This blog is devoted to the written presentation defense of Christian theism. The principal essence of theology is God. Human knowledge is inescapably revelational. Man knows because God is. Reason nor science can function properly without radical transformation by God's regenerative work of grace. No other position on the subject of reason or science achieves epistemic coherence with the principle of Sola Scriptura.
Τοῦτο λέγω, ἵνα μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς παραλογίζηται ἐν πιθανολογίᾳ. (Col. 2:4)
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
God Is A White Racist! So Says A University of Pennsylvania Professor
God ain’t good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in a nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men.
When George Zimmerman told Sean Hannity that it was God’s will that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, he was diving right into what most good conservative Christians in America think right now. Whatever makes them protected, safe, and secure, is worth it at the expense of the black and brown people they fear.
I try to stay away from political issues as much as possible on this blog. Typically, the only time I bring them up is when they intrude on Christianity. It think that is precisely what is happening where professor Butler is concerned. So much could be said about these comments. The rippling effect is notably encyclopedic. I will do my best to focus my concerns on the religious implications of the professor's observations.
Apparently Professor Butler is not pleased with the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. I have my own personal opinion about the trial, but from my perspective, it is a secular issue decided in secular courts and my concerns are primarily dealing with the Church and the Christian gospel, not only in this culture but across the planet. Nevertheless, Professor Butler has made the decision to blame the Zimmerman trial on Christianity. From the start, Professor Butler says God is not good all the time. Now I realize there is likely some satire in the professor's words. However, there is usually a grain of truth under the layer of satire. I suppose that the only way God could ever be good is if He gave us everything we ever wanted.
Professor Butler has apparently been a very deprived woman, having been reminded repeatedly by American culture that she is not white. She references the abortion issue, calling it reproductive rights, and even references voting rights. I am not sure what she means by voting rights. The last time I checked, black women are legally allowed to vote. In fact, in some districts, dead black women are allowed to vote if the rumors are true.
Professor Butler then argues that the American god "ain't my god." Well, the American god is no one's god because he or she simply doesn't exist. It is on this point that I sympathize with the professor. America has indeed corrupted the image of the one true God. But America is not the only country to do this. Are we to suppose that the African nations have not engaged in some perversion of the the nature God the same as America? Should we pull out all the atrocities that the African people have committed against each other over the centuries and compare that to American atrocities to see whose is worse? Such a suggestion seems absurd. But is it any more absurd than a black female living in modern America, with a doctorate from a prestigious institution, serving on the faculty of an even more prestigious institution, criticizing a race and a country that was in large part responsible for making her current status even possible? What exactly is Professor Butler getting at?
Professor Butler then takes the statement of one man, one Latin American if you will, and applies his position to every white American in the culture. Not only is this one of the most absurd things I have ever read, it is so outrageous that I find it hard to believe that any rational, educated human being could ever think such a thing, let alone blog about it for the whole world to see. Professor Butler's comments gets to the real heart of her issue with the Zimmerman outcome: her words reveal her racism. And this is the crux of the problem. You could not make a more racist remark than Professor Butler has made.
According to Professor Butler, whites value their safety over the black or brown people they fear. Well, George Zimmerman is brown. He is not white. This is all very confusing. But I suppose, if you are a racist, you will take whatever opportunity you can to fuel the hatred. And it seems this is precisely what Professor Butler is doing.
Professor Butler is a black woman, working in a prestigious position at one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. Anthea Butler is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Graduate Chair of Religious Studies. She holds a Ph.D from Vanderbilt University in Religion, a Masters in Religion from Vanderbilt, and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. There is little doubt that professor Butler would not be in the incredibly privileged position she is in if it were not for a lot of very white men. I think of the white men who fought and died in the civil war. The white president who made it happen. I think of the white politicians who slowly but surely fought for and won the freedoms all of us experience today. Professor Butler is a black woman, employed by a wonderful educational institution. She has an amazing job, and an incredibly blessed life. Somehow, for some reason, this is not enough. All those white men who fought, and died over the last 150 years to make it happen be damned. They had nothing to do with it. They deserve no credit. All white people are afraid of brown and black men and all they care about is their own safety? Tell that to the boys who died in order to pave the way in this country for you to experience the incredible privilege you experience today. If it wasn't for some pasty white guy somewhere, you wouldn't even have a platform from which to criticize them to begin with.
I think of Joseph and Job who both understood that God was and is in control of all that happens. I don't think professor Butler has been through anything remotely similar to what these men went through. Yet they could acknowledge God's sovereignty as well as His amazing grace. Professor Butler is not only NOT thankful to all the white men and women who made her very existence to be what it is, possible, she is also not thankful to God either. Apparently, God has not done enough. Would professor Butler prefer we scan the African nations even in their current conditions to see if there are parallel or even worse injustices going on there, right now, even as I write this?
Racism is an ugly thing. It is an ungodly spirit and attitude that must be purged from the thinking of any Christian. If you struggle with this attitude, my advice is that you recognize it as sinful and ask God to have mercy on you so that you can overcome the hate. There is no room in the Christian's heart for hatred. Some of us are disappointed with the Zimmerman trial and some of us are not. The system is the best system of justice in the temporal world. But it is not perfect. Did the system get this wrong? I prefer not to say. After all, my opinion on the jury's decision does not matter in the grand scheme of things. I wasn't there. I did not listen to testimony. I did not watch it on CNN or FOX every day either. I pray that both families would find peace and move on with their lives.