Faith Leaders Hold Press Conference on Racism After Charlottesville; Fail to Call Out Arpaio Pardon

UPDATE: A video of the press conference and follow up Q & A is here.
I watched the video of the press conference. Some of it I couldn’t hear due to audio problems.

What Should We Do?

Generally, the suggestions from the panel were what one might expect from a group of clergy: pray, fast, trust God. Several Trump supporters were there but Trump’s mixed messages and hurtful actions were not called out (thinking specifically of the Arpaio pardon and his ambiguous reaction to Charlottesville). On the other hand, several said the job to bring reconciliation wasn’t Trump’s but the church’s job.
In response to a CBN reporter’s question, Bishop Harry Jackson said the concrete steps suggested by the panel are a fast, a call to prayer for 40 days starting tomorrow, an affirmation of the Justice Declaration written by Prison Fellowship, and rallies in 25 cities.  Alveda King added that the committee wants to educate the public that America repented for lynchings and slavery via Congress.
On balance, the panel favored taking the monuments down. I agree.
The World Magazine report asked Trump supporters how they felt about his response to Charlottesville. Day Gardiner who sits on Trump’s diversity council said Trump loves all people and blamed “an entity” who is intent on demolishing Trump’s work. She believes he’s “on track.” Apparently Ms. Gardner has no concerns worth mentioning.
Frank Amedia the head of something called POTUS Shield took the “righteous left” to task for complaining about Trump.
None of them had anything to say about Trump’s statements or his pardon of Joe Arpaio.

What Was Missing?

Over and over the leaders declared that only God could heal racism. While I believe in the power of faith, I also know that the racist believes that the Christian God is on his side. The League of the South’s Michael Hill thanked God for their successes at Charlottesville. The racist and the anti-racist both claim Christianity. This must be confronted by Christian leaders. While they all condemned racism, I believe they also need to confront the racist theology in specific terms.
As I listened, I also wondered about how people of other religions or no religion fit in. If healing racism in America requires prayer and fasting to the Christian God, then what part do non-Christians play? I don’t think a broad movement can be led by calling on people to participate in religious dogma they don’t believe in. I don’t know if this exclusivity is a side effect of Christian nationalism but it seemed exclusionary even at the same time some of the rhetoric embraced inclusion.
Perhaps, these leaders were more correct when they addressed their comments to each other. In other words, they were right to criticize racism in Christianity. My reaction to listening to this 2 hour presser is to hope the good intentions lead to change in the church. I don’t think the church is ready to lead the nation in some political way. If these folks can’t even criticize Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio (as Martin Luther King, Jr. called out Bull Connor and police brutality in his Birmingham jail letter), then they are not ready to lead a broad coalition toward equality and justice.
At least, that’s my opinion. I could be wrong. I hope for better.
Reconciled Church presser
 
(Original post)
This morning at 9:30am EDT at the National Press Club, The Reconciled Church Initiative will hold a press conference on “The Church’s Role After Charlottesville.” The event will be webcast live on the organization’s website.

Most Influential Pastors in America

The press conference follows a meeting of what Morris called “some of the most influential pastors in America.” This meeting was held on August 21 in Los Angeles.  Listen to Morris describe the meeting during the first three minutes of this August 19 sermon:

Transcript:

Alright before we, before I get to the message, I wanna make a couple of comments about what’s going on in our nation right now.  We really need to pray uh, for our nation.  Because there’s an incredible attack of the enemy against us.  I spent over an hour on the phone this last weeken- week, with pastors, Christian leaders, Senators, uh, about what we could do in our nation right now.  Monday, I’ll be with um, some of the most influential pastors in America.  We’ve kind of called an emergency meeting.  And so I’ll fly to Los Angeles actually and Monday morning and fly back Monday night.  And we’ll spend the day in prayer and talk about how we, as pastors of some of the largest churches in America, how – what we can do to help, uh, our nation right now.
But, I want, I think it’s time for us to take a stand.  And I think it’s time for us to make it clear.  (applause)  As Christians.  As Christians, we need, to make it clear, so, so Imma  gonna make it clear for ya, alright?  The KKK, white supremacy and racism are straight from the pit of hell.  They are from the pit of hell.  There is no place for racism in Christianity.  None.  God created us equal when he created Adam and Eve he creates us one and then he does another oneness in Christ.  But we are no better than someone else and what’s going on right now in our country is, is the Enemy attacking and we need to stand up.  And we need to say something about it.  So, I want us to take a moment and pray for our nation. Will ya, will you agree with me?
So Lord we come to ya, as your sons and your daughters and God we say to you, ‘we need your help’.  Lord only you can do it  Only you can fix it. And you told us what the answer is and that is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself. And so Lord I pray for revival in this country.  I pray God what Satan means for evil, you will turn it for good. And I pray God the hatred and the racism that has been present for years will end, with this generation,Am that we will take a stand and we will end it in the name and the power and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and amen.”

