As professors—one a politically-engaged theologian and the other a theologically-engaged political scientist—we admit that this situation leaves us concerned and scratching our heads. In our current American context, we wonder: what does it mean to live an authentic life of faith?
How Christianity went from a faith based on sacrificial giving to an institutional blessing of taking will certainly be a challenge for historians untangle. If there were ever a faith with the heft, logic, and compassion to oppose imperialism, colonialism, slavery, and exploitation of every kind, you’d think it would be Christianity.
81% of White Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump to Make America Great Again. But it was not Christianity that got him elected. White American Folk Religion (WAFR) did. This ideology, not Christianity, is the oxygen burned in the spiritual fire of the United States.
My family has stood up for independence from England, for civil rights, and against fascism. I come from people who fight for what we believe to be right. Now honestly, I never thought I would have to stand up against my own people.
Reading While Black is not, in the end, just about Black Christianity, Black church history, or Black Biblical theology. Rather, it is a significant contribution to the larger Christian conversation over what it means to be the multi-ethnic body of Christ.
This project, perfectly encapsulated in the building of a statue, has served to effectively shield white Americans from feelings of guilt or thoughts of reparation—but it has left us woefully unable or unwilling to fix systemically racist systems.
Denying these historical facts is revisionism, and attempts to deflect or rationalize them are forms of dehumanization.