautiful state that have discovered yet another gospel; not the gospel of Thomas, or the gospel of Mary, but the gospel of Tim Eyman. According to this gospel, Jesus provided an example for us by wandering through the Roman empire, inciting petition drives to lower taxes, so that the poor could fend for themselves entirely. And then, when Jesus was done overhauling the tax structure through divine petition, he went to work on gays, making certain that they had no opportunities for secure housing and employment.
If the gospels of Thomas and Mary are dubious (and they are), the gospel of Eyman is most certainly false, as its ethic directly contradicts the heart of Christ. And yet, here we go again – somehow thinking that we’re following Christ and embodying His heart when we try to endorse the right to discriminate. While I disagree with my homosexual friends on some theological conclusions regarding sexual expression, they are still my friends. Only by hearing their stories can you know what persecutions and humiliations they suffer ‘in the name of Jesus’ This, it seems to me, is not in keeping with heart of the gospel, as our Lord seemed well able to relate to the widest spectrum of humanity possible, loving them unconditionally, whether they be Roman soldiers or Jewish zealots, men or women, children or adults, rich or poor, etc. etc. If we behave like Jesus we’ll love our neighbors, gay or straight, not kick them out of the neighborhood. I’m tired of the gospel of Eyman, but even more tired of Christians picking and choosing which extra-biblical books to reject. If the Gospel of Thomas is out – let’s toss the Gospel of Eyman too!