In The Catcher in the Rye, why doesn't Holden like Jesus' disciples?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 14, Holden explains at length why he doesn't like the disciples of Jesus. In this chapter he talks about his feelings concerning religion and why he likes Jesus, but he has no time for his disciples. Holden looks at what the Bible says about them and decides that they are "phony," which is of course his favourite adjective used to describe the superficial, insincere nature of adults around him:

Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples.

He goes on to say that if it had been up to the diciples, Judas would have been sent to hell for his betrayal, whereas Jesus didn't do this. Holden doesn't like the disciples of Jesus therefore because, to him, they sum up what is wrong with the various people in his world that he tries to connect with: they are phony and cannot be trusted, as they kept "letting [Jesus] down." Holden is desperately trying to find somebody who he can connect with in a meaningful way, and the disciples' inability to support Jesus and stick by him make them symbols of phoniness and all that is wrong with the world.