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Introduction to Blogpage C -
“Racism and Anti-Racism in the Church”

It is impossible to avoid the painful historical contradictions between what the Christian faith teaches and what the Christian church practices in regard to racism. On the one hand, the proclaimed beliefs and values of Christianity are fundamentally and profoundly anti-racist. Everything the church theoretically stands for is contrary to what racism stands for. On the other hand, the predominantly white Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in the United States have long and heartbreaking histories of practicing, promoting and supporting racism. Over the centuries, the sacred stories of Christianity have been repeatedly coopted and stolen and used in ways that give the appearance of divine approval of a nation grounded in white supremacy. Even still today, while many churches struggle to disassociate themselves from their pasts and to reshape themselves in ways that represent a multiracial and multicultural people of God, these efforts are impeded by a tendency to discount and deny the past and present, and to resist institutional change, resulting in severe limitations to commitments to transform the future.

This blog focuses on the challenge to the churches to become anti-racist in their identity and internal life, as well as to become a full participant in the societal struggle against racism. It is a theological task and a practical task involving no less than complete institutional transformation. It is a difficult task that requires the shaping of new paths of renewal. I intend for this blog to reflect the historic efforts, especially in the past fifty years, to bring about change in the church – efforts that reflect both heroic struggles and cowardly failures.

More importantly, I intend for this blog to reflect the churches’ enormous potentialities for moving forward in ways we have never tried before, potentialities for the reshaping of an anti-racist church. Recently, I wrote a book entitled Becoming an Anti-Racist Church (see details in Home Page’s Resource Section). In many ways, this blog is a continuation of the themes lifted up in that book. I invite sisters and brothers into dialogue and into recommitment to our becoming an anti-racist church.

As is the case with the other blogs in my website, you will be notified each time a new contribution to “Racism and Anti-Racism in the Church” appears (assuming I have your email).