Heard the show: Black Liberation Theology


In case you missed our series this week on the theology behind Barack Obama's church of 20 years, Black Liberation Theology, here are all three parts in the series. While Obama dismisses the controversial comments as individual comments that shouldn't overshadow all of the good---this proves the opposite. There is a clear ideology behind the comments that offer a perfect explanation of how Reverend Wright arrived at his conclusions. This is what Obama's church actually believes.

What is Black Liberation Theology?




Wright's Black Liberation Theology


By Anthony B. Bradley


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is Black liberation theology anyway? Barrack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright catapulted black liberation theology onto a national stage, when America discovered Trinity United Church of Christ. Understanding the background of the movement might give better clarity into Wright's recent vitriolic preaching. A clear definition of Black theology was first given formulation in 1969 by the National Committee of Black Church Men in the midst of the civil-rights movement:

"Black theology is a theology of black liberation. It seeks to plumb the black condition in the light of God's revelation in Jesus Christ, so that the black community can see that the gospel is commensurate with the achievements of black humanity. Black theology is a theology of 'blackness.' It is the affirmation of black humanity that emancipates black people from White racism, thus providing authentic freedom for both White and black people. It affirms the humanity of White people in that it says 'No' to the encroachment of White oppression."

In the 1960s, Black churches began to focus their attention beyond helping Blacks cope with national racial discrimination particularly in urban areas.

The notion of "Blackness" is not merely a reference to skin color, but rather is a symbol of oppression that can be applied to all persons of color who have a history of oppression (except Whites, of course). So in this sense, as Wright notes, "Jesus was a poor black man" because he lived in oppression at the hands of "rich White people." The overall emphasis of Black liberation theology is the Black struggle for liberation from various forms of "White racism" and oppression.

James Cone, the chief architect of black liberation theology in his book A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), develops Black theology as a system. In this new formulation, Christian theology is a theology of liberation--"a rational study of the being of God in the world in light of the existential situation of an oppressed community, relating the forces of liberation to the essence of the gospel, which is Jesus Christ," writes Cone. Black consciousness and the Black experience of oppression orient black liberation theology--i.e., one of victimization from White oppression.

One of the tasks of Black theology, says Cone, is to analyze the nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ in light of the experience of oppressed Blacks. For Cone, no theology is Christian theology unless it arises from oppressed communities and interprets Jesus' work as that of liberation. Christian theology is understood in terms of systemic and structural relationships between two main groups: victims (the oppressed) and victimizers (oppressors). In Cone's context, writing in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the great event of Christ's liberation was freeing African Americans from the centuries-old tyranny of White racism and White oppression.

American White theology, which Cone never clearly defines, is charged with having failed to help Blacks in the struggle for liberation. Black theology exists because "White religionists" failed to relate the gospel of Jesus to the pain of being Black in a White racist society.

For Black theologians White Americans do not have the ability to recognize the humanity in persons of color, Blacks need their own theology to affirm their identity in terms of a reality that is anti-Black--Blackness stands for all victims of White oppression. "White theology," when formed in isolation from the Black experience, becomes a theology of White oppressors, serving as divine sanction from criminal acts committed against Blacks. Cone argues that even those White theologians who try to connect theology to Black suffering rarely utter a word that is relevant to the Black experience in America. White theology is not Christian theology at all. There is but one guiding principle of Black theology: an unqualified commitment to the Black community as that community seeks to define its existence in the light of God's liberating work in the world.

As such, Black theology is a survival theology because it helps Blacks navigate White dominance in American culture. In Cone's view, Whites consider Blacks animals, outside of the realm of humanity, and attempted to destroy Black identity through racial assimilation and integration programs--as if Blacks have no legitimate existence apart from Whiteness. Black theology is the theological expression of a people deprived of social and political power. God is not the God of White religion but the God of Black existence. In Cone's understanding, truth is not objective but subjective--a personal experience of the Ultimate in the midst of degradation.

The echoes of Cone's theology bled through, the now infamous, anti-Hilary excerpt by Rev. Wright. Clinton is among the oppressing class ("rich White people") and is incapable of understanding oppression ("ain't never been called a n-gg-r") but Jesus knows what it was like because he was "a poor black man" oppressed by "rich White people." While black liberation theology is not main stream in most black churches, many pastors in Wright's generation are burdened by Cone's categories which laid the foundation for many to embrace Marxism and a distorted self-image of perpetual "victim" which we be explored in the next two columns.


 

Wright's Theology as Victimology


By Anthony B. Bradley


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Black Liberation theology actually encourages a victim mentality among blacks. John McWhorters' book Losing the Race, will be helpful here. Victimology, says McWhorter, is the adoption of victimhood as the core of one's identity--for example, like one who suffers through living in "a country and who lived in a culture controlled by rich white people." It is a subconscious, culturally inherited affirmation that life for Blacks in America has been in the past and will be in the future a life of being victimized by the oppression of Whites. In today's terms, it is the conviction that, forty years after the Civil Rights Act, conditions for Blacks have not substantially changed. As Wright intimates, for example, scores of black men regularly get passed over by cab drivers.

