“Jesus, unlike most responsible American citizens, appears to do no work, and is accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. He is presented as homeless, propertyless, celibate, peripatetic, socially marginal, disdainful of kinsfolk, without a trade, a friend of outcasts and pariahs, averse to material possessions, without fear for his own safety, careless about purity regulations, critical of traditional authority, a thorn in the side of the Establishment, and a scourge of the rich and powerful… He respects the Sabbath not because it means going to church but because it represents a temporary escape from the burden of labor. The Sabbath is about resting, not religion. One of the best reasons for being a Christian, as for being a socialist, is that you don’t like having to work, and reject the fearful idolatry of it so rife in countries like the United States. Truly civilized societies do not hold predawn power breakfasts.
“…. The morality Jesus preaches is reckless, extravagant, improvident, over-the-top, a scandal to actuaries and a stumbling block to real estate agents: forgive your enemies, give away your cloak as well as your coat, turn the other cheek, love those who insult you, walk the extra mile, take no thought for tomorrow.
“Christopher Hitchens greets this creative recklessness with petit bourgeois distaste …. In fact, one wonders why his frends in the Pentagon haven’t sought to ban this insidious propaganda about peace and the poor altogether. Jesus fails miserably to talk like a five-star general.
“…. it is not the kind of morality one associates with chartered accountants or oil executives. Because God is transcendent - that’s to say, because he doesn’t need humanity, having fashioned us just for the fun of it - he is not neurotically possesive of us. He needs us no more than one needs a pet mongoose or a tattoo. He is therefore able to let us be; and the word for this is freedom, which is where for Christian theology we belong to him most deeply.
“… If you follow Jesus and don’t end up dead, it appears you have some explaining to do.”
Terry Eagleton, Reason, Faith, Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 10-11, 14-15, 27).