Morris described what happened at the August 21 meeting in his Saturday sermon on the 26th. The answer? Love and prayer.

Transcript:

I just want to give you an update because many of you were praying. Uh, about fifty ­pastors from very influential churches in America came together this last week to talk about the problem of racism in America. And, um, there were about a third white pastors, about a third black pastors, about a third, uh, Hispanic and Asian. Of that third of Hispanic and Asian, about two-thirds of those were, uh, Hispanic; about a third Asian. Uh, but we had a tremendous prayer time before the Lord. We talked. We talked about what the church can do. And um, there was just, uh, there was one main conclusion. And that is that racism is, evil, and we need to call it evil and we need to preach love. (applause) So, I just want you to know that I am committed to continue to take a national stand in this area. And so, continue to pray for us. I believe, obviously, the pastors and the body of Christ, we have the answer to this. And I, I believe that God could bring a healing to this problem in this generation. And that’s what we’re praying for.

The answer? Call racism evil and preach love.
Morris and the “influential pastors in America” could start with themselves and Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Although it would be a powerful statement, I have a hunch Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio won’t come up at today’s presser. I hope they prove me wrong.

An Open Letter from Christian Scholars on Racism in America Today

Although my name won’t show up for awhile, I just added my name to the signers of the letter below. It appears to me that the letter is clearly aimed at Donald Trump, his evangelical defenders and particularly Trump’s ambiguous response to the racist protests in Charlottesville.

The letter was posted this morning at the Gospel Coalition blog and reblogged by John Fea, which is where I saw it. Below the letter is reproduced in full and I have taken the liberty of adding my name to the list of signers. Other profs who want to sign should contact Mark David Hall using the instructions below.

An Open Letter from Christian Scholars on Racism in America Today

​Like many Americans, we are grieved by recent events in Charlottesville. The white supremacist rally there showed that overt racism is alive and well in America, and that it can turn violent and murderous. As Christian scholars of American history, politics, and law, we condemn white supremacy and encourage frank dialogue about racism today.

​As Americans, we love our country. As Christians, we know that no individual, people, or nation is perfect. Among the most grievous sins committed by early Americans was the enslavement of and trafficking in Africans and African Americans. Slavery was formally abolished in 1865, but racism was not. Indeed, it was often institutionalized and in some ways heightened over time through Jim Crow legislation, de facto segregation, structural inequalities, and pervasively racist attitudes. And other persons of color, including Native Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans, have often been subjected to official and unofficial discrimination. What we have seen in Charlottesville makes it clear once again that racism is not a thing of the past, something that brothers and sisters of color have been trying to tell the white church for years.

​Racism should be denounced by religious and civic leaders in no uncertain terms. Equivocal talk about racist groups gives those groups sanction, something no politician or pastor should ever do. As Christian scholars, we affirm the reality that all humans are created in the image of God and should be treated with respect and dignity.  There is no good moral, biblical, or theological reason to denigrate others on the basis of race or ethnicity, to exalt one race over others, or to countenance those who do.

​Even as we condemn racism, we recognize that the First Amendment legally protects even very offensive speech. Rather than trying to silence those with whom we disagree, or to meet violence with more violence, we encourage our fellow citizens to respond to groups like the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the Ku Klux Klan with peaceful counter-protests. (Indeed, this has been the approach of the vast majority of counter-protesters in recent weeks.) No one is beyond redemption, so we encourage our fellow believers to pray that members of these groups will find the truth, and that the truth will set them free.

We also recognize that white-majority churches and denominations have too often lagged in discussions of racial injustice and inequality, or have even been sources of the perpetuation of white cultural dominance and racial injustice. Because of that history, we pray that America’s churches and Christians will renew their commitment to practical, proactive steps of racial reconciliation and friendship in our cities and towns.

