Monday, September 10, 2012

Matthew Never Threshed Wheat – The Urban Gospels – “Chaff Farmers” – Cookie Cutter RC Bishops

I look at all the Chaff Farmers, American Bishops raised in farmland and the Midwest that now seem to dominate the once great RC dioceses on the East and West Coast of America.  

These Chaff Farmer/Clerics, had very few choices handed to them in their youth, their only meal ticket choice in Fly Over Country and or Nowhere USA was to either stay on the farm or to go to a seminary.
I am reminded by a comment elsewhere about all the really Chaff Farmers (my term) coming out of, or by their association with states like Wisconsin and Missouri.
I am reminded of my belief that the original gospels were probably not written by actual witnesses of the historic man and or myth of Jesus.
I am reminded that Jesus probably preached to the rural poor, to farmers, to itinerate day labor of farms, something I think Jesus did at one time or another.
I am reminded that Chaff is the part of the Wheat that is unwholesome and hard to digest and not being all that nutritious.
While the metaphor in the gospel of Matthew about God and or a Son of Man figure separating the wheat from the chaff, the unwanted part and throwing it and or they into fire is a metaphor that negates the idea that the very poor that Jesus preached to, like they had the luxury of wasting part of a food product in the day to day battle of survival.
Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Even if the chaff is a byproduct, it can be mixed with other animal feed to sustain those animals. It can be put back into the soil as a form of nutrient. It can also be burned but probably on a cold winter’s night in the corner fire place. It is not wasted. 
All in all, it fits into what I have previously said about the parable of the mustard seed, a product that something the poor of Palestine knew nothing about.  That up until the twentieth century with mechanized farming, modern transportation and marketing did mustard makes its way onto the middle class tables of the west as a cheap condiment.

Indeed, I feel certain that the Jesus-y feel of the mustard seed parable has an overlaying stink of an urban scholar that knows all the aspects of primitive botany from books and also commodity profits of an earthy sounding farm product that Jesus must have had knowledge of, but probably did not.

In fact, in one of the synoptic passages, the mustard seed parable is preceded by a parable of weeds among wheat. While an urban dweller who wrote this mustard seed parable might stick his nose up at weeds, many weeds are indeed edible and the poor, the starving unentitled poor, Jesus’ poor, would have gathered up many of those weeds separated eventually from the wheat and ate them. Survival makes more sense than urban vested scholarship in the early church’s reconstruction of a holy man who few if any recorded any details about.

Not only eat the weeds, but dry the ones that were not edible and use them as fuel, not burn them up foolishly like waste in an urban middle class garden.

Which puts perhaps puts me at odds with the term Chaff Farmers. But in their case they seem to me of late a waste product interfering in politics and not understanding the delicate nature of the fabric of democracy.  

Indeed, for this modern crop of yokels, wearing thousands of dollars of silk robes they read rules out of a rulebook not unlike a Pennsylvania State Trooper on the Pennsylvania Turnpike but with less enthusiasm than the Trooper.
A cookie cutter class of cleric but one that are uniform in shape of their training and non-outlook in life, in their total lack of heart, since they only serve a kingdom not of this world, which might fool some unless they got to see the real balance sheet of the Vatican Bank.

God is not in a rulebook. Not 613 rules of the Torah or 613 odd pages of catechism. A richly dressed class of hypocritical Pharisees is still just a richly bunch of Pharisees in any time, place or culture.

Chaff yes. To be thrown out into fire? Useful? Hardly.

Moral? (rhetorical question) (more like a punch line) LOL

Have a nice day.