There has been a phrase floating around since the inauguration of Donald Trump: “No matter who is President, Jesus is King.”
This has been the cry of many evangelicals since Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton last November. While I suppose I understand the concept of Jesus being the overseer of all things, allow me be to frank—this evangelical refrain is rubbish.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with phrase as it is written. Indeed, no matter what happens on this earth—be it an asteroid collision, the plague or an orange hemorrhoid sitting in the oval office—there is no doubt in my mind (and in my heart) that Jesus is still King over everything.
However, I take serious issue with the utilization of this phrase to coax one into complacency. “No matter who is POTUS, Jesus is King” essentially beckons us to remain calm and just rely on the fact that there is a bright and shiny God sitting up there on a cloud who has it all under control so we can sit back and just take life as it comes at us. I cannot endorse that line of rationale.
Last month, I attended the Women’s March in Indianapolis with some of my fellow classmates.
On my drive home after the march, my phone dinged. It was from an extended family member of mine asking why I would go stand alongside “those people who like abortion.” Yeah, those dirty sinners, right?
The text ended with the following: “Just remember Ryan, no matter who is the President, Jesus Christ is the King!”
That is when it struck me that the phrase was not only misleading, but morally unacceptable as a Christian. Just imagine for a moment trying to tell that to your Jewish neighbor in Austria, circa 1938. “Don’t you worry, buddy. Sure, you are going to be deported to a concentration camp, but hey—at least God is in control.”
Again, try telling that phrase to the daughter of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos who was deported from the U.S. last week—ripped from her daughter, Jaqueline.
Try telling that phrase to a woman/man who has just been subjected to sexual assault. “It’s going to be just fine because God has a reason for everything.” No wonder the church has seen record numbers of young people leaving.
Yes, no matter what happens, Jesus is King. But has he not endowed us with wits? Are we not blessed with bodies that can act, brains that can think and voices that can speak?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned us of the danger of complacency, calling out the “moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action…’”
So what says you, AU? Will you speak up against hatred, racism, xenophobia and bigotry? Will you act to ensure that all people, no matter their color, gender, sexual orientation or legal status are all treated as decent human beings?
Interestingly enough, it has been the Christians I’ve seen acting the most un-Christlike in this current political climate. If you truly think that Jesus is King, then use the gifts he’s given you and act now. Get involved in speaking up, even calling out the church on their inconsistent values they preach from the pulpit on Sundays, but ignore the moment their gay neighbor needs a cake baked.
Jesus is King, but even he flipped tables when the church became complacent. Act now—there is no day but today.
Ryan is a senior history major from Indianapolis, Indiana.