Respectfully,
Mark David Hall, George Fox University
Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University

We, the undersigned, are Christian scholars who endorse this letter.  Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.  [If you would like to add your name to this letter, please send an email to Mark David Hall at mhall@georgefox.edu.]
Scott Althaus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bryan Bademan, Anselm House
Richard A. Bailey, Canisius College
Scott Barton, East Central University
David Beer, Malone University
Daniel Bennett, John Brown University
Thomas C. Berg, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Amy E. Black, Wheaton College
Edward J. Blum, San Diego State University
Bradley J. Birzer, Hillsdale College
William S. Brewbaker III, University of Alabama
Margaret Brinig, University of Notre Dame Law School
Matthew S. Brogdon, University of Texas at San Antonio
Thomas E. Buckley, Santa Clara University
Sean R. Busick, Athens State University
James P. Byrd, Vanderbilt University
Jay R. Case, Malone University
Justin Clardie, Northwest Nazarene University.
Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine University School of Law
Elesha Coffman, Baylor University
Kimberly H. Conger, University of Cincinnati
K. Scott Culpepper, Dordt College
Michelle D. Deardorff, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Michael J. DeBoer, Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
Jonathan Den Hartog, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, MN
Daniel Dreisbach, American University
W. Cole Durham, Jr., J. Reuben Clark Law School
Mark Edwards, Spring Arbor College
John Fea, Messiah College
Joel S. Fetzer, Pepperdine University
Nathan A. Finn, Union University
Kahlib J. Fischer, Liberty University
Matthew J. Franck, Witherspoon Institute
Beverly A. Gaddy, University of Pittsburgh
Edward McGlynn Gaffney, Valparaiso University School of Law
Loramy Gerstbauer, Gustavus Adolphus College
Naomi Harlin Goodno, Pepperdine University School of Law
Christopher R. Green, University of Mississippi School of Law
Jay Green, Covenant College
John G. Grove, Lincoln Memorial University
Darren Guerra, Biola University
Barry Hankins, Baylor University
Rusty Hawkins, Indiana Wesleyan University
Gail L. Helt, King University
Nicholas Higgins, Regent University
Lia C. Howard, Saint Joseph’s University
Andrew Kaufmann, Northwest University
Lyman Kellstedt, Wheaton College
Douglas L. Koopman, Calvin College
Wilfred M. McClay, University of Oklahoma
Gerald R McDermott, Beeson Divinity School
Tracy McKenzie, Wheaton College
Ron Miller, Liberty University
Christopher D. Moore, Bethel University
Lincoln A. Mullen, George Mason University
Miles S. Mullin II, Hannibal-LaGrange University
Paul Otto, George Fox University
Mikael L. Pelz, Calvin College.
Jonathan R. Peterson, North Park University
Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame
Otis W. Pickett, Mississippi College
Richard Pointer, Westmont College.
Charles J. Reid, Jr., University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Sosamma Samuel-Burnett, G.L.O.B.A.L Justice
Shelley Ross Saxer, Pepperdine University School of Law
Gregory Sisk, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Corwin E. Smidt, Calvin College
Brian A. Smith, Montclair State University
Gary Scott Smith, Grove City College
Sarah A. Morgan Smith, The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University
Chris Soper, Pepperdine University
Andrew Spiropoulos, Oklahoma City University School of Law
Susan J. Stabile, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Justin Taylor, Crossway Books
Boz Tchividjian, Liberty University School Law
H. Paul Thompson, Jr., North Greenville University
Warren Throckmorton, Grove City College
Benjamin Toll, Lake Superior State University
Noah J. Toly, Wheaton College
John Turner, George Mason University
Andrea L. Turpin, Baylor University
Patrick Van Inwegen, Whitworth University
Robert K. Vischer, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Jennifer E. Walsh, Azusa Pacific University
Micah Watson, Calvin College
Virgil Wiebe, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
John Wigger, University of Missouri
Daniel K. Williams, University of West Georgia
James E. Wren, Baylor Law School
Paul D. Yandle, North Greenville University
John C. Yoder, Whitworth University

What Should Christians Do in Response to Charlottesville?

