Wednesday, March 19, 2008


So Reverend Wright was Obama's mentor, easing him into the message of Christianity and Black American identity.

What do Christianity and Black identity mean for Reverend Wright, though?

The Iconoclast tries to excavate the intellectual influences that shaped Wright's by now well known worldview:

James Cone is a professor at New York's Union Theological Seminary and one of the main proponents of "Black Liberation Theology" that Obama's Reverend Wright preaches. WND reported on him here. These quotes were taken from Andrew Bostom's blog.

James Cone, quoted in William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in
African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, pp. 850, 856.

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.

From James Cone’s own,
Black Theology and Black Power, 1997, Orbis, p.150:

For white people, God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ means that God has made black people a beautiful people; and if they are going to be in relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches. They want God without blackness, Christ without obedience, love without death. What they fail to realize is that in America, God’s revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white. Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man’s depravity. God cannot be white even though white churches have portrayed him as white. When we look at what whiteness has done to the minds of men in this country, we can see clearly what the New Testament meant when it spoke of the principalities and powers. To speak of Satan and his powers becomes not just a way of speaking but a fact of reality. When we can see a people who are controlled by an ideology of whiteness, then we know what reconciliation must mean. The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).

It's all too complicated for me. What I can decipher is the idea that authentic Christianity is Black and cannot be anything but black. How do you convert to a skin colour?

I found the same exclusion of whites in what

Farrakhan says: "This young man [Obama] is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow.

Or Hamid Dabbashi says: The critical question of course at this conjuncture is that if we coloured and marginal folks -- we Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Arabs, Muslims and all the most recent (legal and illegal) immigrants to this land -- will have the courage and the imagination that Barack Obama lacks. Will we cross a fence and extend a hand to a man who is after all one of us... "

What is the common feature that unifies Farrakhan, Dabbashi, Wright, a feature that thoroughly transcends their respective religions?

What kind of "hope" do they perceive in Obama's presidential campaign? What kind of "unifying" do they anticipate from their chosen candidate?

Isn't it funny how Jesus is either white or black, but never what he really was, Jewish? What's this all about?


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