Talk:What would Jesus do?

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Former featured article candidateWhat would Jesus do? is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
May 18, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted

older comments[edit]

May I ask how WWHT can be short for "What Would Hitler Do?"? Besides, "What Would Hitler Do?" seems to be missing the end "-character in the article. Zomis 21:23, 22 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

It's also an acronym for "walk with Jesus daily", or something!

"On Wikipedia it can be read as, "What would Jimbo Do?" "

WTF? Is this a Wikipedian inner joke? Does anyone knows what does it actually mean? As it stands now, I think it isn't encyclopedic at all and I'm removing it. Feel free to revert it, but please explain it a bit further in orther to explain how Jimbo doings are relevants to wikipedians. Diego Moya

Is the Brian Boitano bit useful in the longer form? It doesn't contain any more information than the short version - David Gerard 17:31, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)
It contains an extra link. It contains information that BB is a US figure skater. It contains information that the replacement was meant to be humorous. It contains information that BB is treated as a role model for all situations.
That he's a US figure skater isn't relevant to WWJD; you might as well include the BB article in full.
That he's a semi-famous figure in the US is relevant. -anthony
I am less than convinced. I remain open to persuasion, of course. - David Gerard 00:39, Feb 16, 2004 (UTC)

I'd argue that it is useful to explain who Brian Boitano is. Without this context, it isn't entirely clear why the song from South Park is parody. I don't believe that Boitano is terrifically well-known outside of the United States (certainly I hadn't heard of him before the South Park movie), so a few lines of explanation as to why this is a parody wouldn't go amiss. At present, the final sentence of the article reads like a non sequitur. - MykReeve 01:17, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Non-Christians sometimes use the phrase to show admiration for the peace-loving and kind nature that Jesus is considered to have had."

Does anyone have enough examples that would even justify a "sometimes"? This reads like wishful thinking from advocates - David Gerard 17:42, Feb 16, 2004 (UTC)

I was thinking about changing to to "Non-christians sometimes use the phrase rhetorically to point out the hypocrisy of some christians", but I couldn't figure out a better way to phrase it :).
I would like to point out that non-Christians often *do* use the phrase to call Christians on hypocritical actions and to return to a more "authentic", genuine expression of Christian doctrines of universal love and moral responsibility. WWJD has been used by gay-rights activists both Christian and non-Christian, for example, to counter conservative Christian gay-rights opponents. It's hard to say whether this usage is sincere or ironic -- probably a little of both, since it is turning the phrase against the ideological groups that use it more often, but often does seem born of a genuine belief in and desire to encourage "the good parts" of Christian ideals. Also, I would note that many people who now use "What Would Jesus Drive?" use it as part of an anti-SUV campaign that started a while ago, which is not truly a satirical context.
I'm also interested in the fact that this article goes into almost no detail at all about the origins of the phrase -- it certainly didn't pop up out of thin air in the 1990s, and had been part of Christian literature with the publishing of In His Steps way back when. That at least deserves a mention.
So mention it! - David Gerard 10:55, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)
It is relevant that, at least from my POV, the article spends much more time on the ways the phrase has been parodied and even has a link that's purely about one particular parody of the phrase and little about the phrase in its original context. I'd like to see the Brian Boitano bit go and be replaced with info on the Methodist origins of the phrase, etc.

So, does this belong in Category:Charismatic and Pentecostal Topics or not? Why or why not? Quadell (talk) 16:28, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Hey! Talk about WWJDD John Daly or Johnny Damon

Evangelical vs evangelicalism[edit]

While the Wikipedia entry is 'evangelicalism' that term is almost never used in everday speech. The compromise is to use the common 'evangelical' while linking to evangelicalism. Samw 03:06, 22 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

  • Thank you, I agree 'evangelicalism' is uncommon usage, but since it is what is intended by 'evangelical' here, we can avoid linking to a disambiguation page. BonsaiViking 03:14, 22 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Origin of the Accessories[edit]

I have a feeling we're going to get into a battle of "who invented 'WWJD?'" here. A profile in this past Sunday's The Grand Rapids Press credits Dan Seaborn, a Wesleyan pastor in Holland MI with starting it in 1988. (He's the person I was referring to in my edit.) And the Lesco Pathway web site[1] (one of the companies that helped popularize the bracelets) credits a particular Reformed congregation in Holland in 1989. Based on the dates, I'm inclined to credit Seaborn (though he made buttons, not bracelets), but I suspect the "what would Jesus do" idea was generally buzzing around town in the late 80s (the teenagers at these various churches all went to the same couple of high schools), and I doubt we'll ever really know who first came up with the notion of wearing the initials as a reminder and promoting that beyond their personal circle. That's why I left the originator unnamed. Tverbeek 01:02, 15 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That's fine. Probably doesn't warrant crediting both (although certainly the bracelets took off quite a bit more). Without any reference and so generic in the prev text, I thought it was worth editing to include the documented (though biased towards the Lutheran) story I knew. -Jcbarr 01:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Gary Willis book[edit]