The disgusting displays of racism last weekend in Charlottesville have been a wake up call to many Christians.

luv more peepul
The disgusting displays of racism last weekend in Charlottesville have been a wake up call to many Christians. Some Christian leaders have denounced the resurgence of white supremacists while others have remained silent. The president took two days to declare specifically and clearly that racism is evil. Some evangelicals have defended his slow response while others have called him out for taking so long. Because of the diversity of views under the label evangelical, there is little chance for a unified response among those who identify with that word.
Even though national media statements are important, ultimately the response of local churches will move us toward or away from racial reconciliation. In response to the events in Charlottesville, I hope more Christians will consider at minimum these responses.

1. Denounce racism locally and nationally

There should be no delay for church leaders to denounce racism and racist groups. Statements must be clear and to the point – racism is wrong and antithetical to the Gospel. Racial supremacy is evil and a cancer in the church. Historically, many in the white church fought integration and used the Bible as a reason. This should not be denied or politicized.
Local church pastors and people in the pews must hold national leaders to this same standard. When there is silence from those who have a national platform, we must ask why and mark those who can’t or won’t call out racism.

2. Put aside politics

Whether you supported Trump or not, this is no time to defend the improper actions of your political favorites. Currently, some Trump supporters are defending his slow and confusing response to white supremacy on display in Charlottesville. This political posturing doesn’t help the situation and improperly gives loyalty to Caesar instead of God. On the other hand, Christians must work with the current administration to make change and not simply criticize to score political points against the president.

3. Take the lead in removing Confederate symbols from the public square.

Although this may be controversial, I think it is crucial right now. I believe churches should take the lead in community efforts to remove vestiges of pride in the Confederacy. Some Christians defend Confederate symbols. but I think they are wrong.
Defending Confederate symbols has become a signal for white supremacy. All reasons for flying the Confederate flag or allowing Confederate statues to remain in place ultimately come back to a defense of a painful and evil time in American history. In America today, the display of a Confederate symbol is analogous to the display of a swastika. Americans have the right to free speech but the church is called to a higher standard. I support all lawful means to put Confederate symbols in the museum and out of the public square. Such action would go a long way toward my next point.

4. More action, more learning, less preaching

In addition to action to attack racist symbols, evangelicals, especially those in majority white evangelical churches, must talk less and learn more. White evangelicals must learn about white privilege and the vast differences in perception of society. African-American and whites often see problems and solutions differently. As a white evangelical, I need to listen and learn more, and talk less. I realize as I write this that I may not have gotten more wrong than right in this article. I welcome dialogue and see this piece as an effort to contribute to discussion and learning.
There are two organizations I can recommend (there are many good ones, I just happen to know the leaders of these groups).
Race to Unity
Return to the Roots of Civil Rights Bus Tour
 

GOP Candidate for Governor of Virginia Compares Removal of Confederate Monument to ISIS

I kid you not. Corey Stewart a GOP candidate for Virginia governor compared the removal of the white supremacist Liberty Place Monument in New Orleans to the destruction of antiquities carried out by ISIS.


The statue once carried a visible message celebrating white supremacy:

United States troops took over the state government and reinstated the usurpers but the national election November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state.

Stewart, apparently unaware he is self-destructing, issued a statement:

Woodbridge, VA – Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart released a statement on the removal of confederate monuments deemed “racist” in New Orleans.
“The removal of these historical monuments is nothing less than the blatant destruction of U.S. history,” Stewart said. “This is what happens when weak-chinned Republicans refuse to stand up to the tyrannical political correctness on the left.”
“Democrats in New Orleans are destroying history today, just like they’re trying to in Charlottesville. This will not stop with Robert E. Lee or P. G. T. Beauregard. Next, they will tear down statues of Washington and Jefferson.”

Well, call me a weak-chinned Republican. Stewart supported Trump in the last election and reflects him well. New Orleans is doing the right thing and I hope more monuments to racism come down.

Donald Trump's Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon Tolerates Racism to Achieve Political Goals

Hillary called them “deplorables,” Bannon calls them “baggage.” What will Trumpists do with “aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial?”
 
