“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him,” Colossians 1:16-17 reads. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Of course, all people who God created have strayed from him and sinned, but they all can be welcomed back into the flock, if I’m reading my Bible correctly.
Or perhaps I’m not, at least according to Union Theological Seminary Dean Kelly Brown Douglas who insists, “You can’t be white and follow Jesus.”
Well, this is certainly a curious position to hold. Apparently, whiteness makes one unable to follow the Lord.
Douglas made the remarks to Episocal priest Mike Kinman during the Rector’s Forum at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, last month. They’re more complex and yet somehow more absurd than I’ve adumbrated above.
“Whiteness and Christianity just don’t go together,” she claims.
She mentions that whiteness is a construct that “blinds one to the possibilities of the richness of whom God has created us to be — and the possibilities of the fullness of the way in which we can live that out into this just vision that is God’s.”
But don’t worry: You can recover from your whiteness, too.
“Just because you look like a white American doesn’t mean you have to act like one,” Douglas said. “The first step on the road to recovery is to own one’s whiteness and realize how it keeps you from your true identity as a child of God.”
This isn’t just one isolated speech, either. In a Monday piece at Grace to You titled, “The New Segregation,” Darrell B. Harrison and Cameron Buettel note that this twisted form of social justice has been creeping into Christianity for some time now.
Beyond Douglas, they also cite pastor Thabiti Anyabwile. A council member with the Christian publisher The Gospel Coalition, Anyabwile says white people bear original sin for the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“While Anyabwile doesn’t go to the anathematizing extremes of Douglas, he still has no qualms accusing generations of white people of guilt by melanin regarding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘My white neighbors and Christian brethren can start by at least saying their parents and grandparents and this country are complicit in murdering a man who only preached love and justice,’” Harrison and Buettel note.