Jesus vs. Lock and Load

Over at The Catholic Weekly, I write:

Recently, I saw one of the purest expressions of MAGA antichrist religion I’ve ever seen in a car window decal.

It read: “If Jesus had had a gun, he would still be alive today.”

As a friend once observed of The Da Vinci Code, this is so far off it’s not even wrong, like demanding to know what inning of the football game it is and how many pucks they have put in the basket to score a royal flush.

It comes from some parallel universe, where the mission of Good Christians is, like Peter and his sword, to kill our enemies and triumph with blood and iron for the Reich of God. Jesus is, for such gun culture religion, just a mascot.

Not that such dreams of bloody power are anything new in the Christian Church. The devil has steadily dangled the carrot of worldly power in front of the human race since forever and everybody from Pharaoh to Sennacharib to Alexander to Caesar to Hitler has made a grab for that brass ring.

Indeed, he even tried it on with Jesus himself, showing him all the kingdoms of the earth and promising “All this will I give you if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9).

What sticks out is that Jesus not only refused the offer, but went to war with the entire world system by handing himself over to that world system so it—and we—could pour out upon him all of our sin, dysfunction, craziness, and evil. When he told his disciples to take up their cross and follow him, he made clear that he was not speaking poetically by, in fact, being crucified.

As a first century hymn would put it, “though he was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

Much more here.


8 Responses

  1. Well, if that don’t beat all, this certainly will. Idon’t make the news, I just report it.

    charlie Kirk…

    “I see a lot of good news. I see a lot of people waking up. For example, we brought Kyle Rittenhouse to front stage.

    “That’s a win. It’s a win for due process. It’s a win for constitutional order. It’s a win for presumption of innocence, all biblical values, by the way.

    “Plenty of people were wrongfully accused all throughout the Bible, especially the Old Testament, including Jesus Christ himself.” – Charlie Kirk, boasting about his Turning Point USA conference.

    Kyle Rittenhouse, murdered two people, and he’s just like the Baby Jesus, but bigger, and armed.

  2. This reminds me….did anyone see the movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ? There is a scene early in the movie, Romans are persecuting Christians, killing, torturing, etc. The band of followers had a dispute about how to properly respond. One of the disciples says something like, “I know some people of influence, we can overthrow the government and put a stop to this ..” to which Paul replies, “that’s not the way of love”. I found myself resonating with the violent reactionary impulse of the former, but hearing Paul’s response, I knew he was right.

  3. Reminds me of when Trump said “when someone hits you, you gotta hit ‘em back ten times as hard!” to wild cheers.

    Literally the mirror opposite of what Our Lord told us to do in the Gospels if someone hits you. Anti-Christ advice in every sense of the word. And there were cheers!

    So many people in this country are so lost and they don’t even know it.

  4. Also—it just occurred to me this is wrong in an even deeper way—Jesus *IS* still alive today! To say otherwise denies the resurrection.

      1. Yes, which is odd given how much Calvinism is infused into American culture, but heresies often go from post-to-pole. You see the same thing with attiatudes towards religious art and objects–it vascillates between idolatry on the one hand, and iconoclasm on the other. The devil is many things but creative isn’t one of them.

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