Friday, May 16, 2008

What's Wrong With Wright

I recently looked up the definition of Black Liberation Theology, which Rev. Wright espouses. The black liberation theology has its roots in the 1960s civil-rights activism and draws inspiration from both the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

Its founder the Rev. James Cone says that the core of black liberation theology is an effort in a white-dominated society, in which defines black as evil to make the gospel relevant to the life and struggles of American blacks. Its goal is to help black people learn to love themselves and teach black people how to be both unapologetically black and Christian at the same time.

On the surface such a movement seems harmless until you look deeper into the belief system. Rev Cone defines the movement this way, “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."

The error in this theology is many fold. The first erroneous premise is that God must belong to the black community. God is not help hostage to any community. He is a community all to himself and he invites all people of every skin color to be a part of his community through Jesus Christ. To say that God must belong to the black community or any other community for that matter as a condition for acceptance is nothing more than idolatry.

Secondly, this form of theology can only work if there is true white oppression. In the absence of white oppression, black liberation theology doesn’t work or make any sense. This may explain the consent mantra of white oppression coming from the likes of Rev. Wright. White oppression is the backbone in which holds up this warped theology. America is now four (4) generations removed from slavery and forced segregation is now four decades removed. No longer is there any laws on the books that discriminate against people because of skin color and forced segregation is now foreign to most Americans.

While there are still pockets of prejudice and bigotry in our country shared by weak minded people of all skin colors, the vast majority of Americans hate racism and the thought of discrimination of anyone based on race is repulsing.

Thirdly, black liberation theology becomes is a self-fulfilling prophesy of isolation which results in continued economic and social poverty. The theology on one hand calls for blacks to be self-reliant and to care for their own, but in doing so they end up insolating themselves from the larger economic and social market. The black population makes up 13.5% of the US population. By limiting its focus to the 13.5% of the population it excludes the other 86.5% of the population. This self imposed limitation results in fewer jobs, less opportunity, less prosperity, fewer resources etc. In turn, the theology blames white oppression for what is in fact self-imposed economic and social isolation.

To illustrate the absurdity of this theology, let’s examine the counter reality of two highly successful black people.

Michael Jordan arguably may be the best basketball player of our generation and Opra Winfrey the most successful TV Talk Show host of this generation. Not withstanding his tremendous ability on the basketball court and Opra’s talent and ability, Jordan and Winfrey are masters at marketing their name. Anything they endorse and put their name behind sells because of their brand. Their market is particular demographics of all races. The result is they are both tremendously successful.

Should Jordan or Winfrey follow black liberation theology, they would only focus their brand to blacks only. They would in turn go from marketing their brand to 100% of their targeted demographics of all races down to 13.5% resulting in a loss of 86.5% market share. The result will be less influence, less money and less opportunity.

What’s wrong with the Rev. Wright is his theology is flawed, his perceived world view of whites and their so-called oppression of blacks are distorted and he is blinded by his own bigotry, prejudice and a black form of racism. While Wright is a skilled communicator, very learned and studied man, the message he so passionately espouses only continues to hold the black community down instead of lifting it up. It should be that in all our hearts we want our neighbor, whatever the skin color to prosper and experience the great opportunities this country has to offer.

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