Don Lemon is no pastor. He’s the prime-time muckety-muck over there at CNN who never fails to grace us with his ageless face, his drunken New Year’s Eve shenanigans, and every once in a while, a sermon.
This week’s message came courtesy of Lemon’s appearance on “The View,” but it brought to mind several other times Lemon preached. Here are his top five, in no particular order.
1. ‘God Is Not About Hindering or Judging People’
Let’s start with the latest. Talking to Meghan McCain of “The View” about the Vatican’s recent declaration that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin,” which is consistent with scripture and thousands of years of church teaching, Lemon, who is gay and engaged, had a strong message communicating what he personally thinks God is “about.”
“I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that is not what God is about,” Lemon insisted. “God is not about hindering people or even judging people.”
God actually hinders his people from many things. They’re called sins, and they’re our natural, rotten tendencies that would lead us to death. Of the many messages contained in the Bible, few are as explicit as the teaching that God is, in fact, a Judge — a Judge who is holy and sinless.
That leads us to another Lemon sermon.
2. Jesus Christ ‘Admittedly Was Not Perfect’
In the middle of one of his signature rants about Donald Trump and systemic racism, Lemon launched into another sermon with Chris Cuomo, another CNN anchor who has a habit of mocking Christians and broke from his comedy routine with his scandal-ridden brother long enough to join the segment.
“Jesus Christ, if that’s who you believe in, Jesus Christ, admittedly was not perfect when he was here on this Earth,” Lemon said.
Admittedly? Who ever admitted that, Lemon? A big part of the believing in Jesus Christ thing is confessing that he was completely perfect. Otherwise, his venture down to Earth would have been kind of a waste.
3. Is God a … ‘She’?
In other news, God might be gender fluid, according to the Church of Don Lemon.
“God: Does he exist? More and more young people doubt he does — or she,” Lemon opened a 2012 segment about atheism.
While Lemon’s friends on the left work tirelessly to pass the ill-named Equality Act and neuter our norms, God — Father, Son, and Spirit — is still God, not gxd.
4. ‘Do the Right Thing’: Don’t Go to Church
Churches who have “clos[ed]their houses of worship” amid the pandemic are doing “the right thing,” Lemon announced during the early days of the Wuhan virus. “I want you to take a look at this scene,” he said, as a picture of a church worshipping together flashed onto the screen. “Look at that. Can you believe it? … All those people crowded together, apparently not taking the slightest precaution.”
“Everyone around this country, I want you to listen to the sound of my voice,” said Lemon (who loves to listen to the sound of his voice). “Hear my words. Remember this: This virus does not care what you believe.”
Viruses don’t usually care about much. But for Christians, virus or no virus, gathering with other Christians is one of the most essential activities of all.
5. ‘True Identity of Jesus’ Is a ‘Black or a Brown Person’
Did you know Jesus was black? That’s right, according to Lemon, that’s the “true identity” of the Son of God.
“If you are a person of faith in this country … a good way of starting is to present the true identity of Jesus and that is as a black or a brown person,” Lemon told the women of “The View” this week. “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 a blond-looking carpenter.”
Well, Jesus certainly wasn’t blond, although most depictions of him aren’t either. As Stand With Us Executive Director Michael Dickson correctly and succinctly pointed out, “Jesus was a Jew.”
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
It’s curious that in a culture that clings to identity politics and frowns upon a member of one group speaking authoritatively about another group — for instance, if white people talk about race issues, they’re racist, and if men talk about women’s rights, they’re mansplaining — that Lemon would speak so self-importantly about Christianity, but he does.
These proclamations are all from the same Don Lemon who said it was “common sense” that “no amount of prayer” would transform him “into something that wasn’t natural” and who wrote that a belief in inerrant scripture is “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,” Lemon penned, failing to realize that men are all enslaved to something. The question is whether we will be slaves of sin or of God.
We can all hope and pray Lemon meets God — the true God, not gxd or a fake Jesus who wasn’t perfect — but until then, turn off Lemon’s CNN bully pulpit, and don’t take your theology tips from him.