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The Assimilated Negro Interviews Radosh about Christian Pop Culture

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I thought this to be a very interesting look into a group that most people I know would dismiss as “God Freaks” or “Holy Rollers.” Check out the whole interview at Ebony Jet.


TAN: You mention the “cultural divide between black and white christians” as being much bigger than mainstream. Can you explain?

…The white church has made a concerted and largely successful effort in the last few decades to cast racism as an intolerable sin, and most white Christians I met would eagerly embrace blacks, especially black Christians, as their brothers and sisters. But white evangelicals tend to be very personal-oriented. The concept of systemic racism wouldn’t really resonate with them. So there’s a sense that the problem is solved because there’s no personal hatred, and there’s not much effort to look at why there’s still such segregation in the church.

TAN: Dr. King said, “the most segregated hour in America is 11 AM Sunday morning”? What is it about religion that makes people draw firmer boundaries? If religion and a person’s spiritual choice is so personal, does it in a roundabout way offer a legitimate argument for separatism?

RADOSH: Sure. People need to put their guard down when they worship. They want to be with other people who understand them on a deep level. A church is like a family in that sense. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to recognize that while we can and should find commonality with all people, we’re most comfortable with people’s whose life experiences are most like ours, and we want to be completely comfortable in church. I would hope, of course, that if a black person is most comfortable in a majority white church, or vice versa, that the rest of the congregation would be comfortable with having them there. But desegregating churches doesn’t seem like the same essential goal as desegregating schools and workplaces…

…But just as it makes sense to speak of a gay sensibility or a black sensibility, with however many caveats, we can also speak of an evangelical sensibility. And there are elements of it that definitely have something to offer the rest of us. I was tremendously impressed with how many Christians try to live deliberately, with a clear sense that life has a purpose. I admired their willingness to help out friends and even strangers without a second thought. In terms of culture, the effort to emphasize human dignity and avoid degradation is certainly something that the mainstream could learn from. I’m not saying that all Christians are saints, of course, but these are ideals that carry a great deal of weight with many of them.

[Seen at Ebony Jet]

When we see blind support for McCain, Palin, or Bush, maybe it’s really just a big misunderstanding. MAYBE.

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