By Corey Brown (AKA “Rev”)
One of the greatest justice fighters of our time, Desmond Tutu, once said that if you are neutral or silent during times of injustice, then you have chosen the side of the oppressor. White American evangelicals have openly affirmed their position in the fight against injustice as evidenced by the 2016 pre- and post-election actions against the least in our society. Many say that we have regressed, but I offer that we have never progressed. Sadly, many black churches have never firmly established their own theology and are nothing more than echo chambers for the empty and hollow religion called Western Christianity that is beset upon persecuting those on the margins: the blacks, the Muslims, the women, the LGBTQIA, and those who just do not know they are a part of the marginalized population.
When I think about the marginalized, my mind goes to the bible story of the marginalized Moabite woman, Ruth, and how she was allowed to go into the fields to get food for her and her mother-in-law. Mind you, she received favor and was able to do what they call “gleaning,” which was to pick what was left over from the harvesting along the edges or the margins of the fields. Let’s put a pin in that point as I intend to come back to it.
The majority of White American “christians” have been silent since the theft of the lands from the Native Americans to create this country, afraid to alienate or run off its members during the slave trade, during lynching, during Jim Crow 1.0 and 2.0, and more recently during the rise of radicals and radical organizations, intent on “Making America Great Again.” The process of “reclaiming America” will come at the expense of the least of society. I try to stay away from terms like “Other” and “Right” or “Alt-Right,” because these terms are deeply embedded in the movement to suppress the voice and the rights of the oppressed. Sadly, many of those mobilized to action for the sake of this new movement are going to merely be collateral damage after the smoke clears and many of them are satisfied with that, as long as those in need do not get anything as a result of the efforts of the government that we all pay taxes to. The tea party revolt was not conducted by those in power, but by those who were motivated enough to stand up against the reach of England’s colonial empire.
The strongest attacks, in the name of the Creator, are against “hyphenated Americans” (African-American, Latino-American, Asian-American, etc.), Muslims and the religion of Islam, and the LGBTQIA; hence the title of this post. The hoodies are more closely tied to African and Latino-Americans (see the picture of Trayvon Martin); the hijabs are symbolic of our Muslim brothers and sisters; and the self-explanatory title of homosexuals represents all those living as a part of the colorful spectrum of the LGBTQIA community.
African-Americans are the target of police abuse and murder, random attacks by white American citizens, and the victims of a deeply rooted system of oppression and marginalization, not allowing them their rightful place alongside the rest of humanity in G-d’s creation.
Muslims in America and around the world are under constant attack fueled by illegitimate fears and the lack of acceptance of the equity of Islam as one of the Abrahamic faiths. September 11, 2001 served as a defining point for American “christianity” in being able to separate the ideologies of radicals operating outside the boundaries of a legitimate faith.
The LGBTQIA community has been openly persecuted by “christians,” based on the misguided literal translation of scripture taken out of context. It is amazing to watch as the church openly attacks those who have served and continue to serve in congregations across the country.
Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, you believe that the Lord is going to come and establish G-d’s kingdom here on earth. One thing I believe strongly is that the Lord’s coming will include gathering or gleaning of the marginalized or those on the outskirts of society first, just as Ruth was allowed to gather food from the fields of Boaz.
Where do we go from this point? How do we shift from christianity to Christianity? Why do christians who claim to worship a G-d with infinite treasure think it’s okay to prevent those that are going without from having the basics? When is the crusade against hoodies, hijabs, and homosexuals going to be denounced by the christian church of America?