The biblical Jesus would have been appalled at the “politics” of certain members of the GOP and Religious Right, who consistently use His name as an oppressive and “patriotic” mantle. Jesus would have squarely made them responsible for inciting the riot at the Capitol.
In fact, the Son of Man is somewhere right now in heaven shaking His holy head at the bastardization of His message … and wagging his Divinely thin finger at the white men, like Senator Josh Hawley, who have hijacked the faith by remixing Christology for the bigoted.
Here are the things the real Jesus would want you to know about Hawley’s right-wing evangelical approach to politics — they are not the same.
Jesus would tell you he was a reformer, not an anarchist. The Religious Right got it wrong.
Christians should be aware of candidates who call themselves progressive. Progressive is generally just a code word for someone who leans toward socialism, who does not believe in God, & who will likely vote against Godly principles that are so important to our nation. 2/2
On the morning of January 6, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) walked past a pre-insurrection mob on his way to the Capitol to raise objections to the states’ electors’ votes. As he hurriedly rushed to impede the inevitable ratification of a Joe Biden presidency, he made sure to smize and pump his fist to the group of angry Pro-Trump hoodlums preparing to launch a coup on the United States government.
Hawley was one of the first to stoke the fire that had them out on the cold winter morning. His visible and boisterous opposition to the Biden-Harris win incited those already drunk on a fake form of patriotism prompted by the current president, thus extremely gullible to believe lies that spoke to their crazy. By pushing the “they are stealing our democracy” narrative, extremists, the Religious Right, and the nationalists took to places on the dark web and social media to rally around someone in power that they believed was on their side— God’s side.
They cheered in great numbers because they know who he is …they watch him and consider him “loyal” to them, the vision of a great past that never was and a trumpet for God. And it is with that might of God, they waved the “Christian flag,” a pennant not designed, brandished, or mentioned anywhere in the 27 books of the New Testament. They had banners in big letters “Jesus 2020” and “Jesus Saves,” and chanted “Christ is king.” Hawley’s gesture and smile, flashed at them with just enough papal distance, assured them that what they were about to do was not only the right thing but something God was good with.
But was God good with all that?
Jesus, throughout the bible respected authority even as He challenged those in power that used it in a way to oppress others. It is never seen where he rushed Herod’s temple and demanded liberty and freedom for all of the Galileans that he served day-in and day-out. He was proactive indeed, every weapon in His arsenal was directly pointing to the government’s need to have a communal responsibility for the poor, the broken-spirited, orphans, widows, able-challenged, and a whole slew of marginal folk.
Why am I so angry with this trumpist administration? I hate hatred. Any policy, plan, behavior or hate speech designed to harm others deserves an angry, intolerant response. Christ would be angrier than he was with the moneychangers. So a question for you, why aren’t YOU angry?
Consider the Jesus account from the Book of Matthew in the Holy Bible. The Nazarene is quoted as saying, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Sounds violent, yes? He later went to the Temple of Jerusalem, one of the most sacred places on Earth according to the Jews, and tossed over tables and whipped money changers right on the building’s patio.
But before anarchists’ eyes rolled back in ecstatic validation, what was actually in lock-step with this was a singular act that blasted people violating the set law and protocol of this House of Prayer. His action was not planned. It was an in the moment response of one man to the egregious blasphemy these men were able to do.
Some scholars believe that Jesus on his way to the big building … walked up on a group of swindlers using religiosity to profit their own agendas and he beat them … Hawley walked up on a group with a similar makeup and blew them kisses.
Trumplicans assert that they protest in this tradition of Jesus, yet do not honor the politics of Jesus. There is a thin line that our eisegesis of The Gospel must tread. In efforts to apply Jesus’ radical condemnation of leadership and prophetic ministry, the true believer has to reconcile their own public witness and Jesus’ documented ministry.
January 6 proves just how dangerous the Religious Right can be using the Carpenter’s Son as their blueprint.
Jesus’ politics always leaned toward the marginal and was inclusive to those often excluded.
Let’s be clear: Jesus ain’t white. America ain’t a Christian nation, a chosen nation, or an innocent nation. There is no America without Black people. Jesus wants us all free. The gospel is love and liberation. White supremacy will not have our futures. Black Lives Matter.
So much of the Religious Right is cemented on white Americans being the chosen people of God. They cite as evidence of this authority in the world, God’s gifting of North America to their ancestors, the settlers who made this continent “great.” However, like the Nazism and Aryanism of the early 1900s Germany, this divinely assigned greatness lies in their phenotypical, white-skinned privilege.
