There are quite a few things which cause my blood to boil: injustice, bad coffee(not important but still), and really horrible fried chicken. But very few things cause my literal heart to ache and my stomach to clench in a way that I want to just alternate between crying and vomiting.
I think the entry I read today on AlterNet may have just cinched it. The title was “Exposing the Christian Right’s New Racial Playbook”. I read it thinking to myself “Ah, it’s probably just some angry white people saying how they should go to their Celtic roots and it’s being misinterpreted as a new KKK rally.
I was sorely mistaken.
Basically the premise is this: The Christian Right(not to be confused with Conservative Christians with souls) has been enacting a strategy since 2004. Of course Karl Rove came up with it. The idea?
Bring the blacks and browns into the proverbial fold. Of course they are Christian(so they say), so let’s bring them in to get our agenda done.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. *clears throat* So now I shall begin.
So in April of this year, Liberty University and Thomas Road Church(both under the leadership of Falwell) under the name “Freedom Federation” had a diversity summit or seminar if you will dubbed ‘The Awakening’. If it makes you think of the terms ‘The Great Awakening” and “The Second Great Awakening”, then you are cooking with steam.
The only difference is that it isn’t so much an en mass dedication to one’s faith, as much as a rededication to get more Blacks and Latinos to the Christian Right.
But I think I said that already.
So anyway, T.C.R(and some Conservative Christians) have been noticing the change in color, so to speak, and have been doing their hardest to get more nonwhites to converge under their newly made tent. A tent which gives nominal respect to LBGT folks, still fights for fetuses, and rarely talks of racial divides and issues.
In other words, it is an effort to make the Republican Party, T.C.R, and C.C look less white and more like their idealized version of America.
But where does the Christian Right get these Blacks and Latinos? From pentecostal, spirit-filled, or basic fundamentalist churches of course. They are a veritable breeding ground for Conservative ideas and mores. Places where when you think “Christian” you also think “Republican”. Places where when you talk to a church member, you are more likely to hear the term “My Black Brother” instead of “My friend Jerome” (really, who the heck cares he’s black unless there are TWO Jeromes with the same last name…). Places where despite the even mix of races, or even a largely black congregation…the pastor is still white.
Places like the churches I attended. Where I felt like more like a number than a person. Or to drive the point home, more like a notch on a white Christian’s belt than a friend or fellow believer. My race was a bigger deal there than any other place I can think of (sans a klan rally..seriously..why is that in my head today?!). And because of that, I ended up a staunch ally of things that now, I really should be slapped in the back of the head for. But I was naive. And I was under the delusion that in order to be a very good Christian, one must be a very good Republican.
But I bet you are like “But M, you’re making a big deal out of nothing.”
Eh, methinks not dear. The strategy was used first by a group of politicos who said “Gee, we need to win..what can we do? Let’s bring in the darkies!”
Not in that way, of course. But the spirit of the sentence rings true.
And I bet you’re like “But M, doesn’t the Godless Left do the same thing?”
Yes, yes it does, and it’s quite annoying, to be honest. But for some odd reason, I can ignore the left’s clamoring for me more. Mostly because I didn’t spend so much time enmeshed in it.
But for many many years, I lived and breathed Christianity. It was my life. My identity as a person. I used the Christian Right to gain friends(normal way..we all need friends). They used me for leg work, to be an occasional poster child(we’re not racist! Look at this black Christian woman right here!), to prop up their quasi-racist thoughts( “Hey, M dislikes black men..so we’re right in saying they are listless bastards”), the occasional first approved black crush(“I normally don’t find black women attractive..but..”), or a way to absolve themselves of racist feelings/past(“I used to be a Klan member..be my friend…”).
Granted, folks were nice, but honestly I felt as if I had to adhere to a mold. I had to be totally sterile. Be agreeable, not show any latent Negro tendencies (like my very scary temper). I was to be a darker version of Betty Bowers maybe. Or maybe Joyce Meyers. Because you know black people don’t have anything of their own(/sarcasm). They always break stuff.
But Liberal Christians are no better. In their attempt to be “progressive” or “open up conversations” about race relations, they become so afraid of offending the Blacks and Latinos that they say “We’re white and stupid, please teach us.”
Darling, we can only “teach” you about ourselves. Of course there are a few things which make us either “this” or “that”, but we’re individuals.
Just like you. We come from way too many backgrounds and way too many different tongues to tell you the hard and fast truths about our “race”(yay social constructs!).
But that isn’t what either group wants to hear, especially the Christian Right. They believe that everyone has a price, especially Blacks and Latinos.
Of course it’s below the market rate for a white male christian, but a price all the same.
Which, if Christ exists,this would probably piss him off. Last time I checked with my mother, He died an excruciating death so that everyone could be free in themselves. If that phrasing makes any sense…but I’ll go on. So he died for everyone: blacks, browns, oranges, jews, non jews, and people named Stephen Colbert.
Not to have churches rely on half-truths and gimmicks to bring those of the darker persuasion to the cross. And totally not to have some quasi-religious political group use said churches(and feed them half-truths) to force a type of change in the country which probably even they couldn’t continue in their own lives. Yes I said it. He would be ashamed that what started as a sect inside of Judaism has turned into this huge monolith which wants to use minorities as a lynchpin to infringe on other’s rights.
But as that he is not able to speak for himself at this moment, let me say this:
If I were Jesus, I’d make another whip. This time, I’d add glass.