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."

Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


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The corporate media is doing everything it can to protect Dr. Anthony Fauci after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) roasted him for allegedly lying to Congress about funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China.

During an extremely heated exchange at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Paul challenged Dr. Fauci — who, as the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, oversees research programs at the National Institute of Health — on whether the NIH funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Dr. Fauci denied the claims, but as Sen. Paul knows, there are documents that prove Dr. Fauci's NIH was funding gain-of-function research in the Wuhan biolab before COVID-19 broke out in China.

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn and Producer Stu Burguiere presented the proof, because Dr. Fauci's shifting defenses don't change the truth.

Watch the video clip below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Critical race theory: A special brand of evil

wal_172619/Pixabay

Part of what makes it hard for us to challenge the left is that their beliefs are complicated. We don't mean complicated in a positive way. They aren't complicated the way love is complicated. They're complicated because there's no good explanation for them, no basis in reality.

The left cannot pull their heads out of the clouds. They are stuck on romantic ideas, abstract ideas, universal ideas. They talk in theories. They see the world through ideologies. They cannot divorce themselves from their own academic fixations. And — contrary to what they believe and how they act — it's not because leftists are smarter than the rest of us. And studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country. Marx was no different. The Communist Manifesto talks about how the rise of cities "rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."

Studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country.

Instead of admitting that they're pathological hypocrites, they tell us that we're dumb and tell us to educate ourselves. Okay, so we educate ourselves; we return with a coherent argument. Then they say, "Well, you can't actually understand what you just said unless you understand the work of this other obscure Marxist writer. So educate yourselves more."

It's basically the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, the idea that when you point out a flaw in someone's argument, they say, "Well, that's a bad example."

After a while, it becomes obvious that there is no final destination for their bread-crumb trail. Everything they say is based on something that somebody else said, which is based on something somebody else said.

Take critical race theory. We're sure you've noticed by now that it is not evidence-based — at all. It is not, as academics say, a quantitative method. It doesn't use objective facts and data to arrive at conclusions. Probably because most of those conclusions don't have any basis in reality.

Critical race theory is based on feelings. These feelings are based on theories that are also based on feelings.

We wanted to trace the history of critical race theory back to the point where its special brand of evil began. What allowed it to become the toxic, racist monster that it is today?

Later, we'll tell you about some of the snobs who created critical theory, which laid the groundwork for CRT. But if you follow the bread-crumb trail from their ideas, you wind up with Marxism.

For years, the staff has devoted a lot of time to researching Marxism. We have read a lot of Marx and Marxist writing. It's part of our promise to you to be as informed as possible, so that you know where to go for answers; so that you know what to say when your back is up against the wall. What happens when we take the bread-crumb trail back farther, past Marxism? What is it based on?

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism.

It's actually based on the work of one of the most important philosophers in human history, a 19th-century German philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism. And, as you'll see in just a bit, if we look at Hegel's actual ideas, it's obvious that Marx completely misrepresented them in order to confirm his own fantasies.

So, in a way, that's where the bread-crumb trail ends: With Marx's misrepresentation of an incredibly important, incredibly useful philosophy, a philosophy that's actually pretty conservative.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.