Moved from User talk:Samw: Thanks, Sam. When I made the addition, I wasn't particularly comfortable with the "parody" designation, but the other sections didn't seem applicable either. ronels 05:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree the current location in history is awkward too. We could start a new section on "Impacts" and even make "accessories" a subsection under that. Be bold and change it! Samw 01:00, 27 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I believe this article is not appropriate for the "Fashion" category it keeps getting placed under. "The term fashion applies to changing and developing social and cultural interest in a range of topics such as music, film, clothing, architecture." This phrase does not have enough weight to be listed under such a broad and defined category as Fashion and categories such as "Slogans" and perhaps even "1990s fads" (which I am putting it under) are more suitable. --Ethii 01:43, 18 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Might it be better to change this section into a bullet list? -- 13:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

You forgot about WWAPD (what would a pirate do) from the gospel of the flying spaghetti monster under parodies, just wanted to point that out205.235.56.2 19:10, 3 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

oh I also think it would be worth mentioning that there is also a T-shirt that had WW(Hockey mask)D which lead me to think that it stood for what would Jason do? I saw this shirt in Hot Topic

I think that whole section needs to be trimmed down. Yes, we get it, it has been parodied a lot. It doesn't need to be literally half the article. Harksaw 13:14, 31 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Derivatives and Satirical Variations and Song Parodies[edit]

Derivatives and Satirical Variations and Song Parodies, why are they even in here? At most make another article with these and just say see also instead having them in this article--Migospia 09:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]

What happened to the article WWJD in popular culture? Was there an AFD on it? Samw 03:09, 15 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]


It would be interesting to hear if anyone knows how this phrase became popular in the 90's - quite a long time after the book was popular. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

"Related Phrases" is as long as the actual article.[edit]

It makes it come off as a worthless, trivial article. Just saying. (talk) 08:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Earlier sources[edit]

Frances Ridley Havergal reportedly used the explicit question in a poem somewhat earlier:

  • If washed in Jesus' blood,
    Then bear His likeness too,
    And as you onward press
    Ask, "What would Jesus do?"
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 251.

Cheers! bd2412 T 05:28, 3 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The book referenced in this article was published in 1896; however, there is evidence that the phrase was used - repeatedly - in the lyrics of this song appearing in an 1893 hymnal [2]. Perhaps someone more learned than I can shed some light on this. This also predates the Havergal lyrics. Calliopeman316 (talk) 20:29, 4 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

What does the Church teach ?[edit]

I noticed that Catholics and Orthodox will often look to the Magisterium of their Church instead of refering directly to their consciences or to the scriptures. In this sense, WWJD can be interpreted as a distinctly Protestant slogan, although it does not really prevent Church-minded Christians from actually refering to their consciences or to the New Testament, as some might have suspected. ADM (talk) 09:33, 11 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

It isn't just a distinctly Protestant slogan, it is a slogan which is peculiar to one faction within Protestant Evangelicalism, viz. the one affirming Christian perfection. The slogan emphasizes works over faith, and as such takes the predeterminist "Lordship salvation" stance. It is thus no coincidence that the slogan became popular in US Evangelicalism during the 1990s.

It is interesting to note that the related idea of Imitation of Christ as expressed in medieval German mysticism focusses on internal spiritual exercise, not works or acts in everyday life. --dab (𒁳) 16:00, 8 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Faith alone won't necessarily tell you what to do in a given practical situation, and Jesus is not the worst role model for decision-making. I actually first heard a similar expression in the 1960s when Senator Everett Dirksen said he often asked himself, "What would Lincoln do?" More recently, we have, "What would Wellstone do?", "What would Brian Boitano do?", and probably countless others. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:42, 8 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]


'What would Shinoda do?' is without reference, and I cannot find anything on google about it. Does it need a reference or does it need to be deleted? (talk) 03:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Citations needed (not disambiguation)[edit]

Recently I edited this page intending to note that citations were needed. I inadvertently added two "disambiguation needed" tags rather than "citation needed" tags (see below).

Sheldon's ideas coalesced with those that formed into the [[Social Gospel]] espoused by [[Walter Rauschenbusch]]. Indeed Rauschenbusch acknowledged that his Social Gospel owed its inspiration directly to Sheldon's novel,{{dn|date=August 2013}} and Sheldon himself identified his own [[theology]] with the Social Gospel.{{dn|date=August 2013}}

These disambiguation tags were rightly removed. I am now going to add the citation needed tags that I had intended to add in the first place. KConWiki (talk) 11:41, 27 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]


It's not really a phenomenon outside of the US. How would you like it globalized? Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:44, 21 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Over the last decade or two I've seen/met hundreds (if not thousands) of South Africans wearing the "WWJD?" bracelets, if it's common here it can't possibly be unknown in the rest of (at least the English-speaking) world. Just google the phrase with ", .uk, .ca, .au, .nz etc and you'll see just how widespread it is. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:22, 21 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
SPSs? Any RS discussing it? The phenomenon died-out here about a five to ten years ago. If we can find material to globalize the article, I'd be glad to see it. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:26, 21 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

WWJD in Modern Culture[edit]

Back in the mid 1990's there was a joke in the Reader's Digest where someone seeing, a WWJD bracelet, asked what it was for. "It's so that I would remember 'What would Jesus do.'" Reply, "I know one thing Jesus would not do is to wear a bracelet that says 'What would Jesus do?'"

While humorous, I don't have access to back issues of R.D. Can anyone find a reference for it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 20 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]

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