today in black history

May 25, 2018

Civil rights icon and NAACP leader Lilly Carroll Jackson was born in 1889 in Baltimore.

A God Unfamiliar to Me

POSTED: May 15, 2018, 12:00 pm

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The killing of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli government in the name of Biblical prophesy is an act of heresy that deserves worldwide condemnation. This gross abuse of human rights is rooted in the hypocrisy and politicization of religious fundamentalism run amuck. The occupation of indigenous occupied lands and the violence inflicted upon native peoples has always occurred under the cover of God; but a God created in the minds of men with evil intent. There is nothing godly in the impoverishment of human beings or the murder of children. God is a stranger in these lands and in these times; a fugitive seeking the righteous and forsaken.

It is not only the bloodshed in Israel that mocks God. It is the tenor and tone of evil and wrongdoing among political leadership. This is the “spiritual wickedness in high places” that my Bible warns as the root of evil. It is men doing wicked things in the name of God that is setting the course for the destruction of humankind. Yes, it won’t be water but fire the next time and we are being engulfed by the flames of warmongering and profiteering. It is the taking of lands for political gain and profit. It is the poisoning of our natural resources and the rape of the environment for corporate dividends. It is the killing of innocent civilians to crush our spirits and oppress us psychologically. It is the abuse of our children to condition them to servitude. It is the incarceration of fathers and mothers to destroy our families and destabilize our community. It is the closing of borders to preserve white privilege. It is the proliferation of firearms in our community under the cover of the Constitution as a means to make death our constant companion. False prophets peddle a false God.

As a Black American raised as a Christian from birth, God only has significance to me in the context of my earthly liberation. I may seek heaven but it is my human condition, today, at this moment, for which I appeal to a right-now God. The late Rev. Dr. James H. Cone put it best in his book A Black Theology of Liberation.

“From the very beginning to present day, American white theological thought has been “patriotic,” either by defining the theological task independently of black suffering (the liberal northern approach) or by defining Christianity as compatible with white racism (the conservative southern approach). In both cases theology becomes a servant of the state, and that can only mean death to blacks.”

“God is not dead in America. God has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom; not money but the soul of this nation.”

God is not dead in America. God has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom; not money but the soul of this nation. The smiles of men and women in civic leadership - claiming victory in homelessness, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, the abuse of children, poverty and discrimination - while proclaiming divine prophecy is heresy. It is evil and it is vile. As is the profiteering by clergy who shelter their bigotry in scripture and serve as disciples of death and destruction while enriching themselves through the ignorance and manipulation of their flock. They offer salvation in heaven as they baptize their followers in pools of hate. Their vestments are stained not by the blood of Jesus, but by the blood of Black and brown human sacrifice.

We are witnessing an unprecedented attack on God. No, it is not as simplistic as arguing that prayer in school will fix it. When prayer was in school Blacks were being legally lynched and Jim Crow was the rule of law. Prayers to a God of white supremacy is a death sentence. America’s God fixation has been manipulative and only used only for empire building. The height of the hypocrisy is the inclusion of “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency. The God we trust and worship in America is the currency. The mistrust of ‘religion’ is because faith has been so manipulated to serve evil ends. A critique of religion without a critique of the effects of the destructive forces of capitalism and militarism on faith will always leave us searching for a God that makes sense in our wilderness experience.

We are on the precipice. For those who profess their faith, who claim kinship with the Almighty, our silence in the present hour betrays our commission. God must be present in us to wage war against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Evil has been revealed. We have but one chance to destroy it.


Walter Fields is Executive Editor of NorthStarNews.com.

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