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.