In a speech to a Catholic group published by Buzzfeed, President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon presented his view of the world and political goals related to that view. The speech and subsequent Q&A are revealing and should be read carefully. While there is much to learn from the transcript, I focus now on Bannon’s statements about racism.
In short, Bannon knows racists are a part of his coalition but he takes a passive approach to it since he assumes they will eventually be “washed out.” Here are some quotes from the transcript:

Bannon: Outside of Fox News and the Drudge Report, we’re the third-largest conservative news site and, quite frankly, we have a bigger global reach than even Fox. And that’s why we’re expanding so much internationally.
Look, we believe — strongly — that there is a global tea party movement. We’ve seen that. We were the first group to get in and start reporting on things like UKIP and Front National and other center right. With all the baggage that those groups bring — and trust me, a lot of them bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially — but we think that will all be worked through with time.
The central thing that binds that all together is a center-right populist movement of really the middle class, the working men and women in the world who are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos. A group of kind of — we’re not conspiracy-theory guys, but there’s certainly — and I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run. (emphasis added)

Trump’s movement has attracted much of that “baggage.” Bannon’s appointment as chief Trump strategist has been lauded by the KKK, neo-Nazi’s and other racist organizations and leaders (e.g., Richard Spencer, David Duke). Although Bannon calls the racists “baggage,” it doesn’t appear that he does anything obvious to discourage it.

Bannon: I don’t believe I said UKIP in that. I was really talking about the parties on the continent, Front National and other European parties.
I’m not an expert in this, but it seems that they have had some aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial. By the way, even in the tea party, we have a broad movement like this, and we’ve been criticized, and they try to make the tea party as being racist, etc., which it’s not. But there’s always elements who turn up at these things, whether it’s militia guys or whatever. Some that are fringe organizations. My point is that over time it all gets kind of washed out, right? People understand what pulls them together, and the people on the margins I think get marginalized more and more.
I believe that you’ll see this in the center-right populist movement in continental Europe. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with UKIP, and I can say to you that I’ve never seen anything at all with UKIP that even comes close to that. I think they’ve done a very good job of policing themselves to really make sure that people including the British National Front and others were not included in the party, and I think you’ve seen that also with tea party groups, where some people would show up and were kind of marginal members of the tea party, and the tea party did a great job of policing themselves early on. And I think that’s why when you hear charges of racism against the tea party, it doesn’t stick with the American people, because they really understand.

Bannon is aware of the racists in his movement but, if anything, he has encouraged them through adopting the platform of the alt-right at Brietbart. He says they will be washed out, but how will that happen if someone is not doing laundry?
I think I understand what he is claiming — the movement is unified at the core by a populist impulse to return power to the people and not by racism per se. The problem for Bannon and the nation is that unless Bannon and Trump actively and publicly move to oppose white nationalism, his movement will not catch on with a lasting majority of Americans. In fact, their weak disavowals make it appear that Bannon and Trump support the “baggage.”

Questioner: Very simply put, there’s a growing movement among young people here in Europe, in France and in Austria and elsewhere, and they’re arguing very effectively against Wall Street institutions and they’re also appealing to people on an ethnic and racial level. And I was just wondering what you would recommend to counteract these movements, which are growing.
Bannon: One of the reasons that you can understand how they’re being fueled is that they’re not seeing the benefits of capitalism. I mean particularly — and I think it’s particularly more advanced in Europe than it is in the United States, but in the United States it’s getting pretty advanced — is that when you have this kind of crony capitalism, you have a different set of rules for the people that make the rules. It’s this partnership of big government and corporatists. I think it starts to fuel, particularly as you start to see negative job creation. If you go back, in fact, and look at the United States’ GDP, you look at a bunch of Europe. If you take out government spending, you know, we’ve had negative growth on a real basis for over a decade.
And that all trickles down to the man in the street. If you look at people’s lives, and particularly millennials, look at people under 30 — people under 30, there’s 50% really under employment of people in the United States, which is probably the most advanced economy in the West, and it gets worse in Europe.
I think in Spain it’s something like 50 or 60% of the youth under 30 are underemployed. And that means the decade of their twenties, which is where you have to learn a skill, where you have to learn a craft, where you really start to get comfortable in your profession, you’re taking that away from the entire generation. That’s only going to fuel tribalism, that’s only going to fuel [unintelligible]… That’s why to me, it’s incumbent upon freedom-loving people to make sure that we sort out these governments and make sure that we sort out particularly this crony capitalism so that the benefits become more of this entrepreneurial spirit and that can flow back to working-class and middle-class people. Because if not, we’re going to pay a huge price for this. You can already start to see it.

