Is White Supremacy a Core Principle of Western Theology?

Is White Supremacy a Core Principle of Western Theology? August 23, 2018

Let’s Begin With a Brief History…

Literally, Christian institutions have laid their foundation on land that was stolen…

Because, my degrees apparently fall short these days allow me to reference Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Ph.D., and professor of theology at Fordham University:

“Exhibit A for this thinking, she said, is the Doctrine of Discovery, which scholars trace back to documents like those issued in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI. The protocol, which was embraced by European kings and queens, stipulated that if explorers from a Christian nation encountered settlers from another Christian nation in a new land, the new explorers had no rights to it. If, on the other hand, a non-Christian community was present, the Christian nation had the rights to the land—either by force or by purchase.

This principle was practiced over several hundred years, and was made government policy in 1823, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Native Americans could never lay claim to ownership of land. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for a unanimous court, cited the doctrine as precedent for the decision, in the case Johnson v. M’Intosh.” [5]

Furthermore, you’ll be hardpressed to find any given mainline denomination that hasn’t admitted and then repented of having perpetrated these bigotries. Let’s just take it from the horse’s mouth – i.e. the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)…

The SBC whom it took up until 2017 to denounce white supremacy is highlighted in 2017 wonderfully by The Atlantic saying:

It [the SBC] affirmed that “there has arisen in the United States a growing menace to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic cleansing.” It identified this “toxic menace” as white nationalism and the alt-right, and urged the denomination to oppose its “totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples.”… The resolution called on the denomination to denounce nationalism and “reject the retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases, and racial bigotries of the so-called ‘alt-right’ that seek to subvert our government, destabilize society, and infect our political system[2].”

Let that sink in… (even though, the heart of a racist won’t).

But, mostly I think Irene Cho says it best

(She’s one of the few POC who have managed to break into the realms of being published by a largely homogenous institution [read: predominantly and exclusively white club from a historical and modern day perspective]…)

Then there’s the “religious right” aka “the Moral Majority”…

I mean think about it: we’ve created a fear-driving form of rhetoric that has not just created a false narrative pitting “us” against “them” but, it’s justified us attacking them… when at the core of Jesus’ message is loving our enemies – it’s as if we’ve somehow misconstrued the fact that loving our enemies is not at all the same thing as bombing them.

It begs the question: Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Immigration, the war in the Middle East, mass incarceration… and, I’m not even addressing the patriarchal, xenophobic, or anti-gay bigotries here decimating lives right now…

While today racism and the idea that white people are “more supreme” is still yet pervasively present in our Christian institutions…

"Welp, seems the NT shows that inclusivity hurt the "friend of tax collectors and sinners" ..."

Research Suggests Inclusivity is Actually Hurting ..."
"“Most people are coerced into unknowingly supporting a political movement that markets itself as Jesus ..."

Why Is the Social Gospel Considered ..."
"" which IMHO is a redundant term."Indeed."

Why Is the Social Gospel Considered ..."
"As a 40-year member of the clergy, I confess that I never had a firm ..."

Why Is the Social Gospel Considered ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment