I am a teacher, a writer, and a photographer. I am also a Christian.
It's Time to Take Back Christianity
I'm a Christian. I was born-again as a teenager in East Texas. I have studied and taught the Bible. I used to speak to youth groups. I am well-versed in Evangelical Christian culture. GOP Christianity in America has become narcissistic and selfish. According to a Salon article, GOP Christianity nurtures white supremacy and is anti-Christian. I agree with the points these articles raise. Let me explain why.
I became a Christian as a teen. One night, I sat and read the entire New Testament. It was an epiphany for me. It showed me how we should live as human beings. I became immersed in Evangelical Christianity as a college student. I studied the bible, I taught classes, I learned to play the guitar, and I became the first Black President of the Lamar University Baptist Student Union. Yet, there were still some issues that I faced with my new brothers and sisters in Christ.
My first sign was seeing a mix-raced couple walk across campus. One of the students called the Caucasian female "trash" and a race traitor. No one else in the room said anything. When I tried to date, they told me that I could not date white girls because "God would not do that to the children." By the time I graduated, I had become disillusioned with Christians. I did not like their brand of Christianity.
The final straw was going to a church called the "Church of Jesus." Great name, right? I took most of my friends and introduced them to the congregation. Two friends and I decided to join. My two Caucasian friends received invitations to join. The pastor pulled me aside and asked what I wanted there. He told me that I needed to be with my people.
This article explains how White Evangelicals have usurped Christianity. They claim it as their own and say it is the only true way. They claim it is the only way to heaven and the only way to Christ. These claims are part of a historical ploy that they once used to keep slaves in order. Slave owners taught the bible and used it to justify slavery. They used verses from 1st Peter and Ephesians to instill fear. They also used it to prove the superiority of whites.
It started with the Spanish Conquistadors and "The Requirement." You see the priests and Missionaries came first. They read a document that urged natives to accept Christianity. They had no other options. They were forced to choose between becoming Christians or becoming slaves. In addition, the Spanish taught Native Americans that their customs were savage. They used this justification to try and eradicate them. They took their children to Indian Schools that still exist today.
Similar practices occurred in other countries. In Australia, they kidnapped young girls from their homes. They gave them to white families to breed the black out of them.
They used those verses in 1st Peter and Ephesians to make slaves obedient. They used the bible to tell slaves that their reward was in heaven. They would say, "You are a slave now, but in heaven, you will have streets of gold." This is the narcissism of White Evangelical Christianity.
It believes that whites are superior—or even the chosen of God. This Smithsonian American Art Museum article explains manifest destiny and how White Christians claimed that God chose them to destroy the culture of Natives in North America.
They justified slavery by calling Africans "savages." Hence, there was no sin in racism. Understand that for racism to work, the worst White person is considered better than the best Black person. In some parts of America, this has created a collective narcissism.
Churches teach the superiority of Christianity, although Jesus taught service. Pastors teach that Jesus is the only way to God, and that helps create a superiority complex. Jesus taught that we must care for the poor and sick. In White Christianity, you only care for other Christians and everyone else is on their own. Jesus taught that humility was a virtue. They teach that humility is a weakness.
Now, they have embraced a President who is anything but Christian. He is the ultimate narcissist. He is a bully. He is also their last Great White Hope.
It is time for America to wake up. White supremacists usurped Christianity to promote their agenda. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis use the cross as a weapon. They base their Christian values on the color of their skin. It is time to take back the name of Christ and call White Christian Evangelicals what they are: a hate group.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 11, 2018:
I believe I said that same thing. Tell anyone who mixes politics with religion, they are asking for a bad mix of concepts. Yes, Blacks conducted slavery in Africa, but Europeans put their own in slavery as well. (Debtors prisons and farms.)
However, race was not the cause of it for Blacks in Africa: territory, lost tribal conflicts, etc. It's consistent with what was done by tribal groups around the globe throughout history. That's why slavery happened in Africa.
In the Americas, slavery was based on "color" plain and simple.
Now, last I checked, Richard Nixon was a Republican, and with LBJ taking up the cause of Civil Rights and crushing the KKK at the time in the South, Nazis, KKK, skin heads, and racists sought out and joined the Republican party. This is a historic fact. Nothing I wrote is disputed by historians.
Point: David Duke reminded Trump what he promised White separatists after Charlottesville.
Bruce Bean (author) from Riverside, CA on January 11, 2018:
If we shouldn’t mix religion with politics, would someone tell that to evangelicals.
