Tea Party and constitutional neo-conservatives are adamant in the belief that they alone hold the political moral high ground, despite the fact they have much in common with those who lived many generations before them. Were Jesus Christ to begin his ministry today, under their jurisdiction rather than 2,000 years ago in the time of the Pharisees, it’s not beyond imagination to envision these events occurring:

• Jesus would be born in a stable. Government involvement in the private sector economy — like housing programs — would be unconstitutional.

• The wise men from the East would be deported for violating immigration laws, and their gifts to the Messiah would be confiscated.

• Jesus and the disciples would be labeled as leftist liberals and socialists for having concern for the poor and downtrodden.

• Jesus would be chastised for associating with sinners and tax collectors.

• Far-right conservatives would scoff at Jesus’ teaching to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and God things that are God’s.”

• Neo-conservatives would walk on the far side of the road to avoid seeing the sick and injured who might tempt them to enact meaningful health care reform.

• Jesus’ teaching to avoid being a covetous lover of money would be perceived as an affront on American exceptionalism and capitalism and something that would lead to the redistribution of wealth.

• Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount would be ignored, and those on the far right would continue to beat their plow shears into swords.

• Skeptical of those who call into question their piousness, the right wing would require Jesus to provide documentation to prove he was who he claimed to be. Failing to convince them, he would be “renditioned” before being tried by a military tribunal.

It’s amazing how little the sanctimonious have gleaned from scripture in the past two millennia.

— Tim Newacheck, Ottawa