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Re-Release: White Evangelical Racism with Anthea Butler.
I’m sorry I missed releasing an episode last week; I came down with a short cold and was unable to complete edits on my upcoming episodes. However, I wanted to make sure that something was released this week, and this prior interview I conducted with Anthea Butler remains as relevant as ever.
As you’ll hear, Dr. Butler is a professor of religion and the author of the book White Evangelical Racism. Her book is an incredible volume that speaks to the long history of racism within evangelical belief and practice. As we’ve seen in the past year here in the United States in the context of school board protests, book banning, and conservative outcry over academic frameworks like Critical Race Theory that seek to understand and discuss our racist history, too many people - especially too many white people - aren’t willing, either emotionally or intellectually, to reckon with this past. These conversations aren’t pleasant, these realities aren’t pleasant, and they bring up complicated feelings like guilt and shame in white people who are ignorant of these aspects of history. But guess what - the realities of slavery and subsequent injustices and cruelties under white supremacy, Jim Crow, and other forms of racism that persist today were far less pleasant than avoiding emotional work. But within white supremacy, ignorance is only a shield for white people; for all others, it is a liability - and Dr. Butler’s book helps shed necessary light on aspects of white evangelical history that evangelical historians would prefer to ignore. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Dr. Butler, which we had in March 2021.
These are the types of conversations that I believe are incredibly valuable. Regardless of whatever label you use to describe yourself, whether you identify as Christian, exChristian, evangelical, exvangelical, or whether you eschew as many labels as possible, what is important is that we reckon honestly with our cultural and religious inheritance, and decide for ourselves that we repudiate the harm it has caused and commit to justice today.
Let me know what you think.