Reducing black identity to "victim" distorts the reality of true progress. For example, was Obama a victim of widespread racial oppression at the hand of "rich white people" before graduating from Columbia University, Harvard Law School magna cum laude, or after he acquired his estimated net worth of $1.3 million? How did "rich white people" keep Obama from succeeding? If Obama is the model of an oppressed black man, I want to be oppressed next! With my graduate school debt my net worth is literally negative $52,659.

The overall result, says McWhorter, is that "the remnants of discrimination hold an obsessive indignant fascination that allows only passing acknowledgement of any signs of progress." Jeremiah Wright infused with victimology, wielded self-righteous indignation in the service of exposing the inadequacies Hilary Clinton's world of "rich white people." The perpetual creation of a racial identity born out of self-loathing and anxiety often spends more time inventing reasons to cry racism than working toward changing social mores, and often inhibits movement toward reconciliation and positive mobility.

McWhorter articulates three main objections of victimology: First, victimology condones weakness in failure. Victimology tacitly stamps approval on failure, lack of effort, and criminality. Behaviors and patterns that are self-destructive are often approved of as cultural or presented as unpreventable consequences from previous systemic patterns. Black liberation theologians are clear on this point: "People are poor because they are victims of others," says Dr. Dwight Hopkins, a black liberation theologian teaching at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Second, victimology hampers progress because, from the outset, it focuses attention on obstacles. For example, in Black liberation theology, the focus is on the impediment of Black freedom in light of the Goliath of White racism.

Third, victimology keeps racism alive because many Whites are constantly painted as racist with no evidence provided. Racism charges create a context for backlash and resentment fueling new attitudes among whites not previously held or articulated, and creates "separatism"--a suspension of moral judgment in the name of racial solidarity. Does Jeremiah Wright foster separatism or racial unity and reconciliation?

For black liberation theologians Sunday is uniquely tied to redefining their sense of being human within a context of marginalization. "Black people who have been humiliated and oppressed by the structures of White society six days of the week gather together each Sunday morning in order to experience another definition of their humanity," says James Cone in his book Speaking the Truth (1999).

Many black theologians believe that both racism and socio-economic oppression continue to augment the fragmentation between Whites and Blacks. Historically speaking, it makes sense that Black theologians would struggle with conceptualizing social justice and the problem of evil as it relates to the history of colonialism and slavery in the Americas.

Is black liberation theology helping? Wright's liberation theology has stirred up resentment, backlash, Obama defections, separatism, white guilt, caricature, and offense. Preaching to a congregation of middle-class blacks about their victim identity invites a distorted view of reality, fosters nihilism, and divides rather than unites.

 

Black Liberation Is Marxist Liberation


By Anthony B. Bradley


Thursday, March 27, 2008

One of the pillars of Obama's home church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is "economic parity." On the website, Trinity claims that God is not pleased with "America's economic mal-distribution." Among all of controversial comments by Jeremiah Wright the idea of massive wealth redistribution is the most alarming. The code language "economic parity" and references to "mal-distribution" is nothing more than channeling the twisted economic views of Karl Marx. Black liberation theologians have explicitly stated a preference for Marxism as an ethical framework for the black church because Marxist thought is predicated on a system of oppressor class (whites) versus victim class (blacks).

Black Liberation theologians James Cone and Cornel West have worked diligently to embed Marxist thought into the black church since the 1970s. For Cone, Marxism best addressed remedies to the condition of Blacks as victims of White oppression. In For My People, Cone explains that "the Christian faith does not possess in its nature the means for analyzing the structure of capitalism. Marxism as a tool of social analysis can disclose the gap between appearance and reality, and thereby help Christians to see how things really are."

In God of the Oppressed, Cone said that Marx's chief contribution is "his disclosure of the ideological character of bourgeois thought, indicating the connections between the 'ruling material force of society' and the 'ruling intellectual' force." Marx's thought is useful and attractive to Cone because it allows Black theologians to critique racism in America on the basis of power and revolution.

For Cone, integrating Marx into Black theology helps theologians see just how much social perceptions determine theological questions and conclusions. Moreover, these questions and answers are "largely a reflection of the material condition of a given society."

In 1979, Cornel West offered a critical integration of Marxism and Black theology in his essay, "Black Theology and Marxist Thought" because of the shared human experience of oppressed peoples as victims. West sees a strong correlation between Black theology and Marxist thought because "both focus on the plight of the exploited, oppressed and degraded peoples of the world, their relative powerlessness and possible empowerment." This common focus prompts West to call for "a serious dialogue between Black theologians and Marxist thinkers"--a dialogue that centers on the possibility of "mutually arrived-at political action."

