My Black History 2020: See how politics divides us

In his book The Problem of Slavery in Christian America, author Joel McDurmon explains black allegiance to the Democratic party this way:

 If we wonder why, today, the left has a virtual monopoly on the affections of blacks, it is because the conservative Christians – when we were not the ones robbing the blacks leaving them for dead to begin with – were on the other side of the street during the entire history in which they needed help. The [Good Samaritan] parable calls us to stay on the side of the street where the problem is and address it. That is loving our neighbor.

McDurmon acknowledges that Christians have been complicit in the subjugation and wounds of black people throughout American history. After Emancipation, the church could have entered a time of repentance and redemption by welcoming blacks into their congregations, starting apprenticeship programs, and integrating schools. Christians should have been leading.

Instead, the narrative of black inferiority and racial terror continued to find expression in the church:

In light of this sick allegiance to white supremacy, liberal Christians joined other progressives in supporting civil rights activists. Black churches became the center of racial justice efforts and Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a leader. Unfortunately, after the death of King, the quest for racial justice moved from the church to the political sphere. No other black minister held America accountable to God for injustice. Who could blame them? All the major black leaders had been assassinated, and white activists experienced a similar fate. You can read here about some of the courageous, ordinary people who lost their lives, including Universalist minister James Reeb who was beaten to death by a white mob, and Viola Luizzo, a mother of five who was shot by the KKK.

America sent a very clear message to Good Samaritans: “If you want to help blacks you will die.”

As the impact of King’s spiritual leadership waned in the black community, evangelicals became ardent in their opposition to abortion and locked arms with politicians who were pro-life champions. Over the past 40 years, the pro-life cause became central to the Republican party platform at the expense of racial justice, which the Democrats chose to own.

What we have today is a weakened Christian testimony. All of us are louder and prouder about what our politicians say than we are about what our God says. It may be true that we can only vote for one person, but that doesn’t mean we have to attach ourselves to them like barnacles to a ship. White and Black Christians alike are being carried along by partisanship, striving to win political battles while losing the real war against the enemy of our souls.

Brothers and sisters, Satan has played us. He chose racism as his tool of division and death in America, and sadly, it was the precursor to abortion. Disregard for the sanctity of human life did not begin with the passage of Roe v Wade. It began with the Middle Passage, (depicted in  this brief video.)

McDurmon:

The Good Samaritan is not the person who shares one more news story about increased crime rates in the Jericho Road district, demanding we vote in new officials, send in SWAT teams, or put more cops on the street to combat these bad guys. Posting on social media also gets done from the other side of the road. Jesus’ Good Samaritan approached the victim himself. Jesus did not call for police action, but private action.

Imagine what could happen if white and black Christians reconciled to one another across party lines and marched on Washington together in a spirit of repentance. What a powerful first step toward racial healing that would be!

In the meantime, each of us personally can engage in private action and make a difference where we are. I have run out of days in February, but not ideas. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “My Black History 2020: See how politics divides us

  1. Dear Mary,

    I want to thank you for this blog series. I have both wept, and laid awake at night arguing with myself, multiple times this month because of what you have written. I’m a wife and mother of four in my 30s, and I’m one of the white evangelical Christians who had no clue why this issue always seems so important to my black Christian friends. I grew up in suburban Minnesota, completely “color blind” in the sense that I noticed some of my friends had dark skin, but it made no difference to me – slavery ended a long time ago, and I assumed they experienced America the same way I did. The first time I was awakened to the possibility that they didn’t, was when a very good friend in high school told me she wanted to go to an all-black college. That felt like a slap in the face. Why would she want to go to a college where I couldn’t go? I was hurt by that, and it puzzled me for many years. Your history lessons have helped me to see that she probably actually did experience growing up in America much differently than I did.

    The past few years, I’ve been trying harder to understand the problem of racism in our country, why it persists, and what we can do about it within the church. God has used your personal stories, as well as the stories you’ve shared so thoughtfully from history, to break my heart… no longer viewing racism as just a problem, but in fact mourning over it as a horrible sin against God. I’m so thankful He led me to your blog, and I thank you for your willingness to share.

    God bless,
    Jessica

    Like

    1. Dear Jessica,
      Thank you for your thoughtful message. It blesses me to know that the energy and prayer I put into this series helped you. I know the Lord will show each of us how to be his hands and feet in our communities.
      Mary

      Like

  2. Dear Mary,
    I cam across this and thought of you:
    “Although i am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.” Albert Einstein

    Know that you are not alone. There are many of us who are willing to listen, to connect and struggle with our own ignorance and complicity, and to commit to healing and to bringing light and love into all hearts and lives in this troubled world. I bow to your wise words and to your courage in speaking. Thank you. Sharon

    Like

    1. Sharon,
      I always feel your care for me and this cause. And you are right to point out that many, many people – the beloved community – strive together to replace evil with good. Thank you! Let’s have tea soon.
      Mary

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s