I don’t trust how conveniently Christianity is used to control Black people’s behavior around race matters. So, if a cop busts into my home and murders my family, my Christian faith calls for my blind forgiveness? Nah, fam.
Christianity, TRUMP and the for-profit false prophets
Published 10/19/2020 | Reading Time 3 mins 53 secs
By Autumn Brown, Senior Editor
During this current Black Lives Matter movement, the church has been under attack for their disinterested stance on race. I cut my ties with the church when the pastor of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church stood in solitude with Levi Pettit.
Pettit is a former OU student and former member of the SAE (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) fraternity. He was an active participant in chanting, “You can hang him from a tree, but he’ll never sign with me. There will never be a n***er at SAE” to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it.”
Though this article’s purpose does not center around this disgusting display of forgiveness shown by Dr. J.A. Reed, Jr. or the church’s uninvolved state, I will juxtapose the happenings of the world around us with a biblical verse found in Matthew.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about living in a twilight zone. Now I feel I have a better understanding and way of explaining this wretched state of life.
In Matthew 24:3-13 KJV, it says:
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
If you’re like me, this verse was a little scary because it holds big truths.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” The current inhabitant of the White House used our country’s first Black president, Barack Obama, to evoke fear into his base. He deceives his working-class voters into believing that his presidency benefits them, as if Tr**p would ever rub elbows with the backwoods citizens whose show of support is cult-like.
More than that, though, Tr**p actively works toward deceiving Americans into thinking that the most dangerous voices in America are academic elites, political elites and media elites, rather than his murdering far-right militia of radicals. For political gain Tr**p sprinkles into his rhetoric a dash of racism, using foreigners as scapegoats–a tragically effective tactic that causes disempowered working-class White people to blame Black people for their economic challenges.
Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If you can convince the lowest White man he’s better than the best-colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
Tr**p is easily the most anti-government populist, whose prolific lies have set off a brewing race war waiting to ignite. He’s a for-profit false prophet who wields Christianity like a prop using it to manipulate religious people.
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Interestingly enough, Christians have shown their hand using prayer rallies as blankets for their racism. Though, I expect very little from White Christians. First, let’s begin with the fact that the same empire that killed Christ turned around and created this religion in his name. I don’t trust Christianity because its origins are rooted in deceit and false hope.
Christianity’s transition into the Roman Empire’s dominant religion, during Constantine the Great’s reign (AD 306-337), clothed itself in political propaganda. Including the use of Christianity to colonize Native Americans and create docile African bodies, buried beneath this organized religion is a weaponizing tool used to wield power and dominance. And while I can’t say that I subscribe to this organized institution, I will say that I believe in Jesus. And I see that his teaching has been distorted and used to control women’s bodies, promote hate, and push personal agendas.
More importantly, though, I don’t trust how conveniently Christianity is used to control Black people’s behavior around race matters. So, if a cop busts into my home and murders my family, my Christian faith calls for my blind forgiveness? Nah, fam.
We are truly living in biblical times, as we are all at war with each other. The right vs. the left; black vs. white; Christians vs. non-believers, T**mp supporters vs. non-racists. Between social media and our news outlets, the world has become a highly-sensitive and polarizing place. We’re all fighting amongst each other but, what is this fight really about?
“And iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Iniquity is a noun and defined as immoral or grossly unfair behavior. At the root of our fight are equity and equality. A black woman is murdered in her sleep and her neighbors’ walls receive justice while her marked body remains invisible in the eyes of justice.
Iniquity is woven into American society’s fabric and has even been the cause of war—a war where Southern states fought against Northern states, where brother killed brother. Yet, in 2020 we are still fighting this same war.
“And there shall be famines and pestilences.” We are living in the middle of a fatal epidemic disease, COVID-19. There have been 7.49 million cases of Coronavirus in the United States and, sadly, over 200 thousand deaths. Natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis are occurring more frequently, California stays on fire (and not in the right way), and overall we are all living in fear.
These times are biblical. Monsters are loose on our planet, and evil is running our country. The world is crumbling: fish-less oceans, thick smog, disease spreading like wildfire, wildfire spreading like a disease. But the thing is, within us, we all possess the power to evoke change. Every “small” yes empowers the corrupt; this is how good wo/men turn sour, and how bad wo/men win. Though it may seem as though we are unable to put the genie back into the bottle, we cannot remain apathetic toward evil doings and say nothing. Allowing wickedness makes you just as culpable as actually doing the deed yourself.
Matthew’s biblical message stems from the idea that suffering and strife will grant the second coming; Jesus will return to restore glory. In one way or another, the state of the world today is insufferable. Evil is contagious. Greed is catching, and unfortunately, that has consequences for the world. Despite it all, I encourage us all to remain on the side of good. “[For] he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Autumn Brown is a doctoral candidate in social foundations of education at Oklahoma State University. Social foundations analyzes and explains educational issues, policies, and practices through the lenses of history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies. Its goal is to improve the educational experiences for members belonging to marginalized groups. Her dissertation will be educational biographies of Clara Luper, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, and Nancy Randolph Davis. She also researches racial body politics, sexuality, and intimate justice for black women. She has published a book chapter titled “Breaking the silence: Black women’s experience with abortion,” and has presented her work on the intense policing of the black female body nationally. Autumn plans on continuing her pursuits in bringing awareness to the injustices imposed on members within her community, and advocating for equitable education for black and brown students. She plans on finishing her Ph.D. in December 2020 and hopes to move into a tenure-tracked faculty position at a top tier research university or into the Non-Profit Sector.