In his book Prophesy Deliverance, West believes that by working together, Marxists and Black theologians can spearhead much-needed social change for those who are victims of oppression. He appreciates Marxism for its "notions of class struggle, social contradictions, historical specificity, and dialectical developments in history" that explain the role of power and wealth in bourgeois capitalist societies. A common perspective among Marxist thinkers is that bourgeois capitalism creates and perpetuates ruling-class domination--which, for Black theologians in America, means the domination and victimization of Blacks by Whites. American has been over run by "White racism within mainstream establishment churches and religious agencies," writes West.

Perhaps it is the Marxism imbedded in Obama's attending Trinity Church that should raise red flags. "Economic parity" and "distribution" language implies things like government-coerced wealth redistribution, perpetual minimum wage increases, government subsidized health care for all, and the like. One of the priorities listed on Obama's campaign website reads, "Obama will protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families, but he will reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers."

Black Liberation Theology, originally intended to help the black community, may have actually hurt many blacks by promoting racial tension, victimology, and Marxism which ultimately leads to more oppression. As the failed "War on Poverty" has exposed, the best way to keep the blacks perpetually enslaved to government as "daddy" is to preach victimology, Marxism, and seduce blacks into thinking that upward mobility is someone else's responsibility in a free society.

Anthony B. Bradley is a research fellow at the Acton Institute, and assistant professor of theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. His PhD dissertation is titled, "Victimology in Black Liberation Theology."

Imagine sometime next year, getting called before HUWAC – the House Un-Woke Activities Committee.

"Are you or have you ever been a member of the un-woke?"

Something like that is not as far-fetched as you might think.

Last week, Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration, now a UC Berkeley professor, tweeted this:

Since the 1970s, there have been dozens of "Truth Commissions" around the world like the kind Robert Reich wants in America. Most of these have been set up in Africa and Latin America. Usually it happens in countries after a civil war, or where there's been a regime change – a dictator is finally overthrown, and a commission is set up to address atrocities that happened under the dictator. Or, as in the commissions in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, atrocities under communism. Or, in the most famous example, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation commission addressed the decades of apartheid that ravaged that nation.

These commissions usually conclude with an official final report. These commissions and reports have served as a means of governments trying to close a dark chapter of their country's history, or provide emotional catharsis, as a way to generally move on. Sometimes it kind of works for people, most of the time it leaves people clamoring for more justice.

Here's how one professor described truth commissions in an article in The Conversation last year. He wrote:

The goal of a truth commission… is to hold public hearings to establish the scale and impact of a past injustice, typically involving wide-scale human rights abuses, and make it part of the permanent, unassailable public record. Truth commissions also officially recognize victims and perpetrators in an effort to move beyond the painful past… Some have been used cynically as tools for governments to legitimize themselves by pretending they have dealt with painful history when they have only kicked the can down the road.

See, this is the problem with a lot of "Truth" commissions – they are inherently political. Even if you trust your government and give them all the benefit of the doubt in the world that their Truth commission is trying to do the right thing, it is ALWAYS going to be political. Because these truth commissions are never set up by those who have LOST power in government. They're always established by those who have WON power.

The Deputy Executive Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice says one of the main points in these Truth commissions is that "the victims become protagonists."

A Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility.

So, who are the victims in Robert Reich's America? People like him, members of the far-Left who had to endure the atrocities of four years of a president with different political ideas. What an injustice. I mean, the left's suffering during the Trump administration is almost on the level of apartheid or genocide – so we totally need a Truth commission.

There have been lots of calls for the U.S. to have its own Truth and Reconciliation commission, especially around racial injustice.

This past June, Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California introduced legislation to establish the " United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation."

Ibram X. Kendi – the high priest of anti-racism, and author of Target's current favorite book " Antiracist Baby" – proposes a Constitutional anti-racism amendment. This amendment would:

establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for pre-clearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won't yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

If you think that is far-fetched, you haven't been paying attention to the Left's growing radicalism. In a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, a Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility. And of course, such a DOA would never stop at policing government.

We're in a dangerous, precarious moment in our history. Given the events of 2020, should Democrats gain the White House, the Senate, and the House, how many commissions will be in our future? They will suddenly have plenty of political capital to drag the nation through years of commission hearings.

And the Left's form of justice is never satisfied. You think it will stop at a T&R commission on race? MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted this month about the need for a commission to deal with Americans who are skeptical about wearing masks:

Or what about a Truth commission on religion? I mean, look at those reckless churches spreading Covid this year. Or this would be a big one – a T&R commission on climate change deniers.

