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Candace OwensJason Kempin / Staff / Getty

(LifeSiteNews) — The phrase “Christ is King” was trending on X this past weekend, as well as on Monday, the start of Holy Week, following news that Candace Owens was no longer working for The Daily Wire, a website co-founded by Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish.  

Traditional Catholics, Evangelicals, Zionist Jews, and others have been responding to one another, sometimes aggressively but other times indirectly, on X over the past 72 hours about whether or not the phrase “Christ is King” is itself or is being used for “anti-Semitic” purposes. 

The kerfuffle has drawn the attention of many prominent conservatives who otherwise broadly agree on culture war issues but are theologically divided on the topic. 

“Watching certain people OBJECT to Christians saying ‘Christ is King’ is VERY revealing. Taking notes,” Catholic author Taylor Marshall has said 

The situation appears to have stemmed from interactions that Owens, whose husband is Catholic, had with two Jewish Rabbis last week. One of them, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, seems to have attempted to “cancel” her with help from the Anti-Defamation League after a contentious back and forth online that ultimately lead to her calling the perverse sex store he and his daughter operate “filth.”  

Schmuley later mocked Owens in a video he released on the Jewish holiday of Purim while acting like he was drunk. The move was criticized as being below the belt by influencers on the platform, including Alex Jones. 

Help Christians in Gaza to survive ongoing war

Another incident was when Owens interviewed a different Rabbi on her podcast last week about the conflict in Gaza, which she has taken a neutral stance on. His position was that Jewish suffering is a particularly unique evil. Owens told him Christianity is “actually the most persecuted religion in the world.”  

In November 2023, a leaked video of Daily Wire co-founder and arch-Zionist Ben Shapiro showed him telling a crowd of people at a private event that Owens’ commentary on the war had been “disgraceful.” He later publicy urged her to quit. To date, more than 30,000 Gaza civilians have been killed by Israeli forces.  

One of the first individuals to comment on Owens’ departure was Daily Wire contributor Andrew Klavan. Catholic Daily Wire employees Matt Walsh and Michael Knowles, Knowles being godfather to one of Owens’ children, have thus far offered little opinion on the matter, with Knowles simply sharing that he is close friends with all involved. 

Klavan is ethnically Jewish but was baptized an Anglican twenty years ago. Among other things, he supports homosexual relationships. In a recent podcast, he argued that there are some people who use the term “Christ the King” to offend Jewish people. 

“I’m a Jew, I’m proud of my race… Christians have welcomed me with open arms, except this ‘Christ the King anti-Semitic’ crowd,” he said, without specifying who he was referring to.  

“When you use that phrase to mean that God has abandoned His chosen people the Jews… and that He’s broken his promise, His covenant with the Jews, you are quoting Scripture like Satan does in the Bible,” he added. “You are quoting Scripture to your purposes.” 

Klavan further chastised Christians who “spit that phrase at Ben Shapiro” because “if Ben were to embrace Jesus Christ it would cause devastation to his family, to the people who love him, to the people who listen to him, to his position in the world.” 

Reaction to Klavan’s video has fallen along denominational lines. Former Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis came to his support by issuing multiple posts on X. 

“Some prominent voices who use the term ‘Christ is King’… do so as an antisemitic dog whistle against Jews, indicating that God has abandoned them for Christians,” she argued.  

Calvinist Allie Beth Stuckey sympathetically remarked that “using ‘Jesus is King’ for any other reason than to share the gospel is evil. It’s not a catchy saying or motivational mantra.” 

Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing shared a lengthy X post claiming that the phrase is “not innately antisemitic” but “may be antisemitic” in certain contexts. He warned others to not “use His Name as a cudgel to bash those in whom the Light of God yet flickers. If you do, you are a blasphemer and an antisemite and a piece of crap generally, and the fear of the Lord is clearly not in you.” 

Conservative Catholics have responded almost universally with support for “Christ the King” messaging. They also maintain that the Bible actually does support the theology Klavan and others condemn. 

“Jenna, the New Testament clearly teaches that the Old (Mosaic) Covenant was made ‘obsolete’ by the New Covenant (Heb. 8:13) and that the Church is the true ‘Israel of God’ (Gal. 6:16),” Catholic Family News managing editor Matt Gaspers said in an X post responding to Ellis.  

“All Catholics should obviously hold that Christ is King” and believe the “New Covenant in Christ fulfills the Old,” Crisis Magazine editor in chief Eric Sammons likewise said. “Opposing the modern government of Israel is not antisemitic,” he added. 

Owens herself has issued several follow up messages on X reiterating her support for the phrase. 

“The reason why some people believe that with enough insistence they can convince American Christians that the basic truth, ‘Christ is King’ is actually antisemitic, is because they have been successfully spiking the ball on Christianity for the past 60 years,” she said. 

Owens currently has 4.9 million followers on X. She has asked her supporters to visit her website and wait for her to announce her post-Daily Wire plans in the coming weeks.