On July 27, 2020, Timothy Snediker, philosophy of religion teacher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, responded to a survey posted on Twitter that asked the following question: “If you were dropped 2000 years back in time with nothing but the knowledge you have now, what would you do?”
Mr. Snediker’s answer? “Easy, I would find and assassinate Jesus of Nazareth.”
Mr. Snediker then immediately followed up with a second tweet to drive home his point: “Theologically speaking, it would be really important to get him before his calling and ministry begins, so that gives me roughly a decade to make it to Palestine, locate the man, and make my move …”
It is interesting to note that after posting his comments, Mr. Snediker quickly closed his account — but not before National Review managed to archive his page.
However, his apparent “courage” aside, one can’t help but wonder what offense Jesus of Nazareth committed that Mr. Snediker finds to be so offensive as to make Christ’s murder his top priority?
Maybe it was when Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Perhaps it was this abomination that the good professor finds so objectionable?
Or maybe it was when Jesus told his followers, “Blessed are the meek, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, and blessed are the peacemakers.” Maybe this is the shameful teaching that Mr. Snediker, a man who fancies himself to be a teacher of religion, believes to be so abhorrent?
Or was it when Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Maybe this was Christ’s capital crime?
Or maybe it was Jesus’ proclamation, “For I tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Or, “I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; [and] whoever insults his brother will be [likewise] liable.”
Or, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Or, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …”
Or, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Or, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what clothes you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Or, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Or, it must have been, “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”
Or, maybe what this learned “scribe” of religious philosophy finds so objectionable is not so much the aforementioned teachings of Jesus as the fact that those listening to these teachings over the centuries have found Christ’s words to be more right and just and true than the pablum Mr. Snediker is peddling himself: “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their [professors of religion].”
Maybe, what causes the likes of Mr. Snediker to want to kill Christ is the same thing that led so many others 2,000 years ago to want to do the same. Maybe it’s the fact that the eternal “I Am,” the Alpha and Omega, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us, hits the nail on the head when he says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.”
It’s no wonder that the state of American higher education is in such shambles when the likes of such “Pharisees” as Mr. Snediker are teaching your kids. Call me crazy, but it might be time for us to ask ourselves why we continue to pay for such hateful indoctrination of our own children.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” — Jesus of Nazareth
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).