The Left is highly selective when it comes to truth. That's why they are the very last group you want in charge of anything with "Truth and Reconciliation" in the title.

This is one of the most incredibly frustrating things about the Left in America today. The Left insists there is no such thing as absolute truth, while simultaneously insisting there are certain approved truths that are undeniable.

So, you can't question "Science" – even though that's pretty much what every great scientist in history did.

You can't question racism as the explanation for all of existence – because, well, just because.

You can't question third-party "Fact-checkers" – because the powers that be, mainly Big Tech right now, have decided they are the Truth referees and you have to trust what they say because they're using certified external fact-checkers. They just forgot to tell you that they actually fund these third-party fact-checkers. It's like if McDonald's told you to trust third-party health inspectors that they were paying for.

The Left thinks it has a monopoly on Truth. They're the enlightened ones, because they've had the correct instruction, they're privy to the actual facts. It's psychotic arrogance. If you don't buy what they're selling, even if you're just skeptical of it, it's because you either don't have the facts, you willingly deny the facts, or you're simply incapable of grasping the truth because you're blinded by your raging racism problem. It's most likely the racism problem.

The Left never learns from its own preaching. For the past 60-plus years they've decried the House Un-American Activities Committee for trying to root out communists, getting people canceled, ruining Hollywood careers, etcetera. But a HUAC-type committee is precisely what Robert Reich is describing and many on the Left want. It's not enough for Trump to be voted out of office. Americans who helped put him there must be punished. They don't want reconciliation, they want retribution. Because the Left doesn't simply loathe Donald Trump, the Left loathes YOU.

President Donald Trump's performance at last night's final presidential debate was "brilliant" and "the best he's ever done," Glenn Beck said on the radio program Friday.

Glenn described the moments he thought President Trump came across as "sincere," "kind," and "well-informed," as well as Joe Biden's biggest downfalls for of the night — from his big statement on wanting to eliminate the oil industry to his unsurprising gaffes as the debate neared the end. But, the question remains: was Trump's "brilliant performance" enough to win the election?

Watch the video be low to get Glenn's take on the final debate before the November 3 election:


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This is a moment "Cynical Theories" author James Lindsay probably hoped would never come. The liberal mathematician and host of the "New Discourses Podcast" recently came out as "unhappily" voting Republican, including for President Donald Trump, because the Democratic Party is now being controlled by a far-left movement that seeks to destroy our country and the U.S. Constitution.

He joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to explain why this election isn't "Trump versus Biden." It's Trump versus a "movement that wants to tear apart American society at its very foundation." Lindsay warned that if it isn't stopped, the left can toss out our rights by rewriting the Constitution — or abolishing it altogether.

"A lot of people don't understand what's happening with the election we have right now," he said. "They think it's a choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And at the surface level, of course, it is. We're voting for each candidate to be duly put into the office of president. But that's not what we really have going on. We have, in Donald Trump, a man who's going to govern as we've all seen — the way he feels like he's going to govern. And we have in Joe Biden, a man captured by a movement that wants to tear apart the American society at its very foundation."

Lindsay noted the popular leftist narratives that call to "abolish anything they don't like," which now includes the U.S. Constitution. He added that "this is the movement that is controlling the Democratic Party."

"It is my belief, that there has been a largely effective kind of silent coup of the Democratic Party, that's turned it completely under the control of this movement. And that's what we're going to be electing with Joe Biden. So I can't do it," he said.

Watch the video below for more details:

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT, Glenn Beck goes straight to the source of the biggest story in the country with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who takes us directly into Hunter Biden's alleged laptop.

Despite Big Tech's attempts to squash this story, there should be a mad scramble in the media to get to the bottom of major corruption allegations, but they're willfully ignoring it. However, this is not just a story about Hunter Biden. This is all about Joe Biden. It's a story Glenn has been investigating for over a year that traces back to Ukraine and China. It goes directly to the root of corruption within our political system: How politicians use their family members to enrich the entire clan and sell out their country. While the media looks the other way, Glenn asks Mayor Giuliani to show us the evidence. Giuliani details the chain of possession of the laptop and reveals news that he only had possession of the laptop days before the New York Post story broke. He says, "I reported this the day after I saw it."

He also drops a major bombshell on the show and says Big Tech doesn't want you to see evidence that "establishes with texts, documents, contracts" that "Joe Biden was a 10% partner with a Chinese communist … and there are witnesses that will come forward and testify to it."

Big Tech censorship is out of control. So to watch tonight's explosive episode of Glenn TV, you must be a BlazeTV subscriber. Because Big Tech is doing whatever it can to limit free speech, we're offering our most important discount on BlazeTV ever. Use promo code GLENN to get $30 off a one-year subscription, so you'll have 24/7 access to news and entertainment completely free of biased "fact-checks" and censorship.

Watch a preview of the show below:

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