Religion of Whiteness, Part IV

What’s next, and who will lead?

(See also Part I: The Religion of Whiteness: What survey data says about White Christians’ attitudes about race and privilege, Part II: Religion of Whiteness: What is it? and Part III: Stories and reflections from Christians of Color.)

New research data shows that White Christians are twice as likely as other groups to agree that it’s acceptable for White people to have more wealth than other people. And 70 percent agree with the statement: “racial minorities use racism as an excuse for economic inequalities.”

Jim Bear Jacobs, the Minnesota Council of Church’s (MCC’s) Co-Director for Racial Justice, said one of the research’s stunning revelations was that these opinions were uniformly held between Conservative Christians, Mainline Protestants, and Catholics.

“That was an eye opener,” he said.

Jacobs has wavered between hope and despair about the church’s ability to move to a racially justice future, he said. Based on the research, he didn’t think White leadership could get us there anymore. “Racism and White Supremacy is so entrenched in Christian thought.”

“Maybe for the White church, it’s time that we stop sitting hospice and attend the funeral,” he said, citing Soong-Chan Rah. “Rather than trying to do all the work to reform, do we let it die and believe in resurrection?”

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Religion of Whiteness, Part III

Stories and reflections from Christians of Color

(See also Part I: The Religion of Whiteness: What survey data says about White Christians’ attitudes about race and privilege, and Part II: Religion of Whiteness: What is it?)

Rev. Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy, a member of the Oglala Sioux Nation, ordained ELCA pastor, and a Native theologian, speaks at various churches and events about Lakota traditions and values, and the important role culture plays within the Christian church experience.

It can be emotionally draining for her.

She recalled that after speaking at a congregation last spring, a man approached her and said: “So let me get this right. What I hear from you is that you believe Indigenous people are the superior race. …”

Sherman-Conroy had her nine-year-old son with her. She tried to figure out how to respond, as the man continued to pontificate.

She didn’t finish that story. She did say when she goes somewhere to speak or preach now, she asks the congregation to have someone with her “so they can hear the crap that I go through.”

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Religion of Whiteness, Part II

What is it?

(See also Part I: The Religion of Whiteness: What survey data says about White Christians’ attitudes about race and privilege.)

An entire religion has developed in the United States around “the worship of Whiteness,” says Prof. Dr. Michael O. Emerson.

The Religion of Whiteness “believes that White people and White ways are superior, theologically, morally, legally, economically, [and] culturally,” Emerson said.

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