President Trump won’t exclusively condemn it, Frankly Graham won’t clearly denounce it, and many conservative Evangelicals remain all but silent and waffling with false equivalencies in its destructive wake—white supremacy.
Take a good look at the landscape of right-wing Christianity in America and tell me why we should be surprised when white supremacy is seen by some as, at least in part, a bi-product, intended or not, of significant segments of right-wing conservative Evangelical Christianity. The undeniable placid ambivalence, tiptoeing, and ambiguity displayed by some in response to the recent acts of domestic terrorism committed in Charlottesville give sure light to the elephant in the room—a white Jesus for white people creating white churches with white male leadership hoping to protect, preserve, and foster a white conservative Christian nation to rule the earth.
It’s high time we wake up and smell the vile stench—casting out our evil nose-blindedness. Should we be surpised when significant segments of right-wing conservative Evangelical Christianity are discerned as highjacking Jesus and turning Him into their personal cruise director, sipping Christian cocktails while their Evangelical Titanic plows through and pollutes from sea to shining sea spewing out sure levels of hatred, bigotry, racism, greed, and even the sounds of white supremacy?
There is much about the conservative Evangelical creed that could be understood as speaking of and fostering privilege—we are the saved, you are the lost; we are the faithful, you are the heathen; we are the blessed, you are the condemned; we are the friends of God, you are the enemy; we are the sole possessors of Biblical understanding and righteous interpretation, you are the sure heretics; we are the faith upon which this nation was founded, you are the people that need to be converted and conquered.
No, it’s not written in the church bulletin or some carefully crafted mission statement, but with white painted churches steepled with white crosses as far as the eye can see, it should be to no one’s surprise when people observe that Sunday mornings across America can be some of the most segregated hours of the week and a screaming indictment to some of the highly unfortunate fruit being grown on the vine of the gospel of significant segments of conservative Evangelical Christianity—not excluding, aspects of white supremacy.
For at some point, we have to do the difficult work of putting two eyes on what’s in front of us and connecting the dots.
No, of course, not everyone who identifies as a conservative Evangelical Christian manifests nor supports the evils of racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. There are many, if not most, standing in the gap, seeking to be a force for good. Yet sadly, but perhaps appropriately, the foundational theology, ethos, and culture of significant segments of right-wing conservative Christianity are now being questioned as a potential incubator, cesspool, and even catalyst for some of the evil tenets, actions, and aspirations found in white supremacy.
As unpopular and perhaps controversial as it is to shout from the mountain tops or assert at the Thanksgiving day table, we have a serious spiritual and moral problem in our country, and one of the cowardly wizards behind the curtain pulling its fair share of the strings is none other than significant segments of right-wing conservative Evangelical Christianity.
If you’re white, silent, and not completely enraged at the racism spewing from the privileged sewers of America, you are the problem.
If you’re a Christian and believe that your faith understanding affords you special dignity, rights, blessings, status, and the capacity to judge and Lord your creeds and values over another, you are the problem.
If you subscribe to any belief set that sees the color of your skin, the creed you confess, or the location of your birth as granting you special anointing, favor, and affirmation from God, you are the problem.
If you have taken even just one step towards concluding that God created anything less than perfect equality for all people as the predominant sign of the manifestation of His Kingdom, you are the problem.
If you dream of a world where white Christian people remain the majority, retain overall power, legislate society, and have their values, beliefs, and culture prevail in the public arena, you are the problem.
Take a good look at the landscape of right-wing Christianity in America and tell me why we should be surprised when white supremacy is seen by some as, at least in part, a bi-product, intended or not, of significant segments of right-wing conservative Evangelical Christianity.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
Interesting that you received no comments on this, even four days later, given that you often do get comments, sometimes very negative ones.
I think that silence is exactly the silence you speak of — part of the problem. That silence comes from the evangelical community, and it’s deafening. It’s coupled with the whataboutism that seeks to equate persons fighting for justice and equality with those marching in the streets with “torches” shouting “Jews will not replace us!” The current President is responsible for all of this, as he praises them with faint damning and false equivalencies.
This nation is now a global and human disgrace, and it is in large part the fault of evangelical “Christians.”
Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thank you for speaking up! The sad thing is many of the people you are speaking about have already decided you are not in God’s will, so your words are “deceived” or you are “demonized” or you are simply being dramatic. I left the church after having been all in – grew up in missions, did Bible school, seminary, was a Christian therapist etc. I began to see as a clinician the very real result of this mindset in my own life and the lives of others, the narcissism, the trauma/PTSD, the abuse (especially as a female) the lack of adult development on so many levels. Eventually I wrote for Child Friendly Faith Project, which seeks to educate churches on both child-development and safety issues in a religious context. Much of the Evangelical mindset is generationally based on fear, judgement and narcissism that comes directly from the both the culture and the theology, which is never to be really questioned, as you well know based on your own past. In this way, generation after generation passes down the fearful and judgmental system without change. Those of us who have walked away to literally gain our own souls and hearts back are often punished, ostracized and misunderstood. Many of us have lost so much. So much. But cannot go back so will take the intense loneliness over anything church related (even though there are good people and differing theologies out there). I consider many of the good, white, Christian people to be the most dangerous for the marginalized because they (Evangelical Christians as a whole) are insidious in forwarding systems of oppression by their wholly unexamined personal , corporate and spiritual narcissism, and silence. After all, if they can send literally everyone to hell in the blink of an eye, why would true human empathy be really developed?
Christy, such a brilliant comment that will impact me for some time. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Your observations are to some extent reasonable, but it appears you are mixing up some things. It’d be a lot better to differentiate between white supremacy and orthodoxy. Which one do you frown at?