White Supremacist Jesus talking to Josh Hawley at the end of the season trying to get him to re-sign with the Klan in 2024. https://t.co/XpJBU0vCbv
It is because of their whiteness, though modern political heavy-hitters like Hawley, Cruz, and Trump wouldn’t say it in public, they believe that God made them as superiors to others and privy in a singular way to God’s enlightenment and salvation. To take it a step further, they tie in American exceptionalism and contend that those who are less fortunate were destined for this misfortune when they were “knit” in their “mother’s womb.”
They are so far from the Jesus in the Text
Chief among Jesus’ ministry was his extensive conversation about helping the less fortunate. To anyone that would listen, he urged people to use their bounty to help those in need. He also spent a great deal of time touching people that did not look like him and finding ways to bring them into his salvation. He touched folk. He touched people that were not gifted with privilege and gave them value. Mary Magdalene. The Syrophoenician woman. Lady at the Well.
Jesus will never be okay with evil & darkness, rioting & killing, racism & radical division. He’s a God of reconciliation & peace. A God of justice & of unity.
Jesus, a Palestinian Jew, had to be known as a just man that clearly walked with the marginal in their lowest hours because in his … a marginal man (Simeon from Cyrene) walked with him. The African not only walked with him but carried the cross for him. Not as his inferior, not as his slave, not as his enemy, Simeon’s walk in an act of extraordinary fraternal love.
He cared about people and they cared about him.
How dare the Religious Right, Josh Hawley, and all the other dominionists believe that God favors them over others because of their entitlement to a white-Right America!
Josh Hawley wants to dominate you
Hawley, a dominionist and a dedicated member of the Federal Society Caucus alongside senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Mike Lee, believes in originalism, a particular legal ideology that is against pluralism (God can be seen in many different ways), tolerance, and liberal society.
That sounds more like Jesus (Matthew 25, anyone? Or Matt. 7:21?) to me. Maybe Pelagius was a better theologian than Josh Hawley the insurrectionist? https://t.co/GmZxx3OR2t
According to The Nation, they interpret the constitution through an incredibly narrow lens of faith, arguing that The Founders had one particular religious perspective. But that wasn’t true. They all came from different religious perspectives and philosophies. While some believed that God ordained slavery, others were Quakers and did not believe in the institution at all. Drafting the document with careful respect for their respective faiths, the Founding Fathers took special care to separate Church and State.
Hawley and his supporters believed the opposite.
These “Christians” believe in the God of Dominion theological model (not representative of many of the millions of Christians around the world), where God has given certain men dominion over all of the earth. It is based on a passage in Genesis 1:28 that says, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
They want to establish a government where only Christian doctrine is authority, over any democratic law. This theonomy arguably is just as dangerous as Boko Haram, Isis, Al-Qaeda, and other extremist Islamic organizations.
So skewed is their outlook on how the country should be run, and the Jesus that they invoke, that they often lend themselves to a supernatural level of dangerous mockery. Take Paula White, an evangelical preacher who called on the Angels from Africa to stop the Democrats from gaining victory in the last election, she is currently a laughing stock.
Maybe those Angels from Africa were none other than John Lewis, Dorothy Height, Julian Bond, Marcus Garvey, Harriett Tubman, Kunta Kente, and a little lady in the 1619 Point Comfort records named Angela.
Jesus believed in a separation between Church and State
But Jesus, allowed local governments to have laws and practices that were unique to their textured culture and diverse population. He fought discrimination by challenging them, calling them out, and working through prophetic action, but he did not encourage blatant anarchy.
In Mark 12:13-17, he was asked about taxation to the Roman Emperor, a man that believed he was a god. There are a lot of things at play when he was asked if a devout Jew would be breaking the Torah by paying taxes/ tribute to the Emperor with Roman currency. He answered them “no.”
The story of how Christ blasted religious folk who twists scripture, tradition, and church stuff goes like this according to the New International Version of the Holy Bible, “But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. ‘Why are you trying to trap me?’ he asked. ‘Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.’ They brought the coin, and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’
‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’”
In Murray, we have active members of White Supremacist organizations (like the Traditionalist Workers Party, which tried to recruit at Murray State), organizations that participated in the riot that targetted you and your colleagues.
It would be interesting to hear what Jesus thinks about Hawley, the Religious Right, and the various Identitarians like the Proud Boys, Traditionalist Workers’ Party, National Socialists, Alt-Right, Klansmen, Oath Keepers, Last Sons of Liberty, and others. He would shake his head, or the dust of his feet, and be done with them.
Despite what they say, they are not his followers and he doesn’t know them.