Breaking Brown

May 27, 2013

Why Black Liberals Need to Take Back Black Agenda From The Black Church

Why Black Liberals Need to Take Back Black Agenda From The Black Church

Black Christians proudly holding up the fried chicken sammiches they bought from da white man.

The Black Church Is Lost

Just admit it.  The Black Church has been lost in the peculiar wilderness of  tom foolery and wealth creation for years now. From prosperity pimps like Creflo Dollar Jr. to *alleged* molesters like Eddie Lee Long, the Black Church is broken. The church has become a marketer for Bentleys and everything else associated with God’s prosperity, no different from the folks on Madison Avenue or any other branding company. The only difference being that the church markets faith as the avenue to riches, whereas Madison Ave. markets skinny jeans and “Have It Your Way” cheeseburgers.


The Black Church Is Conservative

Like it or not, the embodiment of Christianity and Islam in America is conservative. You’ll get the same “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” rhetoric from the Black Church that you get from Newt Gingrich, with a dollop of Jesus on top. If you agree with this up by faith notion of prosperity, then you’re a Republican. Go there. Do that. Liberals believe in government as a force for good.Furthermore, religion cannot sustain a political movement since successful political movements aren’t insular or exclusive . Political movements expand to build coalitions in hopes of pressuring government to take tangible action. Members of the faithful flock don’t look kindly upon heathens who don’t share their Biblical outlook, even if those folks share their political interests.

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.  is Not a 21st Century Model For Black Leadership

Firstly, King was chosen by people like Ella Baker to head the Civil Rights movement. He was appointed. Secondly, Martin Luther King Jr. and other Christian leaders of the Civil Rights Movement stood on their faith because there was nothing left to stand on. Blacks weren’t full citizens so faith was where it began and ended. We had to believe in something and so we did.  But we have full citizenship now and with that comes the power to change the institutions of government. We have access to government in all its incarnations. It’s time we act like it. Does that mean you cannot be a liberal and  a Christian? Of course not. But liberal movements aren’t built on any one religion. That’s just not how we do things.

Black Christians Are the Embodiment of the Noble Savage

I appreciate everything Dr. King did, but the thought that he and other leaders felt the need to dress up in their Sunday best to march so that they could be viewed as human beings by racist whites makes me cringe. It’s called the politics of redemption – the idea that our fate lies largely in how we are perceived by whites. And it is buttressed by America’s mutant interpretation of Christianity, whereby Blacks welcome lives marked by long suffering and a slow to anger temperament. But slow to anger doesn’t win battles with Elite classes of people who live to exploit and subjugate those below them in the American hierarchy. If the Good Book teaches you how to suffer and not to fight, then it’s an impediment to our political problems, not a solution.

Black Christians and the Tea Party Unite!

Religion makes strange bedfellows. When Chic-fil-A admitted to giving money to right wing anti-gay lobbying groups, religious people of all walks of life came to their defense. Among those folks were some knuckleheaded black religious folk who, in the height of irony, didn’t realize that they were joining forces with the same folk who opposed affirmative actions, President Obama, Civil Rights, etc. You can’t play for the Tea Party and play for my team simultaneously. Go there. Be with them. You all were made for each other.


UPDATE:  Click here to view answers to many of the concerns raised on this thread.   It’s a more thorough critique for those who requested it.

 Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Your Black World and Founder of BreakingBrown. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.

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34 thoughts on “Why Black Liberals Need to Take Back Black Agenda From The Black Church

  1. angelus5621 says:

    A true christian would not differentiate the church by race and realize that the church as a WHOLE is deeply flawed, no matter the color of the congregation’s skin color.

    1. Val Chaney says:

      angelus5621 It is not uncommon to differentiate the church by race, since the “black church” has a significant place in history.  The Civil Rights Movement was propelled by the black church.

  2. JamesHoward1 says:

    For all of the people who stated seeing this, its a God fight. I still believed in God but i don’t believed in the man in the gathering spot for the church.

  3. jamhard says:

    Liberals are so far off base, they cannot see they are the really problem in America.

