While I’m encouraged to see more white clergy naming the sin of white supremacy, I just want to point out to the church that speaking out against mass shootings is a really low #$%!! bar.
Trace the sin and the language of white supremacy back further; it is in the criminalization of black and brown people, in the incarceration and deportation of black and brown bodies, in excuses made for vigilante executions and lynchings through “stand your ground” laws, in the leaders we elect and the dog-whistles they use, in functional apartheid through redlining and gentrification, in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, in white apathy over disproportionately dismal health and economic statistics for black and brown people, in our collective shrug whenever we think or say, “that’s just the way things are.”
White supremacy is simply the formal doctrine of the folk religion of whiteness. It’s the church you automatically join when you are born white (or passing) in this country. You may not attend regularly, but you have been tithing to it and enjoying its blessings your whole life.
Mass shootings, like lynchings, are a white sacrament: the visual representation of our invisible policies. It’s the sacrifice our religion requires. It is what our inaction looks like when it becomes action.
So yes, preachers, please condemn white supremacy for the heresy and idolatry that it is. And please go ALL the way in.
Yes. And I fear that the racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia and their manifestations will be with us for a long, long time. We most oppose them. But I don’t know how to muster the mass collective political will that would be needed to address them by name. I suggest that we begin instead by recognizing and providing for general human needs. Social Security and Medicare are models that already work. No squabbling over race, religion, or even need. If you’re old and have an account—which you must to work—you get the benefits. Let’s not wait for the 2nd Coming.
Thanks. I share your question about mustering political will. I actually love the idea of a “baby bond” form of reparations — focused on economic mobility. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/08/theres-a-serious-proposal-to-give-every-baby-born-in-america-20000-or-more/
Hi Dave. Don’t know if you watch Dr. James Howell, senior pastor at Myers Park UMC, Charlotte, but his sermon from this past Sunday is worth a watch. He had some constructive things to say about the topic you have addressed. Blessings on your ministry. Jeff Bayne [retired Elder. I had you in Licensing School years ago]
Thanks! I will have to check it out! Blessings to you also 🙂