Bruce Bean (author) from Riverside, CA on January 11, 2018:
Tos seems to be one of those people who talks about history but does not understand it. Yes, blacks sold other blacks into slavery. Yes, Democrats were the party of slavery.
Slavery was prevalent in Africa but it was not chattel slavery. It was indentured servitude. So, when whites came with weapons to help the most brutal tribes conquer their neighbors, some Africans sold their souls.
In the 1970s Richard Nixon saw that Southern Whites had voted against their own interests and sought to change their affiliations. Most of those people became Republicans.
So, cherrypicking information is good propaganda, but it’s not the whole truth.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 09, 2018:
An insensitive response and lack of historic understanding from one of your reader's Tosus. I'm sorry for that.
Remember: the Republican party of today is the Democratic party before the 1960's. So your reader is right, Tosus; The Democrats of the Civil War era sought to keep slavery. (It was a southern thing.)
The Democratic party today - like it or not - is the party of Lincoln, not the Republican Party. (a little thing happened in Alabama to influence that, again 1960's)
Ironically, politics and religion are always intertwined. How many politicians are always "Thanking God! Giving God glory. We have these rights - truth, justice, liberty, again, God is right there in it all; in God we trust. (I thought the liberals wanted God out of things? What is this?"
Any Christian that denies another human being food will not be welcomed in my Savior's Kingdom. Period. That's regardless of party affiliation.
Furthermore, my friend who wrote such a good article, you and I know, Blacks didn't bring ships from England, America, etc. to enslave themselves. Ludicrous.
I expect to get conservative crap back at me. I've heard it all. I advise such people to pray, then maybe they will know the Christ I know.
My friend who wrote this article: They didn't know Jesus at that Church, but they probably did serve a hate focused agenda which is the nature of hardcore (fill in the blank) extremist who misuse the Lord's name.
Don't forget: the KKK swear they promote Christian values. But many of them would be angry to learn Egypt is in Africa.
Brad on January 09, 2018:
First of all you shouldn't mix religion with politics.
And you shouldn't put Trump in with the pastor that told you to be with your people.
Remember it was the democrats that put "your people" into slavery. And it was the white people that fought and died for a Civil War to free your people.
Today, the democrats are dividing the country through race, and gender, and citizenship that will pale the actual Civil War.
We are no longer the United anything thanks to the left.
The right has its problems but they are no match for the democrats. Breaking the social bonds of the people in the country to get votes is not being United. Resisting the president even at the expense of taking down the country is treason because that is the same goal as the terrorists.
Why add religion to make the country more divided?
None of the people alive today brought your ancestors into slavery, and into this country.
The truth is that your ancestors were made slaves by other black people in Africa, and then sold to Europeans.
Robin Olsen from Rural Canada on January 08, 2018:
there are no real Christians in the USA - Christianity is more than a statement - it is a way of life that I see no one living in the USA... you can talk about biblical this and that all day - but how you live is the determining factor not what you say...
Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 07, 2018:
So sorry to hear about your experiences with white evangelicals. Any time one group diminishes the value of another group it is wrong. Many groups throughout history have justified their superiority and killings in the name of their god or gods.
I believe Trump has put these evangelicals in a spell, by giving them false hope as to how he is going to make them great. Thanks for the article. I appreciate your frankness about your experiences.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 07, 2018:
Insensitivity is not in my understanding of Jesus, either. Wow! I regret your encounter.
ptosis from Arizona on January 07, 2018:
" He told me that I needed to be with my people." -
@ SV, AZ St. Vincent's , White guy intake rep tells Polish (white) guy client that maybe he should go back "to his people" in Chicago when the client was asking for food assistance. When my Polock friend told me this, I knew that St. Vincent's people were total jerks.
They treat you like crap and expect you to be grateful for it.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 07, 2018:
This is an interesting piece. I agree as a Christian, White evangelical Christianity (in some instances) does not emphasize love. It's as if the "Love Chapter" from Paul is completely ignored. However, they hold to the idea of staying humble in the presence of those seen as superior.
I've attended one of those churches out of curiosity, and I asked myself after leaving: "I wonder if Christ is sad by their misrepresentation of who He is?"
But I'm not surprised by what you said. I have another friend who attends such a church, I asked her, "Do you know Egypt is in Africa?" She proceeded to argue with me for an hour until we took out a globe.
Great article. Thanks.