John Caputo's What Would Jesus Deconstruct?

Satisfactory Essays
Kate Thoma
Position Paper
In John Caputo’s book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct? Caputo discusses his views on the world’s actions and whether or not they are reflective of what Jesus wanted. Caputo believes that society is not just falling short of what Jesus wanted but in many cases failing entirely to follow Jesus’ orders. Caputo discusses several important issues including war and abortion. However, Caputo concludes that everyone, including devout Christians, need to realize the world is not living according to the teachings of Jesus.
An important issue that Caputo discusses is wars. To be more accurate, the idea of ‘just wars.’ In Caputo’s opinion Jesus would hate that wars are happening throughout the world and find the idea of a ‘just war’ as ludicrous. In fact, it is explained that the concept of a ‘just war’ was not even created until four centuries after the death of Jesus in order for Christians to maintain power over Rome. As Caputo puts it, “The only just war is the war against war” (Caputo pg#). Additionally, Caputo keeps mentioning this idea of a ‘just war’ being justified as a lesser evil, but that does not make it just, so to speak. Caputo argues that if Jesus were to be considered a political thinker then Jesus would be a pacifist, as depicted in the New Testament. This means that under no circumstances would war be considered as an option to Jesus. Rather, every conflict would be settled through peaceful negotiations. Caputo goes even further explaining that if Jesus held political power in today’s day and age, then the U.S. Department of Defense’s budget would be nonexistent because there would be no need to fund their cause. However, the Christian Right continues to support the U.S. in going to war. Furthermo...

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... against making abortion illegal. The Christian Right are mostly opposed to increasing taxation, however if abortion were to be made illegal, then the government would need to get the money to pay for these children somehow. I also found it interesting that the reason Catholics restrict the use of birth control is due to a threat to the population that does not even exist anymore. It makes no sense for the Catholic Church to continue ruling out the use of contraception, especially because Jesus never even talked of this issue. However, that is the issue. Jesus never talked about the issue of abortion either. I must agree with Caputo though, Jesus would not be preaching against abortions but rather taking in both perspectives and seeing the difficulty in the situation.
Just like Caputo I find that much of society is not living by the rules Jesus told us to live by.
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