Matthew 5:1-20 (The Republican Jesus Version)

(Author’s note: Clearly, this is not true for all Republicans, but is meant to be a playful — if not sobering — look at how biblical texts might be changed if they were a truer reflection of many of the perspectives being taken by the more overly zealous Republicans. I plan on doing several more of these. If you have Bible passages you think might lend themselves to this kind of take, feel free to share them with me.)

The Beatitudes 

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the haughty in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of self-righteousness.

“Blessed are those who delight in other’s difficulties, for they will know self-importance.

“Blessed are the bullies, for they will inherit a sense of superiority.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for power, for they will be controlling.

“Blessed are the unforgiving, for they can remain self-interested.

“Blessed are the impure in heart, for they will see the God they want to see.

“Blessed are the agitators, for they will be called patriots.

“Blessed are those who persecute for whiteness’ sake, for theirs is a kingdom of homogeneity.

“Blessed are you when you revile people and persecute them and utter all kinds of evil against them falsely in the name of God. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is in the moment, for in the same way our religious ancestors persecuted the prophets.

Pepper and Flame

“You are the pepper of the earth; but if pepper has lost its taste, how can its pepperiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but sell it to those you have trampled under foot saying it is good and profit from it.

“You are a flame unto the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. But a lamp on a lampstand will give light to all the people. Secret yours away, like a lamp under a bushel basket. In this way, your light will begin to burn the bushel basket and become a flame before others, so that they may see your power and domination and give glory to the God of vengeance and might.

The “Law” and the “Prophets”

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to reshape them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, are safeguarded from your reinterpretation until all you want is accomplished. Therefore, whoever recasts one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called great in the kingdom of authority; but whoever follows them without change and teaches them will be called heretics. For I tell you, unless your self-righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of power and domination.”

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