The White church and Blacks

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Religion has played a pivotal part in molding the conscience and psyche of the masses.  Churches in this country are no exception.  But discussions dictate that there is a huge schism among the White and Black churches in this country. One of the main contentions is that some White churches still refuse to accept or advocate for the dignity, humanity, and equality of Blacks or people of color.

 Many people would argue as a people, Blacks have a propensity to be more religious and spiritual than their White counterparts.  This is shown over and over in their benevolence and propensity in showing love and forgiveness toward their oppressors, regardless of the nefarious obstacles and practices presented by those to dehumanize and trivialize their existence. But probably more important is that African Americans have always sought God to deliver them from the pain, suffering, and inequalities rendered upon them by this country.  It is ironic, but the White church has played an ever-occurring part in ignoring the pain of Blacks in this country.

The Church, as a whole, has been very diligent in serving as a uniting force in evoking within us a sense of righteousness, morality, and love- vital in helping to keep the masses from chaos and self-destruction.  However, divine and spiritual the teaching of the church may be, man has tainted and soiled its holiness with his quest to satisfy his own self-interests.   Man has bent spiritual divine truths to try to excuse the ugliness of his own iniquities.   For example, look at how many southern White churches justified the institution of ‘slavery-teaching’ that Blacks were barbaric and inhuman without a soul or as cursed descendants of one of the tribes of Noah. Many White churches taught that Blacks were not worthy of being loved, even by God.

The White Church’s complicity in slavery and literally looking the other way, especially with sexual improprieties occurring within its own clergy, points to some of its shortcomings. The White church has a history of rationalizing the truth for monetary gain such as in the case of slavery.  Too often you find those knowingly and willing frolicking in wrongdoing, planning to one day repent and ask for forgiveness with the understanding that all their sins will be forgiven. Pick and choose if you must, but make no mistake, inequities come with consequences.

The White church’s preaching of the Bible excluded African Americans and helped in their exploitation (by looking the other way) or even partaking in the buying and selling of slaves. Even when slaves were allowed in White churches they were isolated to the back or the upstairs section.  These holy sanctuaries were incompetent in truly teaching and manifesting true Christian values.

The Black church has served as a haven for emotional relief and resurrecting hope for many Blacks suffering from the fallout from institutionalized racism. Racism many White churches have yet to address.

Racism and White supremacy are demons most White churches refuse to touch on. However, acknowledging and discussing these iniquities are necessary in helping to bring about the love needed to eradicate the tools of evilness. Remember, churches’ primary role is to spread the word (God’s will) that is supposed to apply to all of us.

One would be disingenuous dismissing the role of some White churches inundated with Christians, claiming to be Republicans, representing the party of traditional family values and morality, and yet appearing to be united in their stance against equality for all. Where are the White churches debunking the likes of Donald Trump, who is beyond immoral and comfortable in spreading his lies, hate, and divisive rhetoric which too many so-called White Christians are so eagerly accepting?  Make no mistake; his rhetoric only serves to divide unity between Black and White churches.

I would imagine God’s truly anointed churches would encourage participation and membership by all people regardless of race or ethnicity.  Black churches in America only came about because of the racism found in the White churches.  Black churches are not known for refusing to seat or deny their doors to Whites.  Even now, many Blacks have no problem visiting or worshiping in a predominantly White church, while you find some Whites adamantly refusing or reluctant to attend a predominately Black church.

In hopes of spreading the “Word of God,” it is crucial that it be taught without excluding people. The White church should not ignore its historic complicity in slavery, segregation, and inequality in its quest to make members not feel uncomfortable. Positive and productive changes can only take place when you identify problems to amend or eradicate them going forward. White churches can work harder to unite with Black churches in their mission to teach ‘The Word.’ Churches must be honest and forthright. There is a needed ‘coming together’ of the churches to address the elephant in the room keeping us apart.

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