Streams

Black Theology vs. the Black Church

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and the author of The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness, traces the roots of and seeks to bridge the gap between the socially progressive black theology and the more personally conservative black church.

Guests:

Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, Ph.D.

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Comments [26]

A listener

[[[blacksocialist from BKbaby

not that what you say is that revelatory. i do disagree with your insouciance with regard to racism and its effects, as well as the so called "success" of immigrant groups. one must always recognize that the immigrants that come here and a self selected group. they are the outliers if you will of their respective countries. in other words for every immigrant success story here, there are may times more individuals in their home countries that are doing less well than the "lazy shiftless" blacks which you seem to believe exist here. Jan. 29 2014 12:14 PM]]

Not that what I say is revelatory? It would be revelatory to the "minister" who spoke on air and missed the point.

Broad strokes, an "outlier" immigrant father comes home from a double shift driving a cab or working a food cart and his son says he didn't do his homework because he "didn't feel like it."

You know what that is?

Pure fiction.

Because there isn't a kid on earth stupid enough to put himself in that position. In the immigrant community, "Wait until your father comes home" still has meaning. In the "black" American community, where countless children have never met their fathers, it doesn't hold much sway.

Here's the point...do a census of the inmates at your county jail. Mostly black, mostly single-parent, female headed homes. The fathers abandoned the children. That ain't racism. That's punk, sucka behavior.

Stop blaming racism and start calling out punk sucka black men who abandon their children.

Real talk? When a real man steps into his house, things get straightened out very quickly. "Did you do your homework? Let me see it."

And mad props to strong women...when a real mother puts her foot down, all foolishness stops on a dime.

But when punk suckas abandon their children, you see the results.

You don't need Jeebus or some fake minister or a return to some other generation. You need to be on your kids 24/7...love them, praise them, demand the best and demand respect.

Racism ain't got nothing to do with what happens inside the walls of your house.

Ba a man and raise your children.

If you think your kid dropped out of school and landed in prison because of racism, you give racism too much power and shoulder too little of the blame.

Don't be a punk sucka.

We shall overcome!

Sucka.

Jan. 29 2014 01:04 PM
Pants on fire

[[Ed from Larchmont
The Black community, though, is being decimated by abortion, losing many of their young people. Alveta King is trying to get the Church to speak out about it.
Jan. 29 2014 11:42 AM]]

The "black" community is being decimated by its own performance in schools. Sixty percent of black males don't graduate from high school. Where do you think that kind of performance will land a community? Unless you are going to state that only Rhodes scholars are being aborted, your point is absurd.

Let's deal with the children who are here. Raise some standards. Compete. Win.

Jan. 29 2014 12:25 PM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

a listener - well, it stand corrected, and i must admit to agreeing with you. not that what you say is that revelatory. i do disagree with your insouciance with regard to racism and its effects, as well as the so called "success" of immigrant groups. one must always recognize that the immigrants that come here and a self selected group. they are the outliers if you will of their respective countries. in other words for every immigrant success story here, there are may times more individuals in their home countries that are doing less well than the "lazy shiftless" blacks which you seem to believe exist here......

Jan. 29 2014 12:14 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

In one of his routines, comedian Chris Rock asks:

Who is more racist? White people or Black people?

Chris says: Black people. Because Black people hate Black people too.

fuva and socialist, you are your own worst enemy.

Jan. 29 2014 12:11 PM
A listener

[[blacksocialist from BKbaby
a listener - wow, thanks for the insight into the struggles of "the blacks" and repudiating the silly notion that racism is alove and well. you must be a white man with such an informed analysis of how to cure what ills "the blacks". huh, thanks white man....
Jan. 29 2014 11:48 AM]]

No, baby. I'm black as black can be. And you know what we say in my black community? We say, "Handle your business."

Raise your children. Turn your "baby momma" into a wife. Live in the same house as your children. Demonstrate moral behavior.

Grow up.

Stop whining about what people did to you and start celebrating what you've done for yourself.

Because, guess what, at the end of the day no one cares about your problems and no one cares about your excuses.

If you're going to take a page from history, don't bother following some poverty pimp minister...look at those photos where people held signs that said "I AM A MAN!"

Be a man or be a sucka, the choice is yours. Meanwhile, while "black" immigrants run circles around you.

Jan. 29 2014 12:04 PM
steve from queens

to the last caller, it has taken me a while but I am coming around to the same thoughts. I too am somewhat left leaning but have moved more middle ground on race relations and social welfare in the past 10 years. Now, the problem that you mention does not only affect black americans - I have a very white relation who has made little effort to get and maintain a job and she has found a way to skim along on assistance. this is a white and black problem and the root is the same; the white liberals who keep saying certain people need our help. It started because this country screwed generations of black americans. Johnson's great society attempted to correct a great wrong, but all it did was create generations of entitlement. it has become my belief that the democratic party has begun to exist solely to tell these (white and black) people "you need us because you need our help". I am a registered democrat and while I loath republicans I have little faith in the democratic party and actually think that some of the wealthy liberals in this country are as selfish and self centered as the republicans (though that is another topic).

Jan. 29 2014 11:53 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Elsie -- Great point.

Jan. 29 2014 11:53 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The fact the caller cited, that black people in England aren't doing so well either, doesn't prove anything about black people themselves. Does the caller think there's no prejudice on the part of white people in the UK? (BTW, the British define "black" as including dark-skinned people w/South Asian as well as African ancestry; I have a friend in London who's from Sri Lanka & is often expected by white people not to be as smart, etc., as they are.) His blanket stereotype of Chinese immigrants doesn't apply to all of that group either (that's why it's a stereotype).

