Don't get me wrong, the Old Testament is worth being burned (and as a hard-core reader, who faints when the page of a book is torn, that's something for me to say). But if we look at Jesus' life specifically, without the hubbub of God, the supernatural, and look at it specifically from an economic and socio-philosophical examination of somebody's life, we see something that most Christians would become angry to even hear about.
And that's that Jesus was in fact a libertarian socialist.
Yes, Jesus was a hard-core liberal.
We can't pin Jesus as being socialist alone, only because he obviously does not support the government as being the means through which the needy are taken care of and shared with; the government is not pushed as the entity through which these deeds are moderated. He believed that this was an issue for the people, and that the only government by which people should be governed is the laws and regulations set down by God. In other words, no earthly government should have that power or responsibility, but your wealth that comes from work and production should be shared, given to charity, of your own accord. He himself said that the wealthy making it to heaven would be like a camel passing through the eye of a needle, that it made no difference how much money you had, and made it clear that your time on earth was a time to SHARE the wealth and good fortune you had with those who did not. "The meek shall inherit the earth"; the poor were glorified in early Christianity, those who worked hard, earned little, and yet were humble and giving of what little they had.
Jesus as a man, regardless of whether he existed, represents the humble, warm-hearted, but stern teacher that is reminiscent of Buddha. In fact, many of his teachings that give off this very anarchist view of the world and that warn against the evils of wealth are very similar to the teachings of Buddhism (which was present in the area he lived contemporary to Jesus' estimated lifetime, IF he in fact existed; his life does also read as very similar to the life of Buddha, who also performed miracles like walking on water).
I am not against these philosophies. In fact, that's why I do not bad-mouth Jesus when I criticize the Bible as strictly as I do. I do not think Christians are wrong for investing love in a man who thinks that way.
Christians, by and large, do not agree with their own mentor.
My problem with Christianity is not just hypocrisy of belief, but hypocrisy in even following what they're meant to believe. I can respect the few Christians who identify as some sort of socialist, who give to charity, who are poor by choice, and who agree most of the Bible is bogus but that they still admire the monologues and dialogues involving Jesus himself; socially liberal Christians who don't get the Bible-thumpers either. Although I will always disagree with them on the matter of God, I will never criticize their following of Jesus if they in fact follow what's actually written, any more than I criticize a Buddhist for following the original non-theist teachings of Buddha.
I don't think I've ever met a reasonable Atheist that would bad-mouth the actions of Jesus personally in the Bible, even when we tear through the Old Testament, Revelations, and every other ridiculous part of the book that we recognize is a superstitious interpretation of word-of-mouth stories about possible historical events.
This is something both secularists and Christians fail to understand. Atheists are rarely 'anti-Jesus', although yes, we can attempt to dispel his existence as myth (or a real person whose biography was exaggerated and combined with myths from other cultures over many years, even), but that does not mean we can't respect some of the things he tried to teach in the literature.
Why are so many Christians today so devoutly conservative, Republican, capitalist, and otherwise in the manner of their philosophies, so hellbent on pushing the agenda of the greedy corporate world, when it's clearly not what Jesus would approve of?
Does this have something to do with the same statistics that show, that although around 70-80% of Americans identify as being devoutly religious, less than half of them actually observe all of their religious traditions, requirements, or lifestyle factors? Do we have an epidemic today of what we can call 'social Christians'? Those who identify as religious only because society expects it, because their parents expect it, without ever understanding what it is they're supposed to be identifying with?
It's extremely discouraging to know people are so backwards.