Facebook’s favorite Christian Joshua Feuerstein doesn’t want you to know that the KKK is a Christian organization.
In a recent rant Feuerstein claimed that the KKK marching with white nationalists in Virginia are not really Christians because “racism is of the devil.”
Here’s the reality: [The marchers] are no more a Christian than I am a bodybuilder. You see, I can run around and say that I’m a bodybuilder, but if it’s just in word and not in deed, then it shouldn’t carry much weight.
… Stop calling these people Christians! The Bible explicitly says that if you claim to love God and hate your neighbor, you’re a liar! That’s why racism is of the devil, ladies and gentlemen.
Feuerstein is wrong. Racism is not of the devil. Indeed, historically, racism and white supremacy has been a central theme in American Christianity.
In fact, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant body in the United States, was founded upon the notion that black slavery and white supremacy was integral to the Christian faith.
Bruce Gourley, writing at Civil War Baptists, notes:
From the advocacy of white supremacy and black slavery a new Baptist denomination was born. Foreshadowing the Civil War, white Baptists in the South withdrew fellowship from their northern counterparts on May 10, 1845, forming the Southern Baptist Convention in order to better defend the South’s practice of and dependency upon black slavery.
To their credit, the Southern Baptist Convention officially renounced their open racism and hostility towards black people in a statement titled “Resolution On Racial Reconciliation” issued in 1995 (Better late than never).As for the KKK, they have always been a Christian organization. In fact, if you want to join the KKK, you must be a Christian. An in depth report from the Associated Press released last year notes:
Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form – provided you’re white and Christian.
And this note from the website KKKKnights.com:
Our goal is to help restore America to a White Christian nation, founded on God’s word. This does not mean that we want to see anything bad happen to the darker races … we simply want to live separate from them … As GOD intended. (Lev.20:24-25)
While it is understandable why Christian apologists like Feuerstein would like to distance themselves from the morally reprehensible practice of racism in the name of Christianity, the fact remains that racism is embedded in the fabric of Christianity, and to say otherwise is to be dishonest.
To be sure, the reality is that most Christians today are not part of the KKK, and do not support the KKK. However, it is equally true that every member of the KKK is a Christian, and that racism and white supremacy is woven deep into the fabric of American Christianity.
Bottom line: Feuerstein is wrong. The KKK is, and always has been, a Christian organization.