  4. BlackDeCaptain says:

    Quite a piece of garbage in its entirety. Based on the article’s headline “Why Black Liberals Need to Take Back The Black Agenda From The Black Church”, I was hoping to see a critical analysis that gets to the substance of the issue; but instead this turned out to be one of the most superficially opinionated articles I’ve read recently, filled with truisms and usual progressive talking points. Can you outline what you believe to be the black agenda? As a black man, I can tell you that the term “black agenda” is a fallacy; there’s no such thing as the black agenda, at least not by the black community itself. There only appears to exist, an agenda for African American demographics, as far as the political “commodity” known as the “black vote” is concerned.
    So far, you black progressives have not been able to point to a strategic framework that charts the black community on the course of prosperity and liberty in the near future; but in reality, the social engineering for the past 50 years, by your elite progressive MASTERS (same folks who made this guy feel compelled to release what seemed like a pathetic hostage video: has so far provided the desired outcomes; thus you have every significant statistics showing blacks disproportionately affected, in ratio to the African American population: incarceration, homicide, unemployment, poor education, homelessness, poverty, abortions, single parenting, etc… Hispanics seem to be in a much better situation, compared to blacks, and that doesn’t surprise me. The black community today is generally devoid of independent critical thought, and this current situation in the black community highlights the culture of collectivism and anti-intellectualism.
    Blacks have been doing the same thing for the past 50 years, with little or no positive results to show for it. There is no other race or ethnic group in America that collectively gives 97% of their votes to one party, and if there were any, I’m sure they’d have the positive results to show for it. Detroit is a perfect example of what’s wrong with blacks in America, and the interesting thing about that city’s current situation is that it has been governed by only one party for nearly fifty years; and almost entirely by black government officials.

    1. white531 says:

      Truer words were never spoken.

    2. BlackDeCaptain ” So far, you black progressives have not been able to point to a
      strategic framework that charts the black community on the course of
      prosperity and liberty in the near future..”
      What black progressives are you referring to? Obama is a neo-liberal. Black leftists are shut out and don’t have a voice in today’s politics. In fact, they haven’t had a voice for years.
      “Blacks have been doing the same thing for the past 50 years, with little or no positive results to show for it..”
      Yes. We’ve been selecting black male charismatic leaders with the verbose preacher persona. It’s an extension of our exaltation of the Black Church.
      “The black community today is generally devoid of independent critical thought,”

  5. Vampinista says:


  6. BernellWesley says:

    The Church as we know it in America is a Greco-Roman enterprise that was invented in the 7th. century from Jesus radical teachings. Europe co-opted it as a tool to control the masses and enslave Africa. It still works because God is real and people discern this but because most don’t study most are still trapped in religion, ritual and traditions that determine their politics. American politics is based on a two party (which gives the illusion of difference and choice) system and a one interest outcome agenda. LOL…His In Service

    1. white531 says:

      You really believe that?  God help us.

  7. Val Chaney says:

    Black liberals don’t need to take the black agenda from the black church at all.  The black church needs to find true men and women of God to STAND for what is right. Currently, the church is basically silent.  That’s why our African American agenda is so distorted.  Preachers are agreeing with anything for a fast buck; and as a result, liberals have given us a platform that is unacceptable.  African Americans don’t believe in many of the liberal views we now support, and for most of us, the GOP can’t be considered.  Salt and light exist for a very important reason. Until the church takes its rightful place, and stands up for what is right, we will continue to experience chaos.

  8. TalithaMcEachin says:

    I couldn’t disagree more with a few points but I agree on some as well. Don’t be fooled by the prosperity folks into thinking they are what encompasses Christianity. You’re painting with too broad of a brush Yvette.

    1. TalithaMcEachin In the last 50 years, has the church shown any ability to impact policy? No, and when it has, it’s largely a push against a gay agenda, when income inequality is much more important to working people. If you can’t show me an example of the church having a sustained political impact, then I don’t think you can accuse me of painting with too broad a brush. The church has been neutralized. It’s docile.

      1. TalithaMcEachin says:

        Yvette Carnell TalithaMcEachin Yvette I don’t look for the church to anymore to be honest with you. I accused you of painting with too broad a brush because you lump all churches in together as being anti-gay (in your comment) the Christian church has been compromised quite a bit & softened to the gay community actually, unless you only mean the black church in your comment, but even then you are wrong. There needs to be a concerted effort on all fronts including the black church for things like income equality…etc. I don’t consider the church as being the one holding the baton now, if you will for the black agenda & I’m not sure why you think of them that way.

