Catholic Family News

Where, Then, Is the Daily Wire Going?

On March 22, 2024, conservatives were sent into a maelstrom after a sudden post from Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing announcing ominously, “Daily Wire and Candace Owens have ended their relationship.” The seeds of discord had been sown and nurtured in the preceding months, stemming from Owens’ escalating opposition to Israel’s martial endeavors in Gaza while simultaneously becoming oriented more towards overt Christianity and even Catholicism, her own husband’s creed. This all came to a head recently after a debate that Owens had with Rabbi Barclay, primarily on whether Owens is an antisemite (despite saying that the term is ever-changing in definition) for calling Rabbi Shmuley’s selling of sex toys and creation of a sex podcast with his own daughter “filth” and “unholy.” The crux of the argument was, to be expected, that it was not for an unknowing gentile like Owens to make objective remarks about this Jewish leader.

Following this, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) spearheaded a campaign against Owens, bringing to the forefront the debate of whether the phrase “Christ is King” and Owens’ use of it is antisemitic. After the Daily Wire separation, there has been a flurry of responses explaining why this phrase is antisemitic. The Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan’s critique stands out, claiming that if you use “Christ is King” to mean that God broke His covenant with the Jews, then this is nothing more than an antisemitic dog whistle. Klavan would continue to talk about the devastation that would ensue if Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, converted to Christianity. Boreing seemed to express a similar sentiment about the phrase as well, penning a longwinded post speaking about the dangers of people using “Christ is King” in an antisemitic way.

Catholics should avoid engaging in this trap, as in this discourse it is the enemies of the Christian tradition who get to define what “antisemitism” means, which, as seen with Klavan, will often be defined merely as the expression of Catholic teaching that the New Covenant has superseded the Old. It should be noted that such a rigorous examination of the offensive use of language was conspicuously absent when Ben Shapiro stated that Jesus Christ was a common criminal and when he made numerous impious “jokes” concerning Our Lord. Such is the double standard that is always applied to Christianity. If the Daily Wire has come to the point of expelling its members and condemning as antisemitic the usage of the phrase “Christ is King,” we must ask: Where, then, is the Daily Wire going?

The Conservative Path

In today’s political lexicon, the terms “Liberalism” and “Conservatism” have come to mean different factions within the monolithic ‘uniparty’ steering the course of the Western world. The only distinction is often slight, being that the conservatives are typically a few steps behind their liberal brethren regarding societal standards and economics. But this is a recent phenomenon, one that I argue only began after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the dissolution of the concordats between the Catholic Church and the nations of the world. Why is this? Because Christ was uncrowned, ushering in a new era in which Liberal ideology would redefine the essence of rights.

Gone are the days when Conservatism viewed rights as being those things one is due in correspondence with one’s duties, with the paramount duty being to save one’s soul through union with Jesus Christ. Instead, rights have morphed to become nebulous constructs, whether that be the social constructs of the liberal or the vague philosophizing of the conservative. We now see moderns today, be they liberal or conservative, clamoring for their “inalienable rights” with absolutely no idea of where they come from. We can thank the first so-called “enlightened” thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, and Hobbes for setting this ridiculous stage, basing rights on their own speculative “state of nature,” a mythical theory that few people know or care about today.

But in today’s discourse on rights, modern liberals and conservatives often resort to legal positivism, with one’s rights being simply whatever the holy legal decree of democracy dictates. And so, the conservatives perpetually work to preserve whatever the status quo is at the current moment, while the progressives move the status quo towards more and more absurd positions — a Hegelian nightmare, two sides of the same Liberal coin.

Ecumenical Conservatism and the Daily Wire

This is not to say that the Daily Wire has succumbed to this Satanic death spiral that is destroying the West. Many of their commentators have gone against this current. Yet, the challenge for them is evident after choosing to die on the hill of condemning the so-called antisemitic phrase “Christ is King.” To deny the sovereignty of Christ, to reject His governance of nations, even if subtly by saying that we shouldn’t call the Jewish nation to Christ, essentially aligns one with Liberalism. “Christ is King,” in three words, cuts to the very core of where our rights come from and defines a stance utterly opposed to Liberalism. How could the conservative Daily Wire be opposed to this?

Until recently, the Daily Wire was lauded even by Candace Owens for allowing its commentators to speak their minds freely and have different beliefs in a big tent which allowed Shapiro to promote the Orthodox Jewish perspective, Knowles to champion Catholicism, and Klavan to peddle the out-of-touch Protestant stance. However, this endeavor to foster such a type of “ecumenical” conservatism is on precarious grounds when one of the parties starts using language that undermines the premise that it operates under: subjectivism. Should anyone dare not to preface every claim with, “I respect all beliefs, but as a Christian, I personally believe…” or has the audacity to give the objective standpoint that certain religions are wrong and others are right, then ecumenical conservatism no longer has its uniting thread, and what better way to extinguish this troublesome controversy than by branding the clearest expression of Christocentric politics as antisemitic?

But in our objective view of the world, a view that Candace Owens seems more and more inclined to adopt, Christ has indeed triumphed over the grave. He established a new covenant that superseded the old one, in what is not a break of His covenants but a fulfillment of them. This brings forth a profound implication: Ben Shapiro, along with the rest of the world, must find redemption in Jesus Christ. It challenges the notion that the United States has some kind of religious obligation to support Israel in all it does. It affirms with unwavering conviction the moral teachings of the New Testament. And yes, it casts a rigid gaze upon Rabbi Shmuley and his ventures of degeneracy. For us, this is nothing less than the Gospel truth, declarations all the more meaningful during this solemnity of Holy Week. In this sacred moment, we do not whisper but proclaim with the courage of faith: Christ is King.

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Murray Rundus

Murray Rundus is a former Disney actor, convert to Catholicism, teacher and Production Manager of Catholic Family News

You can find him on Twitter/X: @MurrayRundus