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In 1940, Woody Guthrie wrote a song about Jesus Christ. In it, he describes Jesus as a carpenter, who helped the sick, poor, hungry and hurt. He describes him as a man who trumpeted the poor, who went to the law and preachers of his era and told them to sell their riches and give it to the poor, and was crucified for it.

I know it's trendy to talk about how Republican policies often contradict much of what Christ stood for, despite being cozy with the religious right, but this isn't a new criticism of politicians. It's important to understand that much of what we consider progressive, the first New Deal, was actually a huge bailout for big businesses. It had nothing to do with helping the little guy. It's the same criticism modern progressive level against the bank bailouts, and it's absolutely true. That first New Deal was all about saving the hides of businessmen. That's why FDR was so heavily criticized. He was criticized by Huey Long. He was criticized by Upton Sinclair. And he was criticized by artists like Woody Guthrie.

Jesus Christ was a man who traveled through the land
Hard working man and brave
He said to the rich, "Give your goods to the poor."
So they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
Jesus was a man, a carpenter by hand
His followers true and brave
One dirty little coward called Judas Iscariot
Has laid Jesus Christ in his grave
He went to the sick, he went to the poor,
And he went to the hungry and the lame;
Said that the poor would one day win this world,
And so they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.

He went to the preacher, he went to the sheriff,
Told them all the same;
Sell all of your jewelry and give it to the Poor,
But they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
When Jesus came to town, the working folks around,
Believed what he did say;
The bankers and the preachers they nailed him on a cross,
And they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
Poor working people, they follered him around,
Sung and shouted gay;
Cops and the soldiers, they nailed him in the air,
And they nailed Jesus Christ in his grave.

Well the people held their breath when they heard about his death,
And everybody wondered why;
It was the landlord and the soldiers that he hired.
That nailed Jesus Christ in the sky.
When the love of the poor shall one day turn to hate.
When the patience of the workers gives away
"Would be better for you rich if you never had been born"
So they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
This song was written in New York City
Of rich men, preachers and slaves
Yes, if Jesus was to preach like he preached in Galillee,
They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave.

The problems we have today aren't new and the hypocrisies of our politicians isn't novel. FDR was no saint. And most politicians would find Christ's demands unreasonable. Still, for much of what Woody was singing about, I'm a Christian.
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