The questioner asked Bannon how to counteract the movements which appeal to racial identity as a reaction to large corporate interests. Bannon’s answer did not address the racism, but said crony capitalism was to blame for what he called tribalism. On the economics front, his argument is appealing. The middle class is working harder for less but seeing the wealthy class have more. Capitalism is working for the wealthy but not the little guy. Bernie Sanders touched this sentiment but offered a different ideology as a solution.
Bannon, however, tolerates this racist tribalism in the service of his broader goals. Although I don’t think it would have mattered, I wish this transcript would have surfaced before the election. This is a pretty straightforward statement that Bannon’s movement uses racists to further his broader ends all the while asserting the “baggage” (dare I say “deplorables?”) will somehow be “washed out.” Evangelicals who supported this need to recognize the deal with the devil they have made. Bannon dresses his tolerance of racism in religious language of Christianity. I expect that religious people will find their values severely tested over the next four years. What will evangelicals, particularly white ones, do when a movement that tolerates racism is pitted regularly against achieving religious liberty goals? So far, many evangelical leaders have winked at the racist concerns in the service of other goals.
I don’t have expert knowledge of these movements but what I do know tells me that history is not on Bannon’s side. If anything, smaller acts of aggression and dehumanization toward a identifiable group have degenerated into acts which are much worse. Preventing this degeneration will continue to animate those opposed to Trumpism and the unholy alliance it tolerates with racists.
Such a standoff could be prevented. If Trumpists and his evangelical sympathizers draw a sharp line against the “aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial” (aka the “baggage”), the movement would less corrosive and have more chance to make some positive changes. Otherwise, I pray it fails in time for the mid-term elections.

Charleston Shooter Targeted Blacks During Prayer Meeting (UPDATED – Wanted to Start Race War)

There are many bizarre and horrid aspects to the Charleston massacre of eight black church members. This post brings together some of the coverage of the tragedy with links to the poisonous words of white supremacists by the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof.
Roof sat in the prayer meeting for about an hour before he began shooting.
According to a CNN report, Roof said he was at the church “to shoot black people” and he wanted to start a “race war.”
White supremacists are worried this makes them look bad.
They should be worried given the rhetoric their leaders engage in.  Here is the League of the South’s president Michael Hill opining on an American race war (chilling in light of Roof’s purpose of starting a race war).  Hill claims desegregation has been a failed policy and calls for re-segregration.  Hill calls for his followers to fight and die for the Southern nationalist cause.

But it is not natural for us Southerners to sit idle against threats. We are fighting men. We are not comfortable claiming victimhood and begging that some human right be created for us. Instead, we are bound up in a long community of blood, and that blood has often been shed in defense of itself. 

A commenter at Occidental Dissent said this in reaction to the shootings:

I don’t believe in a lot of things. You’re going to have to be more specific when you talk about murder and which people truly are considered innocent. The anti-White establishment gives itself an extremely wide berth when it factors in the collateral damage caused by its policies and rhetoric. To them, most of us [White people] are expendable. Were Spartans deterred from defending their families and territories because the Persian army consisted of many slaves, mercenaries and those forced to fight? You’d have to be batshit crazy to lose sleep over people losing their lives while playing at least some kind of role in your demise. Not that I condone that type of killing, I just don’t give a shit about the lives of those who don’t give a shit about me.
I would also assume you don’t believe in handing over the keys to your survival and the survival of your family to a growing number of brown and black people who have an insatiable desire to “murder” White society. How confident are you that you are doing something adequate enough to counter their agendas? What if they are “Christian” black people? Are you okey dokey with them spreading their social experiments into your neck of the woods then? You sure as hell can’t vote your way out of this predicament, so what’s left?

 

Christ and Pop Culture on Ferguson and Racism

Alan Noble at Christ and Pop Culture posted an article yesterday that is actually a rebuttal to an article at Gospel Coalition by Voddie Baucham. I am linking to it because it has so much to offer in addition to the response to Baucham. Even though Baucham has been the victim of systemic racism, he relies on an explanatory framework which leads to a number of false dilemmas. I won’t review them all since Noble examines them well. Here is just one example from Baucham’s article:

I [Baucham] have been pulled over by police for no apparent reason. In fact, it has happened on more than one occasion. I was stopped in Westwood while walking with a friend of mine who was a student at UCLA. We found ourselves lying face down on the sidewalk while officers questioned us. On another occasion, I was stopped while with my uncle. I remember his visceral response as he looked at me and my cousin (his son). The look in his eye was one of humiliation and anger. He looked at the officer and said, “My brother and I didn’t fight in Vietnam so you could treat me like this in front of my son and my nephew.”

