Theresa May was recently voted the political party leader “most like Jesus” in a Premier poll. Yeah, I know. It’s been a weird year. Judging from the reactions on social media to the news (ranging from amused and confused to angry and frankly covfefe), an alternative position is needed, if only for balance. You can’t be strong and stable without balance.
This is not an exhaustive examination of the subject by any means. Those wanting to go deeper should consult Walter Brueggemann’s epic work Jeremy Corbyn Is My Homeboy, Innit or Wayne Grudem’s No, Seriously, I Think The GOP Is Still A Christian Party – or even St Augustine’s classic Put On A Proper Suit And Maybe Then We Can Talk About Jesus. I stand on the shoulders of giants (knees bent, legs apart, muttering “strong and stable”).
All that said, here are some reasons why I think Jeremy Corbyn in more like Jesus:
1. He’s a dude
This is not a reason to vote for him, any more than Theresa May being a woman is a reason to vote for her (no matter what people calling her a ‘feminist icon’ say). But if we’re talking similarities, gender is pretty important.
2. His initials are literally JC
Coincidence? Or Providence? You decide.
3. He has a beard
Do you know how long it’s been since we had a PM with a beard? Neither do I, but I bet it’s long. Also: JC’s beard makes him look like Obi Wan Kenobi. The PM looks like the Emperor. And while this is not, in itself, conclusive evidence, it is, like when a politician claims a Christian faith on the basis of their parents’ religion, worth considering.
4. Jeremy Corbyn is omnipresent
Well, that’s not true. But, as anyone watching the debate on Wednesday will have noticed, he’s often more present than others…
5. Corbyn can multiply things
Not loaves and fishes, sure. And yes, sometimes he forgets things (I’m arguing he’s like Jesus, not that he’s infallible. He’s not John Piper.) But multiply he does, in his fully-costed and budgeted manifesto – which has been accused of “money tree” thinking by a party whose own manifesto boasted no numbers at all, apart from the page numbers (and a ludicrously out-of-touch price for children’s food).
6. He knows betrayal
Jeremy’s own parliamentary party has apparently been living in Gethsemane for the last year or two, abandoning and betraying him so much that it’s a wonder the man still has any flesh left on his cheeks for all the kissing.
7. His principles mean more to him than popularity
This may be a sin for a politician, but I admire it in a human being. It’s why so many papers, owned by billionaires, are trying to crucify him. But this is a man with a genuine concern for the poor and a genuine passion for peace. For these things he’s been attacked again and again.
8. He mixes with the wrong sort of people
I don’t just mean politicians. Or the PLP. I mean the really wrong sort of people. Not prostitutes or tax collectors (let’s face it, he is a tax-collector, just one who shares the wealth). He talks to his enemies, he doesn’t want to kill them. As a Christian, I see very little of that from politicians and I like it very much.
9. He’s quite badly dressed
Now, Isaiah 52:14 may be a bit harsh as a description of a man who is, admittedly, shabby-looking. But Isaiah 53:2 isn’t far off. Again, not saying he’s the Messiah. Like all of us, he is a very naughty/sinful boy. And I’m also not trying to be insulting. But if you’re looking for pretty, Jeremy is not your guy. And you’re gonna have a tough election generally.
10. He cares about the poor.
He really does. He’s dedicated his life to serving them, not the Bullingdon Club, not the money-lenders or the kings and princes of this world. I worry that he will ultimately not succeed, but at least he’s going to try to make the world and the country better.
I say we stop pretending (beyond comedy) that any politician can hope to be much like Jesus and look for second-best in a human being. Because that’s all we will ever find. I say we give the badly-dressed enemy-befriender a shot.