Britney Cooper thinks she’s cornered the market on Jesus. A white-hating, microaggression-avoiding, birth-control-loving, sexually free, and “possibly queer” Jesus.
Of course she’s lost her mind, along with whatever faith she has as a “practicing Christian.” Then again, Salon.com published this puddle of intellectual putrescence because they need the clicks, right?
As a practicing Christian, I am deeply incensed by these calls for restoration and reclamation in the name of religious freedom. This kind of legislation is largely driven by conservative Christian men and women, who hold political views that are antagonistic to every single group of people who are not white, male, Christian, cisgender, straight and middle-class. Jesus, a brown, working-class, Jew, doesn’t even meet all the qualifications.
This statement is so chocked full of falsehoods, I don’t even know where to start. I’ll start here: Jesus can’t be legislated. I also happen to think that Jesus was a Christian, by every possible definition. He was, of course a Jew, but a Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ, unless Cooper thinks Jesus denied himself. And it’s also possible to be both a Jew and a follower of Christ. I am incensed that Cooper doesn’t think so (because I happen to be one).
I often ask myself whether I really do worship the same God of white religious conservatives. On this Holy Week, when I reflect on the Christian story of Christ crucified, it is a story to me of a man who came, radically served his community, challenged the unjust show of state power, embraced children, working-class men and promiscuous women and sexual minorities (eunuchs). Of the many things Jesus preached about, he never found time to even mention gay people, let alone condemn them. His message of radical inclusivity was so threatening that the state lynched him for fear that he was fomenting a cultural and political rebellion. They viewed such acts as criminal acts and they treated Jesus as a criminal. And all who followed him were marked for death.
I’ll make it easy for you, Brittney: you don’t worship the same God as Bible-believing Christians.
Jesus didn’t come to “radically serve his community.” In fact, he let the community down. They wanted a political leader, one who would free them from Roman rule. The ruling religious class was more akin to “Reverend” Jesse Jackson and “Reverend” Al Sharpton—full of themselves and their money and their power—than any “white religious conservative” today.
Jesus didn’t challenge the rule of state power (and when has any liberal challenged that? They want the state to rule, because as streiff is wont to say: it works like hell). Jesus paid taxes, obeyed the state authorities, and spoke truth to power (“what is truth?” Pilate asked).
What did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery? “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t say “go and have all the sex you want.” And eunuchs? Really? Let Jesus speak for Himself on that.
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
Jesus Teaches on Celibacy
But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
The Greek word for “sexual immorality” is πορνείᾳ, “porneia” from whence we get “pornography.” The word is defined by Strong’s as “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.”
What Jesus really said: “whoever divorces his wife, except for adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc., and marries another, commits adultery.
“Adultery” in the Greek is μοιχεία. It means “adultery.” Don’t blame me for it, liberals, I’m just the messenger. This is what the Bible says in its original language.
Jesus condemned homosexuality and lesbianism, along with those other bothersome things liberals like to say He defended. But the Jesus they want favors those activities, and condemns traditional families.
Here’s where Cooper’s train totally leaves the rails.
The Jesus I know, love, talk about and choose to retain was a radical, freedom-loving, justice-seeking, potentially queer (because he was either asexual or a priest married to a prostitute), feminist healer, unimpressed by scripture-quoters and religious law-keepers, seduced neither by power nor evil.
The Jesus Cooper knows doesn’t exist in reality, in any religion, any church, or anywhere but the liberal mind which conjured him up out of whole cloth.
And Jesus quoted Scripture. Constantly. He quoted Scripture to the devil himself, three times, in the desert (look it up, Luke chapter 4).
What’s so disturbing is that Cooper really believes this, and people who don’t know any better believe it because she said so. These souls are being led far, far away from the truth, and far away from the Savior who died for them. A good hashtag here is #soulsmatter.
Instead of calling the faithful to prayer, supplication, and fasting, Cooper calls them to death and robbery.
Alongside that, I maintain that another kind of reclamation needs to occur. We need to reclaim the narrative of Jesus’ life and death from the evangelical right. They have not been good stewards over the narrative. They have pimped Jesus’ death to support the global spread of American empire vis-à-vis war, “missions,” and “free trade,” the abuse of native peoples, the continued subjugation of Black people, and the regulation of the sexual lives of women and gay people. Let us mark this Holy Week by declaring the death to the unholy trinity of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy. And once these systems die, may they die once and for all, never to be resurrected.
It’s a very sad state when we realize that we have not even a square inch of common ground on which to break bread with such heretics—worse than heretics because even heretics claim some nugget of the faith. Even if I were to grant Cooper all the sins she lists, true of some white capitalist Americans, I cannot disclaim Jesus, who died for the sins of the whole world, in favor of the fake Jesus she has erected.
The only response I have to such an onslaught of deception and delusion is to pray for Brittney Cooper. I encourage all followers of the real Jesus to do likewise. If there’s a single soul on earth who needs the mercy and grace of God, it’s her.