In this modern day, I can’t believe how often I am watching the world of white American Christianity respond to major issues that face this nation, and the lame phrase from all of those sad years of youth camp screams through my mind, What the F would Jesus do y’all?
I mean really, I think we may need to bring the ugly nylon bracelets back so maybe conservative Christians would think about it before loudly campaigning against what the guy they call savior would actually do, but since the bracelets are probably bad for the environment – instead of handing them out at like Liberty University – we are just going to talk about it a little here.
Starting with the issue of gun violence.
I don’t think I need explain how out of control mass shootings are in the U.S.
Let’s just say we are at the point that my amazing Syrian friends overseas who went through the literal hell of war, are genuinely concerned for our safety here in the States because of our white-terrorist-mass-shooting problems, while other countries have put actual travel bans on us.
You would think that after the gun violence stats hit the point where it became more of a risk to go to school than to join the military, we would have done something about it.
But here we are, years later, not doing anything real with the Conservative Christian lobby preaching that Jesus’ number one priority would 100% be protecting their weird, self-serving, interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, over the lives of school children.
You know, like according to some of the actual ways/red letters and not something a conservative mega-church preacher made up to keep the tithes rolling in.
Y’all Jesus wouldn’t even take up arms in pure self-defense so I kind of feel like there is basically no argument to support that he would have been a card-carrying member of the NRA.
Like the one time when using a weapon in total self-defense would have been justified by everyone and their mom when Peter cut a dudes ear off shortly before Jesus was arrested and then murdered, Jesus’ response what to put the guy’s ear back on and reprimand Peter.
Or like I talked about in Not Your White Jesus, “There were plenty of times J made people mad enough that they wanted to legit kill him on the spot. Remember the time when Jesus unrolled a scroll at a synagogue and read a passage that basically said he was the guy the people had been waiting for and the people were like, “Yay, he is going to make Israel great again”? And then J basically crushed their nationalist dreams as he casually let them know that this good news was also for non-Jews and they didn’t want to share so, “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way” (Luke 4:28–30).
There was another time that some people accused Jesus of having a demon, and so Jesus of course set them straight because that’s not a nice accusation, and he pretty much just roasted these guys by suggesting that they don’t even know the God they call God.
“So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:59).
He just slipped on out of there!
Then there was another time that people accused Jesus of blasphemy and making himself God, and they tried to arrest him right then and there, “but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there” (John 10:39–40).
There is a theme here—Jesus says stuff that makes people mad, he doubles down, throwing out some sarcastic or smartass shade, and then people rage and want to murder him, but he simply bounces away without drawing a weapon or physically defending himself in any way.
Crazy right? I could be way off, but according to the red letters it is almost as if Jesus’ position was essentially the exact opposite of “stand your ground.” It’s like he truly was nonviolent, even in situations of self-defense.”
Now, on the other hand of it all, I don’t think anyone can really argue against the fact that everything in Jesus’ life suggests that he would have had a problem with our nation prioritizing the safety of their precious weapons, over the safety of innocent children. He definitely valued the lives of children quite highly.
So, what would Jesus do in a world where gun violence is the norm and the religious elite act as if god herself burned the 2nd Amendment into those stone tablets of Moses’?
What comes to mind too often are the words of Jesus as he publicly and broadly called out the self-serving religious elite of his days, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same was, on the outside you appear to the people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”