In comparing the actions of Jesus in the temple to terrorism, Helen Dale ignores his teaching (“Not only will I not shut up, I’ve written a book about Jesus”, 7/10). Jesus denounced violence in any form. His actions in the temple were in accordance with his life. Jesus urged his followers to renounce violence. He said God wants mercy, not sacrifice. This truth was unpalatable. No one wanted to believe it was humans, not gods, who hate and who kill. No one wanted to hear that animal sacrifice was a vestige of the human need to sacrifice others. No amount of rewriting the gospels will eradicate this revelation. The crucifixion is a lasting symbol of the consequences of human behaviour. It is an image of the ingrained tendency in every person to scapegoat others.
Jesus was not executed because he started a riot. Pilate found no case against him. He was executed to reveal the reality of human nature — our need for an enemy — and to persuade us to renounce this need. Brigitte Dwyer, Norwood SA