  9. CJ561 says:

    Im black and I disagree with your pigeon-holing of black in this article. Being “liberal” doesn’t make black people any better than being conservative. I don’t support Obama’s support of gay marriage or killing of innocent children. If you think Jesus would be “liberal” or conservative in terms of politics you’re completely wrong. Jesus would be condemning both sides and telling people to forget about the political world altogether. The “Black Church” needs to embrace the mission of the Christ.. not the black agenda. Jesus doesn’t give a crap about some “black agenda” if it isn’t a kingdom agenda. Go back to the scriptures and look at what Jesus actually cared about. You’ll be swept off your feet.

    1. reneegede says:

      CJ561 Whoomp, there it is.

  10. white531 says:

    Blacks in  this country have had two hundred years to assimilate into this society and join in the collective fabric of this great nation and make a difference not only for their own race, but for all of America.
    They not only have not done that, but they do not appear to have any plans for doing so in the foreseeable future.  It boils down to a drug problem.  Welfare is a drug.  Blacks are addicted to it. Its as simple as that.

    1. reneegede says:

      white531 You’s a dammed lie. End of story.
      If it wasn’t for black people, this country wouldn’t exist and would not ever have been the richest one in the world.
      We have nothing we didn’t earn or that our ancestors did not earn for us, so you can crawl back in the cockroach den where you picked that BS up and take your little roach droppings back with you on the way out.
      The end.

    2. white531 This is a ridiculous comment not anchored in history. Blacks were brought here as slaves and then made into a servant class. We weren’t even included in the New Deal until two decades after its passage. This is not a process of encouraging people to assimilate. It is a process of continued subjugation. Welfare was whites for decades. Was it a drug then? This rewriting of history is despicable.

  11. reneegede says:

    Now … I didn’t “get” this story.
    First of all, there is such a thing as a Black Liberal; and they do go to church and believe in God.
    This article seems to have mixed up a lot of different themes and theories and confused and discombobulated the whole theoretic argument, which is, as I can see it, that Black churches have lost sight of the God in which they claim to believe.
    That’s a half-truth and a half-lie.
    As far as the “prosperity gospel” movement goes, that was an elaborate reducing of the Black church down to its lowest or least common denominator amongst all churches, that is true.
    However … that there was a “black agenda” that needed to be “taken back” in the first place sounds a little to white evangelical conservative to me, as well. The white conservative tea party evangelical classes were the ones bopping their behinds all over the place talking about “taking the country back,” but back to where?

    Where are the “black liberals” who are going to take the “black agenda” “back” and back to where and what? For what reason? And what has the “black church” got to do with any of that?

    It is “mighty white” of anyone to even shoebox black people like that and call on some “black liberals” to “take something back” and it’s just as bad as the Tea Party calling on “white nationalists” to “take the country back”-ward.
    The photo that goes with this “evidence of black conservatism invading the black mind and causing them to side with white conservatives who are just as evil” does this theory no good.
    I agree that white conservative evangelical thinking has watered down the strength black folks once had to raise a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and because of it, we no longer have a church strong enough to nurture a Dr. King. Barack Obama only came out of a black church batting a thousand because he had been taught by one of the last bastions of black leadership and strength that we had left in America, Rev Dr Jeremiah Wright … and even his ‘black liberation theology’ message (as we like to hypothesize about black preaching in a Civil Rights Movement that was never resolved) was twisted into something it was not and turned into an outright white media circus lie, as usual.
    Back then, the black church was the only organization that white folks didn’t “control,” and it was the only place where black people had a voice or a day in this country at all. Then what happens? Zing! Suddenly the argument about “separation of church and state” becomes “maybe you Nigras better think about how to get money out of your congregations to pay the bills and mortgage and quit worrying yourself about things that God only made for smart white folks like government and business.”
    Bam. No more Dr. Kings and a whole lotta BS about how many times you have to jump up and down, spin around, bend over backwards and kiss your big toe, and which hand to cross a finger on in order to get God to answer a prayer regarding how much money you need … and how “blessed” you will be if you give this preacher all your money (right).
    Anyhoo…this picture of black people holding ChikFilA bags in solidarity with CFA taking a stand against being bullied by gays is beside the point, because gays are often at the heartbeat of causing problems for themselves. They don’t like being bullied, but they sure don’t mind bullying others and trying to make people feel sorry for them because they are gay when they act just as evil as the people they claim are being evil to them.
    The black liberals IN the church can’t agree with homosexuality, because the Bible they say they read and the God they claim to worship says it is an abomination before God. That is the end of it and there is nothing else to be said about it, and nothing to argue.
    People who believe in the Bible as the Word of God can’t twist scripture to make it say something it doesn’t in order to appease gays and supporters of gays. It is what it is.
    That said, Barack Obama himself can declare it constitutional for gays to marry, but that does not make that constitutional marriage godly; and one does not have to be scared of gay people (or “homophobic”) to say so.
    This isn’t about “black liberals” and “black agendas” and “black churches,” this is about the fact that even if you ARE a black liberal you can’t change the Bible around to make it appear God is okay with something that the Bible says God considers abominable, and didn’t even create nature to act in that manner by any stretch of the imagination.
    On the other hand … the “pimps in the church” philosophy is correct, but you can’t even take their evil ways and leverage it against ‘the Black church’ … only the ones that YOU PAY ATTENTION to. Anything else is a generalization and a false argument that entails all or nothing. All Christians and church-going black folks aren’t evil just like all gays are conniving dogs trying to gain sympathy by leveraging public sympathy for a civil rights cause of action that really doesn’t exist.
    By the way … Christianity is one of FIVE religions that were started by black people in Africa; the other four being Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
    And all black liberals aren’t good people, either; some of them are just as evil as a conniving low-down homosexual. Evil doesn’t come wrapped in a color, or a gender preference.

