The fact is, these black churches have not shaken the legacy of slavery. Black slaves would pray for their white masters to turn a solid cotton profit this year.
Since this election, dawn of Easter, Season 2 of Greenleaf, Islamophobia, homophobia, church sex scandals and the DeVos family promising the public school system to the Protestant church, my obstinance to the church has been renewed. I haven’t been back to a church, specifically a black church, in a while, but I am catching their messages via social media. You know, Bedside Baptist. The latest message has been from Black Baptist preachers who are offering their in-kind support of President Donald J. Trump.
As if the homophobia wasn’t enough to keep me away.
Pastors, including black pastors, have been coming out in droves, asking their congregations to “pray for Trump.” As if we are to pray away his hate, misogyny, racism and now pray away the war in Syria. That somehow the collective power of our whispered prayer will persuade him to wake up one day, delivert from his ways — without his participation. My understanding of this request is that we are to pray that someone else is successful even if it means our own undoing, because it is the Christian thing to do. Or are we to pray that he gains wisdom, empathy and insight, even though he clearly believes that he needs none?
Say what now?
Do you recognize that if Trump is successful in his agenda, he will privatize the public school systems, sell prisons to the highest bidder, so anyone, qualified or not can get federal funds to run them, and get rich, without oversight? He’ll encourage homophobia, criminalize Islam, cut federal funding to charities, take choices away from women to control their bodies — oh, wait. I guess that does make a lot of sense. Turns out the church has been promoting Trump’s agenda for years.
The fact is, these pastors have not shaken the legacy of slavery. Black slaves would pray for their white masters to turn a solid cotton profit this year.
During slavery, slave owners used Black clergy and the Bible to support enslavement. White pastors worked with black pastors to brainwash slaves into thinking they were exactly where they should be in the eyes of God and white man. Yes, the Good Word said it, so it must be true. Their favorite had to be Ephesians 6:5; “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” Have you listened to a good slave hymn lately? It was so effective, slaves believed that they would only find respite in death, because this Earthly life was nothing to celebrate.
The fault is not all on the preachers. There is a special type of churchgoer who will subscribe to whatever the pastor delivers. They vote how they say, buy homes in the neighborhoods the church owns, send them to prescribed schools. They believe that these ordained men — and, in some cases, women — have been “called” to the pulpit by God, and could not misdirect. I don’t understand being called, but would like to think of this “calling” is in the same way I am “called” to endless Mimosas on a groggy Sunday morning.
Given the dark context around church, white supremacy and black mind manipulation, it would appear that all preachers would stray away from manipulating congregations to accept oppressive leadership as God’s plan. When the black church was able to shake the slavery legacy, it moved toward using the church as a means to mobilize the Civil Rights movement. And now, here we are again, using the Bible to justify white supremacy and black mind manipulation. You can miss me with that. I am saving my prayers for Syria.
Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.”