Why Are “Certain” American Evangelical Leaders Silent on The Supreme Court Decision and the Black Plight?

In an article Why the Supreme Court Said “No to Black, Yes to Gays,” Rabbi Michael Lerner says, “the Supreme Court overturned a central part of the Voting Rights Act that had been one of the main accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement for African Americans” and how “Southern states, consistent with the racist legacy of slavery which has shaped their politics for the past 150 years at least, are now rushing to put in place new rules to make it more difficult for African Americans to vote.”

I wonder where are the Robert Jeffress, the Franklin Grahams, the Rick Scarboroughs, the George O. Woods, the Al Mohlers who are standing up publicly, from their public platforms for African Americans, “While the Supreme Court decision reminds us that racism against Blacks remains far more deeply implanted in America’s economic and political institutions, and in the consciousness of many Americans.”

But we hear nothing about this sin against fellow human beings.  Rather, we are hearing endless polemics and rhetoric about how we are losing the fight on traditional marriage, while we are reminded daily of “the effects of economic inequality, unequal access to health care and jobs and healthy food and crime-free communities and well-financed primary and middle and high schools not just in the South but throughout these United States.”

It’s the blatant hypocrisy of these leading American evangelical leaders that is on display here.  As a black man, living in this nation, I can only pray for eyes and hearts to be opened, and for genuine, Christ-exalting actions to follow.

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15 Responses to Why Are “Certain” American Evangelical Leaders Silent on The Supreme Court Decision and the Black Plight?

  1. Lon says:

    as a white man who follows Christ… I want to know more about what you mentioned here about “America’s economic and political institutions.” I’m (sadly) ignorant, perhaps, insulated, but not intentionally.

    • TC says:

      Lon, I really can’t begin to elaborate on this matter. We’re talking several posts here. But suffice me to simply add that black sounding cry since the days of the Civil Rights: “Justice and Jobs.” For example, as quoted in the post, which is a daily experience, consider this: “the effects of economic inequality, unequal access to health care and jobs and healthy food and crime-free communities and well-financed primary and middle and high schools” This is real for the black man in America.

      Blacks continue to be slighted and suspected in this great nation. Now consider the psychological effects of this treatment for decades. They physical chains may be off but the psychological effects are there.

      Now I know many of my white brothers and sisters who are not of this disposition. I work with them all the time. I know them. But I’m speaking of an American system that has set up the black community to fail and not much is being done to alleviate this. Yes, we have made improvements here and there as a nation. But we’re still to slow on jobs and justice for blacks. I’m only pointing to the facts here. Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.

      • Lon says:

        sure. thanks. I asked because whatever injustices you perceive are invisible to me. I don’t experience them, therefore I don’t know that they exist.

  2. TC says:

    Lon, I understand. Not your fault. But these injustices are real as the air we’re breathing right now.

  3. David Beirne says:

    Help me out here in understanding. Here in Texas there is a push for having state issued id presented to be able to vote. If you don’t have a license, the fee is : 59 yrs old and under, $16 for six years; Over 60, $6 never expires. Is this viewed as unfair?

  4. David Beirne says:

    By “this”, I mean requiring identification to does not seem to be unreasonably priced.

  5. TC says:

    David, at some point, we need to ask why is it becoming more and more difficult to vote? And why is it that certain demographics are more affected that others? Should we not perceive something of a trend here?

    • David Beirne says:

      I turned 18 in 1980. Admittedly the biggest hassle I have had is finding the polling place for the minor (i.e., city or county wide only) elections. Otherwise, it is no more difficult for me to vote than it was in 1980. For the last 7 years I have been living 2 hours from Mexico. If I bring my voter registration card they don’t ask for other id. My wife is clearly hispanic and she presents her card OR her driver license and there is no problem. We in Texas are one of the states that is often accused of impeding voters. We’re not experiencing the kind of problems that might prevent us from voting. In this area polling places would have every reason to be suspicious of non-english speaking hispanic trying to vote (though ballots are bi-lingual).

      What specifically is happening that makes it more difficult to vote? Is it beyond registering and keeping address updated?

      We have an adult child and I think the address on his license is our house which he hasn’t lived in for 5 years. If he bothered to vote, he would have difficulty because he lives 4 hours from us.

      • TC says:

        David, don’t you get the impression that a certain demographic is being targeted?

      • David Beirne says:

        Where I live, yes; Hispanics, due to the influx of illegal immigration. To preserve the integrity of the vote I expect this; as does my Hispanic wife. Most of the jokes I hear about voter fraud refer to the Daly days, a very white family. While your statements above about the black experience are well verified, is there still a problem in the black community with ability to vote? This is why I am confused by the president’s statements. The Texas voter ID movement is about preventing non-citizens from voting. So yes, there is a demographic being targeted, and in my opinion justifiably so.

        This quote: “While the Supreme Court decision reminds us that racism against Blacks remains far more deeply implanted in America’s economic and political institutions, and in the consciousness of many Americans.”
        But looking at this country’s leadership, have we not come a long long way?

        And yet, ““the effects of economic inequality, unequal access to health care and jobs and healthy food and crime-free communities and well-financed primary and middle and high schools not just in the South but throughout these United States.” We still have a long way to go. But where I live, I see this economic inequality going across the color lines. Lots of black, brown, yellow, red, and white kids don’t stand a chance because of what they are growing up in.

  6. TC says:

    David, my point exactly. Unfortunately, voting issues have a tendency of rehashing these disenfranchisement concerns within the black community. The psychological effects run deep. I quite agree with ID laws to ensure that those illegally here not allowed to vote.

    Yes, we have come along way, but we’re still limping, and in fact, it may also be argued that we’re taking backward steps.

  7. Simon says:

    TC, I think anyone with a little bit of empathy can recognise what has happened to African Americans and the inbuilt prejudice that still exist and are perpetuated – sometimes, or perhaps especially, by white evangelicals. This is one of my main criticisms of American evangelicalism: namely the lack of empathy. The inability to even imagine what it would be like for someone who is less fortunate. Of course, not all are like this. But it is a peculiarly American, Southern, white evangelical thing. I actually think it is their harsh theology that shapes much of attitudes on this issue.

    I don’t pretend to know what it is like being an African American and effectively treated like a second class citizen. But I can try to empathise with the enormous challenges of what being black in America is like. Isn’t this what the Golden Rule is all about?

    • TC says:

      Simon, let’s just say that the appropriation of proper theology in shaping our American experience has taken a back seat to ingrain prejudice and hatred. It’s sad and unfortunate.

  8. Brian says:

    My wife is a naturalized citizen, originally from Mexico. Her father used to work for the Instituto Federal Electoral, the equivalent of our federal election commission. In Mexico, a photo voter ID card issued by the IFE must be shown at the polling place to receive a ballot.

    If we had something similar, provided free by the government, would that overcome the objections of economic barriers to voting?

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