  12. reneegede says:

    Furthermore, as far as President Obama is concerned … he’s met with black folks on many occasions and they have YET to tell him what the hayell the “Black Agenda” is. I don’t even think they know, or care; they just want to take pictures with celebrities and brag about how they “met with the President.”
    Sameo, sameo; but one thing is certain if nothing else … white folks certainly can’t come on here speaking on it, because the only thing that they could possibly say would be, at best, ignorant; and at worst, totally and thoroughly stuck on stupid because they comment, but with their comments, like this cheap white531 creature below, they have not a clue what they are talking about.
    And we don’t have an excuse for not being able to formulate a proper argument about blacks and homosexuality without throwing liberals and evangelicals in the mix for seasoning. If you’re going to go that route, which has some semblance of legitimacy to it; at least take a stab at having a logical argument that people can make sense of.

    1. reneegede He met with Al Sharpton & Co. When did we leave them in charge of our agenda?

  13. PhillipMichaelHolmes says:

    In response to the article above: “An example of that is in a about the supposed need for Black Liberals to “take back” the Black agenda from the Black church.  In a short read, the writer of the article basically told us that it’s incompatible to be authentically Black and “conservative” (whatever that means to you).  The only possible configuration of our blackness in relation to politics, according to the writer, is black and “liberal” (whatever that means to you).  I think this is reckless and misguided.. “BLACK CHURCH” AS A TARGET
    The article described the “Black Church” in two broad categories:
    1)The Black Church is lost
    2)The Black Church is Conservative.LOST
    Under the header of “lost”, the article said that this we can see this in the likes of Creflo Dollar’s prosperity “Gospel” and the sexual crime allegations against Eddie Long.  Now, I agree that those two things are horrible.  Creflo and Eddie have horrible theology and should be barred from pastoral ministry on the strength of their poor theology alone, let alone allegations of sexual misconduct towards Eddie Long.”
    Read the rest here:

  14. reneegede says:

    You want a real argument?
    Ask yourself why the hayell the fabled and storied “black church” (pimps in the pulpit) is so busy telling people that God will bless them if they bling out the pastor that they aren’t doing something about THIS ish: 
    Seriously, if black liberals and black churches and black conservatives and black folks period are looking for a “cause,” this is something even DR. KING wouldn’t have sat back and let happen. Period.

    I don’t see black churches in courthouses raising holy hayell about THIS kind of stuff in OUR COUNTRY; but we sure got our lips popped and chopped open all over Pres Obama about some ‘black agenda’ mess that even he can’t control because we don’t know what the hayell it is in the first place.

  15. GwenBaylor says:

    I would be  completely wrong to group all degreed, writers  and columnists as idiots and “educated fools” as you are wrong having grouped the entire black church together as outdated, ignorant and making no notable contribution to the African American community or society as a whole.  You would do yourself and your readers a great benefit by researching the history of the church as well as the history of African Americans in the church before writing with such (seemingly) personal bias.  The photo posted above this article is one of the most racial charged and demeaning photos viewed in a very long time.  It is racial profiling at it’s worst. It’s the bible, Yvette. Not the good book.  Read it. The church is neither black nor white, Yvette.  It’s the church and Christ is the head.

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