Talking with Jesus (Oh yeah?) 16

“Do you read books, Jesus?”

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

“Because they’re such a big part of my life. I couldn’t understand a person who didn’t read.”

“That’s a bit narrow minded, no? There are millions of people who’ve never learned to read books, who can read the natural world much better than you, and are very interesting to know. But anyway. What have you been reading?“

“I’ve just started reading ‘The diary of a bad year’ by J.M. Coetzee, who has also written about you ‘The childhood of Jesus’ ‘The schooldays of Jesus,’ ‘The death of Jesus.’

“In fact, they’re not really about me at all, but rather about divergent kinds of intelligence and spirit. The one you’re reading, doesn’t it have little essays in it?”

“Yes, and in one he says things about child sex and child porn that make me want to smack him one.”

“I’m sure a smack in the face is an ideal form of moral argument.“

“He seems to think that sex between children is all right. Not to mention sex between a teacher and a pupil. “

“Didn’t you have sex as a child?”

“Of course not!”

“So what age were you when you were feeling Jean Rattigan’s breasts?“

“Uh, thirteen.”

“But that wasn’t sex?”

“How do you know about this?”

“I know you. And her. Sex isn’t something you just suddenly do. You learn it. And you start learning it quite young. In my Galilean community, people were old at thirty; many got married at fifteen; we maybe started learning sex when we were ten or so. Nobody thought anything of it.”

“Ok, Ok, maybe you’re right. But sex between teacher and pupil, surely that’s wrong, an abuse of power?”

“Often it is abuse, so I can understand the warnings against it. But if a social work boss falls in love with a basic grade social worker and woos her, is that abuse? Or the editor of a newspaper falls for a young reporter?

“I think if they don’t use their power to take advantage, it’s Ok.“

“But it’s not the same with teacher and pupil?”

“No. I think it is always wrong in a school. It may be Ok at college or university but the chances of manipulation by either party can’t be ignored. Coetzee blames militant feminists for strictness on this issue but this is a bat in his belfry.”

“Still, you’ve arrived at a more balanced view than just wanting to smack him one.”

“Were you balanced when you said that if anyone offended a little one, he should have a millstone hung round his neck and be drowned in the sea?”

“No, but I was trying to correct an imbalance in my society where children had no rights at all.”

“So could we agree that in defence of the small and the weak, balance is not always right?“

“That’s well said, but I’d still be careful about smacking the opposition in the face.”

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