So you acknowledge Jesus as a wise teacher? Really?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

It’s probably not the Easter message you expected, but for the sake of argument, let’s set aside miracles, repentance, heaven, hell and claims of divinity.

Countless people who reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God will nonetheless grudgingly acknowledge him as a “good man” or “wise moral teacher.”

But does modern society truly practice even the broadest principles that Jesus preached?

“Take heed and beware of covetousness,” Jesus proclaimed.

America in 2024 celebrates covetousness in myriad ways, including the time-tested “keeping up with Joneses” pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. Backstab your way up that corporate ladder! Gamble the food budget on lottery tickets! Gotta shower loved ones with more “stuff”!

And of course, stirring up class envy enshrines covetousness on a pedestal. You can practically set your watch by politicians’ perennial “soak the rich in their magically inexhaustible pockets” schemes. (The Empty Tomb makes us uncomfortable, but mayors and governors have unshakable confidence that they can kill the goose that laid the golden egg and bring it back to life over and over.)

“Can the blind lead the blind?” asked Jesus. “Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

Millions are swayed by self-appointed “experts” who are skilled at nothing except latching onto the latest grift. Legislators who have never met a payroll intuitively “know” that small businesses need oodles of new rules and regulations. Bureaucrats who don’t know one end of a gun from the other lecture us on “common sense” firearms restrictions.

“But rather give alms of such things as ye have,” Jesus implored in reference to personal charity. Somehow that has metastasized into forcing someone ELSE to “donate” to your pet projects. Even collectively, we don’t actually give of what we have; we give of what we DON’T have, running up trillions of dollars of debt.

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful,” Jesus challenged. Such a concept is completely alien today. Observe the sheer giddiness when someone on “the other side” is slandered in the media, harassed in public, bankrupted or stabbed in prison.

Pro-choice advocates are swift to assert that the Gospels don’t include any sermons in which Jesus explicitly mentioned abortion; but neither did Matthew, Mark, Luke or John record anything about “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” “body positivity,” “toxic masculinity,” “cultural appropriation,” “follow the science,” “saving the planet,” “defund the police,” onerous voter ID requirements, saintly indigenous peoples or “systemic” anything.

Jesus spoke of truth, but somehow neglected to mention “your own truth” or “lived experience” or “you’re great just the way you are.”
He denounced the hypocrisy of his opponents without censoring them or whining about “disinformation.”

For some unfathomable reason, he urged his Jewish disciples to prepare for the future, instead of rallying them to seek reparations from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

The wise teacher told a parable of a wise man who built his house on a firm foundation, but our culture is built on volatile emotions, shaky logic, “living documents,” unnamed sources, self-serving dignitaries, virtue signaling and faith(!) that “by golly, socialism will work next time.”

I’m not here for a “come to Jesus moment” in a religious sense. But if you’re going to admit Jesus was a wise teacher, walk the walk.

I yearn for something more eternal. In the meantime, we could have a veritable heaven on earth.

Copyright 2024 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as Rent-A-Friend.com, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.