Christianity isn’t inherently white supremacist. But Christian faith in America has been interpreted in a way that upholds the tenets of white supremacy, which is built on 18th and 19th century Western hegemonic values. These cultural values, which have been intertwined into mainline American Christianity, protect and uphold the system of white supremacy. “All men are created equal,” claims the Declaration of Independence.
Many will look at the tribal and ethnic tensions that exist all around the world as a problem as old as human civilization. Isn’t this a strong argument for the reality that the racism that was practiced by white/western Europe is indeed just a reflection of what has always been?
Why does the church participate in modern-day lynching, or at most turn a blind eye, rather than protesting as our faith would dictate?
Join me in June for Duke Divinity's 'Summer Institute for Reconciliation' to learn together how we can subvert the currents of racial hierarchy and racism that permeate our lives.
Matt talks to the Union Theological Seminary president about the church and Trump, "unending" sermon endings, and her book Trauma and Grace.
Disaster is understandable for black lives—they are antagonists in a narrative of humanity written to serve white supremacy. To say "black lives matter" is to interrupt this story.
Tonight at 8 pm EST, Katelin Hansen will interview me about my new book, Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, which was released in January.
Most white Christians, and many middle class racial minority communities, have cut themselves off from any intimate life together with poor black communities that struggle every day with a multiplicity of oppressive obstacles. But a movement is happening all around us.
Brooks students entered a dated and pretentious room with the feel of an old study. They sat in a circle as they listened to Professor Edward Blum. One lecture illustration was the defaced image of Christ from after the Klan bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The room transformed as Blum’s slide showed the stained-glass window with a hole where the holy face of Christ had been.
No white person ever wants to think of themselves as racist. And that is precisely part of the problem, no white person ever thinks of themselves as racist. Each white person is the innocent exception to the rule, even when confronted with the realities that our society is thoroughly racialized.
In years and decades to come, we’ll remember the last two weeks. The Emanuel A.M.E. massacre, the sudden shift away from the Confederate flag, the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of the Affordable Care Act and its extension of same-sex marriage to every state. Last Friday there was an awesome funeral service for Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel and one of the victims in the shooting. And all of it while once again black churches have been burning, some under suspicious circumstances. For all of America’s secularization, actual and expected, each event was resonant with religious significations—and each prompted a wave of public theology.
Yesterday flags stood at half mast to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. It was, to borrow the man’s own phrase, altogether fitting and proper that we should do this in recognition of our greatest president and his tragic end.
It seems like everywhere you go Christians in one way or another are talking about Christendom. Actually, the word being used most is post-Christendom.
In all the commentary around Adrian Peterson and his son, one of the more interesting threads has been about the particular history of African American parenting and corporal punishment. Charles Barkley weighed in of course; so did Michael Eric Dyson. Jamelle Bouie pushes back against Dyson in this thoughtful post. But the most provocative thing I’ve seen is by Brittney Cooper.
If you haven't read Ta-Nehisi Coates's cover story in the current Atlantic, do. Coates surveys the history of white supremacy in America, with a particular focus on housing policy in one Chicago neighborhood, and calls us to do what we've never really done: seriously consider what it might take to make it right. The headline is "The Case for Reparations," but Coates doesn't name a dollar amount or even argue that payment is the main goal.