The back of the book cover for Dr. Linda Seger’s new book Jesus Rode a Donkey states, “How would Jesus have voted?” It goes on to bullet point biblical verses contemporary issues:
-Feed the poor-or cut free school lunch programs?
-Comfort the old and the infirm-or eliminate social Security?
-Turn the other cheek-or invade Iraq?
While it all sounds compelling one thing Jesus wouldn’t do is to take his teachings and associate what Rome would do! Yet political ideology and religion are the apples and oranges on this cart. Who was Jesus talking to when he said, “Feed the poor? Comfort the old and infirm, and to turn the other cheek?” He was telling disciples, seekers, followers, and sinners to do these things. Not republicans or democrats. What Dr. Seger does in this book is to bring to the dinner table two things your mother told you never to discuss: Politics and religion.
Linda Seger, Th.D. is a theologian, author, and teacher with degrees in English (B.A.), an M.A. from Pacific School of Religion (a non-denominational seminary that prepares ministers for the United Church of Christ and the Methodist churches), a Th.D. from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), and an M.A. from Immaculate Heart College Center in Los Angeles. She is known for her meticulous books and lectures on writing screenplays. She invented the art of “script consulting.” She’s a Christian and a Democrat.
I commend Dr. Seger for writing the book and for opening up a courageous dialogue. Yet there are problems with the thesis and the back-up. Like many she resorts to painting Jesus as a lamb, a sacrificial lamb at that and while that is accurate he also has many other attributes. Jesus is not a pacifist. He associated with sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes and said- “It is the sick that need a Doctor.” On the other side there is the Lion of Judah which Christ is also is called. He is a warrior who would protect children, and followers with all his might. While he confronted sinners he told them to “sin no more.” Jesus did not endorse the free lunch program. Instead He taught us to fish, because God rarely gives a hand-out but provides for his people. Jesus thought of marriage so highly that his most stunning analogy is that the church is his bride and he is the groom coming back to claim her. It was to show us what a sacrificial marriage is all about. Yes, I agree that Jesus rode a donkey to fulfill a prophecy that he came in peace to have the people turn from evil. They lined the roads singing Hosanna and then they turned on him. He rode a donkey to show humility, the lamb willing to give his life for them. In the book of Revelation we see the Jesus who comes back on a white stallion, fire in his eyes to do battle, the final triumph of evil on this earth. And he prevails.
He returns on a White Stallion like a husband protecting his wife and children from a predator! Like a warrior liberating the captives from an evil ruler, fighting and upholding the institutions that he founded, marriage, protecting children, our laws The Ten Commandments reinforced by the Beatitudes. There is nothing exclusive about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. He wants none of us to perish. I do not believe that Jesus would cross a political line but would judge, and he will, on the content of a person’s character and he would instruct us to watch, “for by their fruits you shall know them.” “Jesus rode a Donkey” is a good read that should be discussed and dialogued about. It should also be read with a Bible as a companion to test and to delve, and to study the claims of the author in context.