Speaking on ABC’s “The View,” CNN’s Don Lemon offered his perspective on Jesus Christ, pontificating that the only way to properly view Jesus was as “a black Jesus or a brown Jesus, because we know Jesus looked more like a Muslim or someone who was dark.”
Lemon prefaced that remark by asserting, “We also have to start being realistic about God and the Bible, and if you are a person of faith in this country — and we know America is built on faith and religious freedom — then we have to, I think, a good way of starting, is to present the true identity of Jesus, and that is as a black or a brown person rather than someone who looks like a white hippie from Sweden or Norway, and I think we should start with a true depiction of what Jesus looked like, and put that in your home. Either a black Jesus or a brown Jesus, because we know Jesus looked more like a Muslim or someone who was dark rather than someone who was blond, a blond-looking carpenter.”
“And then when your children ask you, ‘Who is this?’” Lemon continued, “This is Jesus. Jesus was Middle-Eastern. And Bethlehem was not in Sweden.”
Lemon stated that until Jesus was seen as “black” or “brown” Americans could not “come to a true reality about what America really is,” saying, “And so, Jesus does not look like the popular depiction that we have in our churches and in our homes and that we see all over the media. And I think that is a good place to start and that is a good place that your kids ask questions and then you can go from there. And then we can come to a true reality about what America really is.”
Dear @donlemon, while discussing healing racial wounds on @TheView, you inadvertently contributed to the erasure of Jewish identity. You told people to "present the true identity of Jesus, as a black or brown person.. more like a Muslim or someone who is dark."
Jesus was a Jew. pic.twitter.com/ovDZLtRSHE
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) March 17, 2021
Lemon wrote in 2011 that it was “naïve, even dangerous” to “think that religious teachings happened word for word as they were written in Scripture,” stating:
As I got older I began to realize that all these people and institutions interpreted the Bible somewhat differently. I had a sort of epiphany: the Bible was about the lessons you learned, not about the events or words.
When I became old enough, intelligent enough and logical enough to discern the difference between metaphor and reality, everything changed. I realized that Jonah living in the belly of a whale was a parable written in the same vein as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying that he had “been to the mountaintop.”
Neither Jonah nor King had actually been to those places. They were metaphors for lessons for those of us who cared to absorb them.
So many of us, especially in the black community and in churches, tend to think that religious teachings happened word for word as they were written in Scripture. I think that’s naïve, even dangerous.
That type of thinking – or non-thinking – keeps many religious people enslaved to beliefs that they haven’t truly stepped back from and examined.
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