The next target of those wanting to redesign America, if not the world, is Christianity, and in particular, its starting point is claims of racism aimed at white Christianity as the first and easiest target to focus on.
If you’ve been following the news, you may have noticed that attacks on places of worship and on Christian monuments and statues are increasing in frequency. As the nation grapples with allegations of systemic racism, Christianity is being pulled into the fold.
White Christians are being used as an easy target, with allegations that artwork that portrays Jesus as white is symbolic of age-old racism. However, this completely misses the fact that, throughout history, artists no matter where they were in the world tended to portray Christ with the ethnic qualities of those around them.
There are plenty of black and brown images of Christ, too. There are simply more and more well-known examples of white Jesus represented in ancient art. “White Jesus” is simply being used as an easy key that unlocks the door to a bigger objective of portraying White Christians as racist.
Leading the pack in this assault on white Christianity is a book and an essay by religious scholar Robert P. Jones. His essay was published in the Atlantic, which was also reproduced by a number of liberal media outlets, takes White Christians to task in an article which asserts that “White Christian America Needs a Moral Awakening.” Jones’ article was released in synchronistic timing with his new book titled: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.”
In the essay, Jones says, “it is well past time for white Christians to reckon with the racism of our past and the willful amnesia of our present.”
Jones asserts that there is a long tradition of racism among Southern White Baptists, White evangelical Protestants in the South, as well as mainline Protestants in the Midwest and White Catholics in the Northeast, NBC reported.
Jones asserts that “White Christians are consistently more likely than Whites who are religiously unaffiliated to deny the existence of structural racism.”
He adds that: “White Christians…evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics are nearly twice as likely as religiously unaffiliated whites to say the killings of Black men by police are isolated incidents rather than part of a pattern of how police treat African Americans.”
One almost gets the idea that Jones, despite being a religious scholar, seems to imply implicitly that there is more morality in religious “nones”, at least as compared to White Christians.
But let’s recall what Scripture warns us…
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
– Isaiah 5:20
In his most hard-hitting blow, Jones says: “White Christian churches have not just been complacent or complicit in failing to address racism; rather, as the dominant cultural power in the U.S., they have been responsible for constructing and sustaining a project to protect white supremacy.” He adds that “White Christianity has served as the central source of moral legitimacy for a society explicitly built to value the lives of White people over Black people.”
What Jones one-way street of an essay fails to do is provide any objective balance. Jones fails to mention any of the good works that white Christians have done to build up black communities, provide for the poor, and opportunities for betterment, of which there are countless examples.
Jones mentions not one because such facts would go against that narrative of victimization and supremacy that he is trying to portray.
Lastly, in his essay Jones says White Christians need “to address the sinister disorder in our faith,” adding that apologies aren’t enough. In fact, Jones mocks the formal apology issued by Southern Baptist Convention’s leaders back in 1995.
However, for someone with such an incredibly impressive theological, academic, and scholarly background, he offers no single clear-cut solution to what he calls out as problems, other than saying that “reckoning with white supremacy, for us, is now an unavoidable moral choice.”
Attacking White Christianity appears to be a pet passion of Jones, who is white, as many of his articles for the Atlantic criticize white Christians for any number of things such as, driving elections results, backing Trump, he predicts the decline of White Christian America, and the list goes on and on.
He also advocates that religious Americans support gay marriage, even though Pew Research Center studies on religious African-Americans show that the majority of Christians in America are black (79% of Blacks compared to 70% of Whites and 77% of Hispanics) and only a simple majority of all Blacks (51%) support gay marriage and only 43% of Black Protestants support same-sex marriage.
What the article by Jones and writings in numerous articles found in mainstream media are attempting to do is stir up division, not only between Christians, but between populations at large.
The Bible warns us against those who try to stir up division.
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
–1 Corinthians 1:10