During a handoff segment on CNN Monday night, anchor Don Lemon was making the point that a lot of people who are revered in our country — the Founding Fathers, President Lincoln — weren’t perfect and we need to acknowledge their imperfections when considering their legacies.
Seems… sensible. But then, as an example, he brought up Jesus.
… Jesus Christ… if that’s who you believe in, Jesus Christ admittedly was not perfect when He was here on this earth. So why are we deifying the founders of this country, many of whom owned slaves?
As you might expect, the Christian Right has been in an uproar all week, having found a new distraction that allows them not to address Donald Trump‘s incompetence. They’re mad because, in their view, Jesus was absolutely perfect in all ways. He had to be. He couldn’t have died for your sins unless He was blameless.
MAGA cultist Pastor Robert Jeffress called the comments “heretical.” Mike Huckabee went with “blasphemy.” One conservative outlet called Lemon a “fool.” The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody practically had a Twitter aneurysm, saying Lemon and CNN couldn’t be trusted.
But since we’re on the subject…
Let’s talk about what Jesus did.
- Jesus once got so angry he flipped over tables and benches.
- Jesus cursed a fig tree because it didn’t have anything to eat — because figs weren’t in season — and then the tree died. Jesus killed a tree because He was hangry.
- Jesus admitted to speaking in parables that were difficult for people to understand… and then got mad when people didn’t understand them.
- Jesus got snippy when people asked Him why He didn’t wash His hands.
- Jesus’ actions led to the deaths of a whole bunch of pigs, angering an entire town.
So… either we have to acknowledge Jesus could be a jerk at times despite whatever other redeeming qualities we want to assign Him. Or, like the conservative Christians are doing, we can pretend Jesus was perfect because our faith requires it… even when the Bible itself has plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Instead of talking about that, though, those Christians would rather argue that CNN is somehow anti-Christian because a throwaway line to make a valid point didn’t align 100% with their personal religious beliefs.
Imagine having the luxury to complain about that because you’re too cowardly to admit racist people shouldn’t have monuments in their honor.