Opinion, Yreka

Opinion: Was Jesus telling us to be woke?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines woke as being aware of important facts and issues, especially regarding racial and social justice. This tells us that “woke” people are informed people who are compassionate, committed to getting rid of all forms of discrimination, and making the world a better place for all.

Would the messages Jesus preached qualify as being “woke” as we understand it today? His words and actions demonstrated the importance of embracing all individuals, regardless of society’sprejudices. Jesus confronted religious hypocrisy, social injustice, and spoke out against oppressive systems and practices. Hestood with and spoke for the poor and the oppressed.  Jesus embraced equality and diversity.

Jesus emphasized caring for the most vulnerable members of society, such as the hungry, the sick, the poor and strangers. Heshowed compassion for marginalized people and suggested that we should do likewise, because that is how God will judge us. (Matthew 25:31-46)

The Apostle Paul wrote “There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). Jesus affirmed the equal worth and value of every individual, breaking down society’s social barriers and emphasizing the importance of equality and love for all people. Today, the list would be expanded to say there is no longer straight or gay, pro-life or pro-choice, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, trans or queer, Republican or Democrat, rural or urban, fat or skinny, etc.

During the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference, speaker after speaker attacked ‘woke’ ideology in their speechesby telling lies about what woke really is. Why? Were they afraid of equality for all would lessen white power? Were they afraid that they would lose support if their supporters learned the truth that their current beliefs and actions make them racist?

Today’s Republican politicians are telling us that we must fight ‘the woke’ in our schools, in our businesses, and in government agencies and never surrender to the evils of woke ideology. If we do this, we are told, then minorities won’t gain power over us.

Today, if Jesus was living on earth, he and his teachings would be vilified and condemned by Republican politicians and the conservative news media. The conservative Christians need to think about that.

Jesus called out the greed and hypocrisy among religious people (Matthew 23:1-36) and encouraged his followers to be aware of double standards and to live with integrity. These anti-woke politicians and their supporters are living a phony Christian life.The sad part is that their supporters believe them instead of what Jesus preached.

Jesus’ basic teaching, the Golden Rule, is synonymous with being woke: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31). It could not be said any simpler. Today, those opposed to being woke are violating everything Jesus taught us.

I believe that the case has been made that Jesus did preach thatbeing woke is how we should live our lives. The Kingdom of God is “woke”. That leaves out anti-woke politicians and their supporters.

Tom Laurent


  1. Lindy Middleton

    The media is what keeps all the division going strong. Pointing out all the bad that happens and rarely, if ever, the good (which actually far outweighs the bad).

  2. Rev Lori Keyser-Boswell

    Thank you for speaking such tough truth.

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