Again, this experience stayed with me for years. And for many of those years, I blamed “the system” or “the man.” However, I have come to realize that it was no more “the system” when white cops pulled me over than it was “the system” when a black thug robbed me at gunpoint. It was sin! The men who robbed me were sinners. The cops who stopped me were sinners. They were not taking their cues from some script designed to “keep me down.” They were simply men who didn’t understand what it meant to treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve as image bearers of God.

Baucham seems to see the problem in this situation as either sin or systemic racism. Can’t it be both? Systemic racism is sin but reframing what Baucham, and countless other African-Americans, go through as sin alone in some vague manner doesn’t help address the problem in the real world. Furthermore, racism exists in the church where everybody agrees sin is bad. Being against sin hasn’t kept white Christians from racism. Baucham’s analysis isn’t totally false, but it is incomplete and therefore unhelpful.

I have been in churches where everybody believed in sin but didn’t believe segregation and exclusion was sin. Unless the script to keep African-Americans down is named and confronted, nothing will change. The whites in the pews thought they were treating others with dignity but wanted the dignity to stay down the street at the black church.

As a teen, I sat in a church where white members didn’t want blacks to worship in the same building. In my hometown, I recall blacks being refused service at various establishments, including a bowling alley and swimming pool. When my father took over as principal at an integrated school, he was told that there were two sets of rules, one for the whites and one for the blacks. My dad’s answer: “Like hell there is! Not while I’m here.” My dad wasn’t an evangelical Christian but he did a very Christian thing without believing he was fighting sin in some theological sense.

Baucham calls the concept of white privilege “Gramscian” and “neo-Marxist.” This is stunning coming from someone who has experienced something because he is black that I have never experienced as a white man. I have never been stopped by police for reasons other than my conduct (i.e., my lead foot as a young man). I was never chased out of an establishment because of the color of my skin. I have never worried about my son being targeted because of the color of his skin. 

It is simply true that I have never experienced what many black men experience due to the difference in skin color. There is no virtue in dismissing a truth because it is unpopular with one’s ideological mates. Calling the concept of white privilege Marxist doesn’t make it false.

Noble closes with a hope that we can go deeper than an either-or analysis:

What Ferguson has demonstrated in a very public way is the deep divisions between the various ways that Christians understand race in America. While I am glad to see many in the evangelical church speaking out and having important conversations about race, we must be able to imagine a way forward which does not rely on an overly simple view of personal responsibility and causality.

 

Donald Sterling is not a Democrat and other reactions from the Twitter feed

By now, many people know that Los Angeles Clippers soon-be-former owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA due to his comments to his girlfriend berating her for hanging out with black people. He isn’t so great when it comes to how he treats women either but I don’t think that had any impact on his sanctions.
Some conservatives tried to paint Sterling as a Democrat. For instance, Conservative Chick tweeted:


American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer joined in:


However, according to the LA Times, he hasn’t donated to Dem pols in over a decade and is a registered Republican:


Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon congratulated NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for his leadership:


Dimemag.com has a collection of NBA tweets.
Alas, this tweeter said:


Andy Borowitz analyzes the situation:


On the Sterling is a Democrat thing, apparently Matt Drudge beat that drum but has now removed his tweet to that effect.

Kansas City Shooter Among Majority on Vanguard News Network Who Called for Extermination of Jews

More information is coming out about the Vanguard News Network and Frazier Glenn Miller who is in custody in connection with three fatal shootings in Kansas City.  On the Occidental Dissent blog (Brad Griffin’s white nationalist site aligned with the League of the South), Griffin links to a Vanguard News Network poll about the “extermination” of Jews. (Warning: this is extremely ugly and hateful material).
Glenn Miller, who identified himself by name on VNN but posted as “Rounder,” agreed with Alex Linder’s call to eradicate Jews but seems to stop short of saying that Linder called for such action.

However, Miller (as Rounder – see black oval) was among the majority of those who voted in favor of Linder’s views.

Linder in his own words:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68Eb3eA82QQ[/youtube]