Matthew Dowd worked on the George W. Bush campaign in 2004, but later decided that Bush wasn’t far enough to the Left for his tastes, so he became a Democrat. In 2021, he mounted a campaign for lieutenant governor of Texas, but it sputtered to a halt after only five weeks. Through it all, he has identified himself as a Christian, but on Wednesday on MSNBC, he demonstrated in front of a watching world (okay, in front of MSNBC’s tiny coterie of angry Leftist viewers) that he doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what Christianity is all about: “if Jesus were alive today,” he declared, he would be being called a woke socialist groomer. Sure, Dowd, and I’m the pope of Rome.
“If Jesus were alive today”? Dowd even referred in the same MSNBC appearance to “the message of the gospel of the Easter holidays,” which he said was “love one another.” That’s fine, as far as it goes, but there is another part of that message that he seems to have missed: Easter is when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and declare that he is, in fact, alive today. Is Dowd actually unaware of the central message of the foremost feast of Christianity? Sure, he was speaking imprecisely, meaning “If Jesus were walking around on earth today,” but his choice of words suggested a less-than-intimate familiarity with what Christianity actually teaches.
Dowd started out by actually saying something that was true: “We are in a culture war.” He then immediately departed from reality, adding: “This is a culture war launched by Republicans against the country and the Democrats.” But in a certain crazy sense, Dowd is right. It is Republicans, or at least some of them, who launched the culture war by daring to stand up and cry foul as Democrats sent drag queens into public libraries, celebrated gay lap dances in public high schools, told boys they could become girls and girls they could become boys, and put a “gender-fluid” devotee of “puppy play” in charge of nuclear waste disposal. If Republicans had all just aped Mitt Romney and sat back and accepted it all, there would be no culture war.
Dowd continued by claiming particular expertise regarding Christianity: “Something that I have tried to talk about, being a Christian and been an altar boy and all of that, how the faith is captured by the society who have tried to define it in a way that Jesus never defined it and actually the opposite.” All right. And how exactly has the society wrongly defined Christianity? By not identifying it completely with the Left’s twenty-first-century agenda, of course: “The message of the gospel of the Easter holidays was love one another. I have said this before. I’ll say it again, if Jesus Christ were alive today, he would be called a groomer, he would be called woke, and he would be called a socialist if alive today if he was speaking the message in the gospels today about treating everybody with dignity.” This is because Leftists always claim that conservatives who embrace traditional values are doing so out of “hate,” and Jesus was all about love, you see, so he must have been a Leftist.
As insane as this is, Dowd found a basis for it in the actual gospels. Jesus, he said, “hung around with prostitutes and tax collectors. He spoke on behalf of the most marginalized people in the Middle East. The idea that a certain segment of the population is trying to corrupt that message that I’m a follower of … is something I think all of us, not just people of faith but whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or don’t have a faith, the message of love conquers hate is a message we should be pushing.” And it’s true: in the gospels, Jesus’ foes disparage him as “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” (Matthew 11:19) They never, however, show him actually being a glutton and a drunkard, and there is the distinction Dowd would have us ignore: Jesus would certainly have accorded woke socialist groomers basic human respect, but that doesn’t mean he would be teaching six-year-olds about genitalia or “gender identity” or applauding as the government confiscated the wealth of its people and handed it over to its cronies and client groups. There is no record of Jesus ever celebrating insanity and fantasy, either.
What’s more, the woke socialist groomers are the ones in power today, controlling all the principal cultural and educational institutions, and so they correspond to the critics of Jesus, who was a member of a group that was genuinely despised and marginalized, not one that postured as being thus treated because to do so was an avenue to political power. On many occasions, Jesus rebuked those who held all the power; his critics today, meanwhile, might charge Jesus with holding views that were truly … deplorable.