Jesus scrolling around TicToc watching people pontificate about how racist he is.
I haven’t watched the Meghan and Harry interview because I don’t own the proper device. And I only give over all of my money to the godless entertainment purveyors of Netflix and Amazon instead of whoever it is that platforms Oprah. All that I’ve been able to see are clips on YouTube from which I have been able to enjoy a taste of everybody else’s banquet–like Piers Morgan having a bit of a shout about it.
Anyway, what makes the Meghan Phenomenon so interesting is when you mash it up with this tictoc thing of a young man explaining how Jesus learned not to be a racist from the Syrophoenician woman—which is a pretty old hot-take made by someone on the Patheos progressive channel years ago. You can hear that blog post plagiarized in sermons all over the world, and I guess now even on pandemic social media.
What do all of these two things have to do with each other? Possibly nothing. On the other hand, I think they are two sides of the new shiny o-ye-gods-of-privilege that make life these days so boring.*
First, there is so much stunning bravery to be had right now in misreading and misrepresenting what Christians actually believe about Jesus. That young gentleman who thinks that Jesus learned not to be a racist has happened upon a very old and discredited way of reading the Bible that no one but the very badly educated (not that that’s a minority or anything) accept. Notwithstanding his excellent audio-visuals and the perfect gray of his sweater, he isn’t speaking the truth, though I suppose he believes that he is. In this new world, Stunning Bravery consists of saying whatever you think and not having to worry about whether it represents anything verifiable. To say it makes it spring forth into existence, like Aphrodite out of the seafoam.
Second, the overthrow of the created order doesn’t lead to peace, but to anger and war. If a hundred years of feminism has shown anything, it is that women aren’t nearly as resilient as they claimed to be. A little bit of money, a little bit of folding the hands in care, and victimization will fall upon the perfectly tilted head in the slanting California sun as Oprah achieves yet another perfectly arranged meaningful pause. Of all the lovely memes out there about Harry and Meghan, the ones I like best are about how all you need to be put upon and miserable is to marry a prince and live in a gorgeous house in Montecito or wherever.
And finally, the progressive gas-lighting industrial complex has a plank in its eye. I really love that Meghan felt free to say lots of things about the royal family in Britain, things that were verifiably false, and that that was ok because she is so sad and her life is so terrible. Americans will adore and embrace her because loving yourself is the most important activity in the world, to be privileged over everything, including other countries’ ancient monarchical habits. Likewise, a young person can get on tictoc and energetically explain about the racism of Jesus as if he has discovered something new and clever, and not something old and tired. Surely Meghan and this guy have access to better information? Surely they don’t think that just by saying something it becomes true? That by saying that everything is racist, eventually nothing is?
The old order is going away, and the new order is here. In this new braver and more stunning space, nothing about creation or God or anything like that matters. What is most important is that you speak truth “to power.” Even if your “truth” is painted in millennial pastels. Even if the power and privilege of your elite and lofty station exempt you from facing the practical consequences of your reductionist and inhuman ideology. They—Jesus, the Queen, All People—should repent of their white supremacist privilege. Everyone—especially Meghan—says so.
Sign me up for the Real Jesus who is actually God, and who isn’t racist, and who isn’t even white (who even ever said that he was), and who doesn’t change, though all the would-be kings of the earth storm and rage in their anger and disappointment.
*Get off my lawn, she muttered to herself as she scrolled through all the socials. TM