Sweet Tea For Jesus
There are a lot of lips moving about the “Tea Party” these days. Many of the party people are Jesus Worshipers, who believe that the Bible is the word of G-d. While this belief is not required to join the party, it is very, very helpful. Probably, very few tea partiers are Muslims, who believe the Koran to be the word of G-d. Whatever the phrasing, these three movements are real to those who believe.
PG watches from the sidelines. He feels that practice is more important than belief. PG sees Jesus in the words and deeds of those who worship Jesus. (Is this worship a violation of the first commandment? That is another issue for another day.)
This hobby blogger drinks a lot of tea, favoring the cheapest brand available. Put two bags in a pitcher, heat the water for ten minutes, and pour the water over the bags. Sugar gets in the way of the taste, and lemons are too much work. You make the next pitcher of tea when you pour the last glass. What this custom has to do with politics or religion is a matter for those with a philosophical bent.
A blogger named Frank Turk made a video. There were 86 comments. Mr. Turk makes the comment in this video that Jesus is a real person. This is different from PG’s view, which is that Jesus is a spirit that lives in the hearts of those who worship him. To PG, this spirit has almost no relation to the person reputed to live in Palestine 2100 years ago.
In the video, Mr. Turk tells a story about tea parties becoming real . ” My brother-in-law David tells a story about the first time he visited Boston. David’s ex-military, and He says that he can remember all through school people told him about American history — about the events that happened that caused us to be a country, the list of facts. But in Boston, he found himself out in the harbor looking down into the water, and when he looked into the water and out at the harbor he realized: “Wow. This is were they dropped the tea into the harbor.” And at that moment, all those men and all the stories about them weren’t just facts or true statements anymore: the real people became obvious to him, and it changed the way he thought about our country and his part in it.”
Politics and religion are emotional affairs. Some sayings resonate, and some do not. This feature is about the concept of “real”. How political movements are based on events that only marginally relate to the movement, but make a statement that you feel in your gut. How religious movements worship a figure who has been distorted to mean what the believer wants him to mean. About how you know something is “real”.
First, the present day tea party, and the events in Boston Harbor December 16, 1773. PG wrote about the original Tea Party earlier in 2010. In the ecologically sound tradition of recycling your own work, here is what he found.
The namesake event was the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, crowds of people (some dressed as Mohawks) went on board the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver. The crowds threw overboard 342 chests, containing 90,000 pounds of tea. The crowds were unhappy because the East India Company was importing the tea into America, with a 3 pence per pound tax. (It is not known how the imitation Mohawks cut their hair.)
A website called listverse plays the contrarian. “American colonists did not protest the Tea Tax with the Boston Tea Party because it raised the price of tea. The American colonists preferred Dutch tea to English tea. The English Parliament placed an embargo on Dutch tea in the colonies, so a huge smuggling profession developed. To combat this, the English government LOWERED the tax on tea so that the English tea would be price competitive with Dutch teas. The colonists (actually some colonists led by the chief smugglers) protested by dumping the tea into Boston Harbor.”
According to Wikipedia, the Dutch tea had been smuggled into the colonies for some time. The Dutch government had given their companies a tax advantage, which allowed them to sell their product cheaper. Finally, the British government cut their taxes, but kept a tax in place. The “Townsend Tax” was to be used to pay governing colonial officials, and make them less dependent on the colonists.
In Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia, the tea boats were turned around, and returned to England with their merchandise. In Massachusetts, Governor Thomas Hutchinson insisted that the tea be unloaded. Two of the Governor’s sons were tea dealers, and stood to make a profit from the taxed tea. There are also reports that the smugglers were in the crowd dumping tea into the harbor.
Smugglers, a corrupt colonial governor, and peaceful solutions at the other major harbors. Is this the story Glenn Beck is crying about? Or has he taken a dramatic moment from history, and exploited it for his own purposes?
In a similar fashion, modern Jesus worshipers have taken a figure from the past, and created a spirit in his name. The history of Jesus is much further in the past than the Boston Tea Party, and much less is known. There are those who say the Bible is the word of G-d, and can be trusted to tell the facts about Jesus. Others are much less certain.
So, when did Jesus finally become real to PG? The watershed incident took place in the spring of 1999. By this time, PG had decided that he did not agree with the two key beliefs of Jesus worship…that the Bible is the word of G-d, and that belief in Jesus will affect what happens when you die. It was becoming apparent to PG that Jesus was different things to different people, and that not all of them were good. You need to trust your eyes, ears, and soul.
The incident took place at PG’s place of employment, a business we will call redo blue. A co worker was a Bully for Jesus. The BFJ was an angry man, given to temper tantrums, where he used Jesus to hurt people. On this day, the BFJ shouted down and humiliated PG.
When the tirade was over, PG started to run a job. BFJ took a phone call, and screamed “I never felt better in my life”. In that instant, Jesus became real to PG.
This is a repost of a feature originally published two years ago. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The tea party is still boiling water, although their influence in the upcoming election may not be apparent. PG drinks more green tea than caffeine enhanced, and continues to be alienated from Jesus. Frank Turk is still in business. PG has a facebook friend called “Sweet Tea”. This post is not about her.