Original Posting At http://thenakedalien.blogspot.com/2018/07/authoritarianism.html
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, rumors of a man called Jesus were everywhere. King Herod’s attorneys and advisors had all sorts of ideas about who he really was – he couldn’t have just spontaneously sprung forth over night! But Herod knew who he was…
“This is John, here to haunt me; here to get his head back! Didn’t I send agents to arrest him for speaking against me? Didn’t I have him handcuffed for opposing my private activities? Didn’t I have him put in prison for speaking against my wife Herodias: sister of Herods; divorced from her uncle Herod; my sexy show-wife; the mother of my daughter Herodias*? For the good of the nation, I had to do something about his public protests, about his open incivility, about his disrespect of my high office. You don’t see any other religious leaders complaining about me do you? Only John spread fake news about me!”
Later, Herod held an event to celebrate himself on his birthday. In his White Palace, he held a state-dinner with his cabinet, his generals, and with leaders of the Herodian party. His chief advisor was his daughter; to entertain the King and his guests, she danced and slowly removed her clothes – greatly arousing her father.
“Daughter, whatever you desire, I will give you! I swear before all these people, I will give you whatever you ask for; even power over half the country.” She excused herself to consult with her mother; what should she ask for?
She hurried back to her father before he changed his mind. “I want John’s head.”
Herod then realized his stupidity in speaking without thinking, but he couldn’t show weakness in front of those he had gathered. So, he sent one of his men to the prison, and the man came back with John’s head. Herod gave it to his daughter, who in turn, gave it to her mother. He let John’s students have the headless body.
(From Mark 6:14-29)
*Google finds the genealogy of the Herods confusing. Mark may be similarly confused (or not) – Matthew, and some newer versions of Mark, just refer to the ‘daughter of Herodias’; Josephus spoke of Salome the daughter of Salome… whoever is related to who, this is some pretty creepy stuff!)