By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, September 12, 2014

They Would Call Even Jesus "Passive Aggressive"

Tempranillo vines, Clos la Plana vinyard, Pene...
Tempranillo vines, Clos la Plana vinyard, Penedes region, Spain 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It seems that a common put-down today is to tell someone who indirectly criticizes your behavior that he is "passive aggressive," even in the case of a general criticism that is not intentionally aimed at you as an individual. 

Somehow the label is supposed to be pejorative, as if it were wrong to criticize another's behavior without at the same time insulting or attacking them directly and explicitly. If the criticism had been given in a vulgar and insulting way, I guess then it would be considered acceptable. Reductio ad absurdum.

Well, if that is the standard for being passive aggressive (it's just psychobabble nonsense, anyway, when the label is overextended at will), then surely they would also call Jesus "passive aggressive."

Here is the evidence (especially v. 19, with emphasis added). If the following is passive aggressive, then let's applaud and imitate being passive aggressive:

Luke 20:9-19New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Evil Farmers

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away.
13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.
“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. 16 “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.”
“How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.
17 Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.’[a]
18 Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”
19 The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.