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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Guardian News Review Unjustly Reviles Christspiracy! By Dr. Chapman Chen

Summary: A review published by Leslie Felperin on Guardian News on 19 March badmouths the documentary Christspiracy directed by Kip Anderson and Kameron Waters, and calls it names without providing any supporting evidence. It fails to refute or even mention any of the points made by prestigious theologians and priests in relation to vegan theology, e.g., Pastor Robert Munro, Mr. Keith Akers, Prof. Andrew Linzey, Prof. James Tabor, Prof. Robert Eisenman, Dr. Deborah Rooke, Dr. Will Tuttle, and Dr. Charles Vaclavik. The key argument, amongst others, put forth by these experts is that Jesus's a Vegan Christ, who died as a result of opposing animal sacrifice, cleansing the Temple and liberating the poor creatures inside. The film has been subjected to various harassments since day one. Pastor Munro remarks at the film's beginning that the church will stop at nothing to keep the truth from getting out; and the directors suspect there may be transfers of benefit between mainstream churches and the animal agriculture. Below we will briefly go through the arguments put forth by these experts.


1. Gormless Tosh?


The review concerned is titled "Christspiracy: The Spirituality Secret review -- Jesus was a vegetarian and other entertaining tosh". Without any concrete grounds, it calls the seriously prepared documentary, on which Kip and Kameron have spent seven years filming, "gormless", "pseudo-scientific", naive, "barmy" "tosh".  



2. Jesus' Vegan Family and Disciples


Keith Akers, the author of The Lost Religion of Jesus (2020), and Dr. Charles Vaclavik, the author of The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ (1989), point out in the film that Jesus' natural brother James the Just and Jesus' cousin John the Baptist were both vegan. And Jesus carried on the family tradition of veganism. So much the more, all the twelve apostles of Jesus' were vegan (Eusebius, The Proof of the Gospel 3.5). According to Akers, In the miracle of "Five loaves and two fish," Jesus neither condoned the eating of fish nor gave it to the masses (Matthew 14). If you carefully read the text of Matthew 14, you will see that Jesus only broke the LOAVES and gave ONLY THE LOAVES to the people. Twelve baskets were filled with the broken pieces of BREAD. Subsequently, when Jesus referred back to the feeding of five thousand and of four thousand in the Gospel of Matthew 16:9-10 and the Gospel of Mark 8:19-20, He merely made reference to the LOAVES of BREAD AND THE BASKETS which held the broken pieces of bread, and never mentioned in any way the fishes. Obviously Jesus used only five loaves to feed the crowd and the reference to the fishes is a subsequent interpolation.  


3. Jesus of the Nazarene Movement


Prof. Robert Eisenman, professor of Middle East religions, archaeology, and Islamic law and director of the Institute for the Study of Judaeo-Christian Origins at California State University Long Beach, tells the two directors in the film that Nazareth the town never existed in any ancient map. "Nazareth" indicates who Jesus is rather than where He is from. Nazareth actually refers to the Nazarene Movement, an early Jewish vegan movement against animal sacrifice in the Temple.


4. Jesus Liberated the Animals in the Temple and Offended the Big Boss behind


In the film, Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey, founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, cum author of Animal Theology (1994), Prof. James Tabor, Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte cum author of Paul and Jesus (2012), and Pastor Robert Munro, founder of the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish of the Humanitarian Church, NY, argue in the film that Jesus died for the cause of animal liberation. The temple was in reality a slaughterhouse selling and killing animals as sacrifice, making big profits, and the investors behind were those chief priests and scribes. Prior to the Last Supper, Jesus, in emptying the Temple of animals about to be slaughtered for sacrifice, and in calling the Temple-turned-butcher-shop "a den of thieves", debunked the business fraud of animal sacrifice and disrupted the chief priests' and scribes' lucrative revenue stream, who immediately afterwards conspired to destroy Him (Mark 11:15-18), eventually leading to His arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection on Easter. In this sense, Jesus was a pioneer and martyr for animal liberation (cf. Akers 2000).


