This isn’t a blog post about gay people or gay marriage. Frankly, I’m fed up of Christians talking about gay marriage. There are far more poignant issues (in my opinion) to be concerned about than two consenting adults engaging in homosexual relations in the privacy of their own homes, and creating a legal contract to cement their relationship. I believe in the separation of church and state – therefore whether I agree with homosexuality or not, I cannot and would not want to enforce any kind of legal tape around homosexual behaviour. Gay people pay taxes just like me therefore they’re entitled to have a legal contract if they do so wish. Not only that, but if marriage is actually a spiritual joining of two people then what the state deems to be marriage is rather irrelevant to the Christian conception of it, no?
But white Christians as a general group, clearly feel that gay marriage is a more important issue than black men being killed. In fact, white Christians will lobby politicians, march down streets, boycott and write numerous articles against gay marriage, against a Christian baker being forced to decorate a pink cake for a gay wedding or a business being forced to add the morning after pill on health insurance for their fornicating employees, but on the matter of the undeniably disproportionate numbers of UNARMED black men being killed by law enforcement, both in America and in the UK (the majority of men who die in policy custody in the UK are black men although they do not make up the majority of the prison population), they are wonderfully silent. Not a peep. They will literally stand outside clinics and protest with fanfares and placards against the ‘murder’ of week old foetuses that don’t even have fully developed nervous systems but are strangely mute when men with families, boys who haven’t even had a chance to be men yet, are suffocated outside barber shops or with a bullet shot through their fully developed brains .Where are the church statements released for them? Where are the Bible texts for the mothers? Where are the national calls to prayer? Where are the night vigils? Where is the solidarity for their so called ‘brothers’ in Christ?
Maybe their white Jesus just doesn’t care about little black boys. Maybe he is too busy telling them that if they didn’t look so menacing with their hoods, that if they weren’t in the wrong place at the wrong time, they wouldn’t have been killed. Maybe he cares more about the potential life of a would be blastocyst eradicated by the morning after pill than he does about a 17 year old who was getting ready to go to college, who had family who were excited about waving their son, their brother, off into a life that defied all the stereotypes society had created for him. Maybe their white Jesus is too busy sitting in Republican conventions campaigning against the poor and disenfranchised getting access to better healthcare.
Maybe it’s the same white Jesus that causes white Christians to leave churches when black people start moving into the neighbourhood. Or the one that murmurs disingenuously about how awful our ‘segregated’ churches are whilst making sure their neighbourhoods stay ‘protected’ against hooded black teenagers. Maybe it’s the same white Jesus that prompts missionary trips to ‘Africa’ where the local people are treated as mere conduits for young white Christians self-actualisation rather than fellow human beings forging out a path in life. Maybe the problem is that too many white Christians can only see the image of God in a black face when it is a poor, pitied African child in need of adoption or water or food, and not their black colleague at work who they use as an outlet for their racial micro aggressions. Maybe white Christians are too happy benefitting from their privilege and power to confront the racism that is completely incongruent with their profession of faith. Maybe that’s the problem.
All I know, is that my Jesus is not like that. My Jesus has always been about justice for the poor, justice for those that society doesn’t care about enough, justice for Trayvon Martin, for Reneisha McBride, for Michael Brown, for Sean Rigg, for Christopher Alder, for all the black men and women who have died at the hands of people who didn’t know the Jesus I do, and who will hopefully one day come to know the love that he exhibited.
I think when I was more young and naive, I truly believed that the majority of white Christians were different from the majority of white people. Unfortunately the cancer of white supremacy is not immediately erased by a belief in the resurrection of Jesus. It is a socialised taught behaviour, and like any habit, it has to be confronted and unlearned. Unfortunately, if I have a son who is unjustly killed by police, I can count more on the Nation of Islam to support me than I can the white church. I don’t necessarily have any faith that white Christianity as an entity will ever cease to be infected by racism. I do have faith though, in the power of communities and individuals to make changes. I don’t know exactly how we go about that, but I do know that burying our heads in the sand and making pathetic musings about the ‘family of God’ that is actually not at all a family, is not part of the solution.
Peace and Power guys x