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Black Forgiveness and White Jesus: Christian Twitter’s Popular Tweets of 2019

The year 2019, like the one before it, proved to be a very interesting one. Kanye West came out as a born-again Christian. White Evangelicals continued to surprise with their relentless support of President Trump. The cop who entered the wrong apartment and killed an unarmed Black man was forgiven and physically embraced by the victim’s brother, setting off further discussions about Black forgiveness and pain. These were just a few of the topics highlighted in some of 2019’s most popular tweets on Christian Twitter.

To clarify, the following popular tweets are restricted to individuals who either publicly identify as Christians or who work within the realm of Christianity. That means the content of some of these popular tweets may not necessarily have anything to do with the subject of Christianity or theology itself.

These 10 popular tweets of 2019 from Christian Twitter are presented chronologically.

White Privilege

Minister and activist Bernice A. King tweeted on February 5 a brief clip of educator and diversity trainer Jane Elliott (popular for her “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise”). King’s tweet also quoted Elliott: “If you, as a White person, would like to be treated the way Black people are in this society, stand.”

In the video, viewed more than nine million times on Twitter, none of the people addressed by Elliott stand up. As a result, Elliott concludes that White Americans are well aware of the adversity and maltreatment faced by African Americans and wouldn’t want to experience it themselves.

Jesus and Therapy

Author Carlos A. Rodriguez, who goes by the handle @CarlosHappyNPO, tweeted on April 22, 2019, a photo of a church sign stating: “It’s OK to have Jesus and a therapist too”. The sign belongs to Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, according to the photo. Rodriguez’s tweet received nearly 13,000 likes. The tweet likely resonated because Christians remain at odds about therapy and faith–although public opinion about counseling has been trending upward.

White Nationalism’s False Christ

Bible teacher Beth Moore, apparently shocked at the marrying of white nationalism with Christianity, tweeted about the movement on August 6:

Any “Christ” that can be invoked in support of white nationalism is a false Christ of the highest, most hellish order. An anti-Christ. A wholly-opposite christ. No such christ is the Christ Jesus of Scripture who taught His followers a love that sacrifices life & limb for others.

Sorry To This Man

When Vanity Fair released a clip of its interview with actress Keke Palmer in September, a meme was born. The clip was of the actress hilariously not being able to identify former Vice President Dick Cheney in a photo.

Apparently Palmer’s remarks reminded Christian comedian Kevin Fredericks, who goes by Kev On Stage, of a certain biblical figure. On September 14, he suggested the lines reflect what the apostle Peter had said after Jesus’ arrest.

“I hate to say it, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous, I don’t know who this man is. I mean, he could be walking down the street, I wouldn’t know a thing. Sorry to this man,” Palmer says in the clip.

Christianity or White Supremacy?

Bishop Talbert Swan is a Springfield, Massachusetts, pastor and radio host who routinely tweets about politics and race. His most popular tweet of 2019 went live on September 28. He tweeted:

“Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’ but a white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’ proves your religion is white supremacy.”

Swan has not been the only one questioning the condemnation of former President Barack Obama in contrast to the near-deification of President Trump by some Christians. Authors Brad Christerson and Richard Flory have found that the segment of Christianity most fervently lending their support to Trump tend to be linked to a growing movement of independent charismatic groups.

Black Anger and Forgiveness

The trial of former police officer Amber Guyger was marked by an unexpected scene–her Black victim’s brother openly forgiving the White woman and hugging her in court. This scene from the trial, which was about getting justice for a murdered Botham Shem Jean, was immediately picked up across the media. Meanwhile, comments of frustration made by Jean’s mother as well as her demands for police accountability in the wake of the trial, were not nearly as heavily rotated in the press or praised by the public.

Speaker and writer Andre Henry tweeted a comment related to this event on October 3:

“Here’s what I’m saying: If you don’t validate black anger, but praise black forgiveness, you’re just tone policing.”

Which Jesus?

Kanye West caused a stir when his “Jesus Is King” album finally dropped. Although the artist had already shown himself to be controversial in regards to his relationship with the MAGA movement and his ideas about slavery and Black agency, the rapper invited further scrutiny when it became apparent that his espoused Christianity may be rooted in White theology. However some people, such as rapper Lecrae, applauded the simple fact that an influential public figure such as West was reminding the masses with his music that Jesus is king.

However, theologian and psychologist Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes expressed disagreement on October 26: “No sir. This is how we ended up worshipping colonized Christ. Think critically, Christians. Everybody talking about Jesus ain’t talking about the same person.”

Checking Sexual Harassers

Professor and author Heather Thompson Day tweeted about about a negative experience she had with a boss when she was a teen that ended up teaching her a valuable lesson. The lesson resonated with more than half a million Twitter users who liked her tweet. Day wrote on November 7:

When I was 19 my boss said I should be a phone sex operator & laughed.

I said “I don’t get it”

He said “it’s a joke”

I said “explain it to me”

& that’s how I learned that once sexual harrassers have to explain why their inappropriate jokes are funny, they stop laughing.

White Jesus

Religion professor and author Nyasha Junior tweeted a simple sentence in response to a popular meme–“Please quote this tweet with a thing that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.”–and ended up going viral herself.

Her November 26 response to the prompt? — “Jesus was not White.”

As Junior suggested, it remains controversial to remind the masses that Jesus was a brown-skinned Middle Eastern Jew.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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