"A den of thieves" is an allusion to "Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord." (Jeremiah 7:11 NKJV). And the context thereof is God condemning animal sacrifice and meat-eating. On the other hand, mainstream churches maintain that the word "thieves' confirms their view that Jesus was cleansed the Temple for the purpose of ousting money exchange activities rather than animal sacrifice. But Oxford lecturer in Old Testament Hermeneutics  Dr. Deborah Rooke, while being interviewed by Kameron, looks up the Hebrew English dictionary Brown-Driver-Briggs and discovers that the Hebrew word מָּרִיץ (parits) for "thieves" actually means "violent one" or "murderer". Prof. Tabor also notes that מָּרַץ (parats), the Hebrew verb for parits, means break through, and its Arabic equivalent "شق" means to cut, to slit, to tear or to rend. Thus, Jesus raided the Temple not because of the money laundering activities going on there as alleged by mainstream churches, but because of the violent, murderous activities going on there, which mercilessly shredded, ripped open and cut into pieces innocent creatures of God!


(Dr. Will Tuttle, author of World Peace Diet (2005), reminds us in the film that many workers in slaughterhouses are prisoners on parole. And whether the workers are ex-criminals or not, they are susceptible to psychiatric issues.)


5. Paul the Corrupter of Jesus' Vegan Church 


Prof. Eisenman and Pastor Munro contend in the documentary that Jesus' vegan church was transformed into a carnist church by Paul in collusion with the Roman Empire. They argue that Paul was a spy sent by the colonizer to corrupt Jesus' vegan church from inside. Paul, remarkably, stressed that the weak eat only vegetables (Romans 14:2), and we can eat any meat sold in the market without questions of conscience (1 Corinthians 10:25-26). Paul probably even had a hand in stoning to death James the Just, successor to Jesus as the leader of the Jerusalem Council.


Moreover, Prof. Tabor points out in the film that when Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the State religion, the Council of Nicea (Nicaea) was convened by the Pauline Catholic Church in 325 AD to manipulate the Bible, removing most of the original vegan passages. And vegan Christians were badly persecuted and executed. IMO, the Pauline camp has thus hijacked the vegan church of Jesus Christ for 2000 years.


6. "Dominion" in Genesis Means Servanthood


Prof. Linzey states in Christspiracy that the word "dominion" in Genesis 1:26 means "to serve in stewardship" rather than despotism or dictatorship. The human species is supposed by God to be the servant species rather than the master species. In this connection, I would like to add that Jesus said, "I came to serve, not to be served" (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).


7. Conclusion


At the end of the day, Kip and Kam conclude that the root of all religions is compassion. There is no spiritual way to kill an animal and Jesus would never do such a thing. And Prof. Tabor in the prologue asserts that God's higher plan is move us towards harmony and we are expected to extend our love for human folk to all innocent creatures of God.


On the other hand, the review published in Guardian News fail to tackle any of the theological arguments and serious academic researches aforementioned in any way. Its sole purpose is apparently to hit and run. No wonder, many people who have viewed the film and read that review "suspect" that the author of that review and maybe even the media behind have been paid off by the animal agriculture industries and/or mainstream churches to libel this epiphanous, eye-opening, serious documentary. (Disclaimer: I do not have any concrete evidence for this allegation. It's just hear-say.)


Nonetheless, the two directors, during the shooting of this film, were actually stalked by dubious persons and drones. And their residence was once broken into and ransacked. The private detective hired by them to look into the harassment told them that that might have something to do with all the money that flows into churches from the agricultural industry and the likes of Christian companies such as Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out Burger. Pastor Munro, as aforementioned, also points out at the beginning of the film that the church will stop at nothing to keep the truth from getting out.


IMO, again, the flesh-hungry Pauline camp has hijacked Jesus' vegan church for two thousand years. It's high time we retrieve the original message of the Vegan Christ and go vegan, in order to honour God and serve His creatures in a compassionate way.


Last but not the least, WWIII is imminent. The ice at the Poles are fast melting and the Earth is getting warmer and warmer due to the carbon food-print of animal agriculture. Millions of people are starving to death as the majority of grains produced is fed to livestock rather than to humans. The best way to fundamentally resolve all these urgent problems is to follow Jesus and Buddha, and go vegan. As put by Dr. Charles Vacalvik in the film, the Nazorean doctrine of Jesus, is in line with Pythagoras' vegan principle:- As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”



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