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A video of Jefferson Bethke, a Washington-based spoken word artist, performing a poem he wrote about the difference between religion and Jesus was uploaded to Bethke's YouTube channel on January 10th, 2012.
The video was posted to Redditon the 11th, where it received 839 upvotes and 421 downvotes. In five days, the video had over 12 million views, tweeted about over 86,000 times, and had over 1.4 million shares on Facebook.
On January 13th, the first Scumbag Jefferson Bethke was posted to the Advice Animals subreddit, only receiving a score of 3. It also inspired several image macro series on the generator sites with alternative names including Contradiction Guy and Contradiction Chris.
The video was covered on MetaFilter, the Daily Dot, Yahoo! News, the International Business Times, and the Huffington Post. It was also heavily discussed on religious sites and blogs including Christianity Today, the blog of St. Mary's Catholic Center of Texas, the Mennonite Weekly Review, and American Jesus. A Michigan pastor, Kevin DeYoung, published a verse-by-verse critique of the poem, breaking down Jesus's true opinions on the church, citing the Bible verses when appropriate. Bethke responded to this article and appreciated this critique, stating that he was aware of his flaws:
"If I can be brutally honest I didn’t think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn’t as air-tight as I would’ve liked."
Search for the video began on January 11th, the day after it was uploaded.
 Viral Video Chart – Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word
 Quickmeme – Hate Religion Love Jesus
fn14. Yahoo! News – ‘Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus’: Controversial Viral Video Logs 10 Million Hits in Four Days
 International Business Times – ‘Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus:’ Controversial YouTube Video Goes Viral
 Christianity Today – 'Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus’: To Adore or Abhor?
 American Jesus – “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” – The False Dichotomy
 The Gospel Coalition – Does Jesus Hate Religion? Kinda, Sorta, Not Really
 MetaFilter – Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word