Jan. 29 2014 11:50 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

a listener - wow, thanks for the insight into the struggles of "the blacks" and repudiating the silly notion that racism is alove and well. you must be a white man with such an informed analysis of how to cure what ills "the blacks". huh, thanks white man....

Jan. 29 2014 11:48 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

I really don't understand why Blacks pray to a religion that was largely responsible for enslaving them. Given this, it's little wonder they have made so little progress in comparison to other communities. It's like Jews converting to Protestantism after the Holocaust.

The nonsense spirituality that Blacks have been fed over the years has really done nothing to pull heir community out of poverty, nor has it put an end to racism. In fact, racism is alive and well in the US and talking about Jesus isn't going to change that. Nor is it going to educate your children. Or ours, for that matter. I say less religion, more critical thinking. The Supreme Court just dismantled the Voting Rights Act - where are the protests? Do Blacks today even know what the Voting Rights Act is? Enough with the Jesus nonsense.

Jan. 29 2014 11:48 AM
kierstin from NJ

I only wish the Black church wasn't named in the title of his book because I feel like it makes me, as a VERY white Christian woman look like a fraud referencing it. These are issues which run rampant throughout the American Evangelical Church, I do not want to sound as tho I think these are someone else's issues and I don't want to sound as if I have much- if anything even at all, in common with the black experience in America. But I'm so glad to hear the issues being raised.
WNYC-Thank You SO much for having him on!

Jan. 29 2014 11:48 AM
jc

To the gentleman who talked about the success of Asian-Americans: after 3 generations in this country immigrants fall out of the upper levels in academic achievement. New immigrant groups replace them at the top. What is it that America does to people that causes people who have been here for generations to lose rather than gain in academic, and presumably, economic status?

Jan. 29 2014 11:47 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Pathetic. That "reformed white liberal" brought it, and this black pastor did NOT step up...And it's because -- despite his degrees and title and etc. -- he doesn't UNDERSTAND the history and, therefore, the present, and so he CANNOT be effective...That "reformed white liberal" exemplifies rampant counterproductive race-ignorance, but maybe more people spewing such nonsense will ultimately advance discourse..

Jan. 29 2014 11:47 AM
A listener

The reason blacks under-perform in school and are over-represented in jails and prisons is that there are so many single-parent, female-headed households. It has nothing to do with racism. To end poverty, you need two people raising a child.

Brian, are you with the mother of your children? Would you abandon them and expect them to thrive?

The minister is full of garbage. Shockingly, I won't be buying his book (or his crap).

Jan. 29 2014 11:44 AM
Nabique S

sigh.. same tired old stuff. nothing new here folks

Jan. 29 2014 11:44 AM
S from Queens

A caller just commented about how children come to the US from China and do better in school that most American children - I think the caller should consider that many of the kids from countries like China are raised to not question authority and stay quiet. Is that a good education? Is that all we want from students? Just to get good grades? Education is more than that.

Jan. 29 2014 11:43 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Black community, though, is being decimated by abortion, losing many of their young people. Alveta King is trying to get the Church to speak out about it.

Jan. 29 2014 11:42 AM
IMHO

Black "ministers" are more interested in following the path of Al Sharpton than they are in following the path of MLK.

Whenever there is a tragedy in the "black" community, you'd better step aside or risk getting run over by black "ministers" rushing to get in front of the television cameras.

But to twist a line from Jesse Jackson (the minister, not the federal prison inmate), there are more black men in prison than there are in the pews of storefront churches.

Jan. 29 2014 11:39 AM
John A

Thanks for having this, a segment to broaden WNYCs palette of subjects. In general the station tends to reflect NY city's secularity - only.

Jan. 29 2014 11:36 AM
A listener

Here's what so-called ministers need to do in order to regain some measure of credibility. Feed the hungry, house the homeless and clothe the naked.

So-called ministers in fancy cars and shiny double breasted suit who lust after political power and a spot on cable news are part of the problem.

Stop harking back to the 1960s when whites were killing blacks. Go stand on street corners where blacks are killing blacks. You're just a man. If all you do is talk, then you're just a man with a big mouth.

Jan. 29 2014 11:34 AM
john from office

SOOOOO, bad behavior is excused because of the number of people in jail??

How about not being involved in criminal activity. Blame everone else, but the man in the mirror.

Jan. 29 2014 11:31 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Black Church is a wonderful power in our country.

Jan. 29 2014 11:27 AM
Ed

Oops, my comment was meant for President Obama and the State of the Union, not for Reverend Warnock.

Jan. 29 2014 11:27 AM

It should be noted just what "socially progressive" [sic], when used in contexts such as these, actually means.

Upon examination it becomes rather apparent that only from a decidedly skewed and, dare I say, perverse, perspective can much of the agenda in question here be considered progressive.

Promotion of a gruesome, inordinately disease-spreading act (a major component of the "LGBT(Q)" Agenda), the triumph of hedonistic self-gratification and assertion over the sanctitiy of life (unrestricted abortion-on-demand), are two examples out of what are many, that easily come to mind.

Do note, however, that odd political alignments (esp. U.S.-based) notwithstanding, I do not find any /inherent/ interdependence, or even connection, between the aforementioned "social progressivism" [sic] and /economic/ progressivism, including any number of strains of socialism.

Consider, for example, a figure such as William Jennings Bryan (a perennial write-in candidate of mine, by the way). Or even, perhaps, at least to a degree, British MP George Galloway. (Whatever his faults may be.)

Jan. 29 2014 11:13 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The black church currently has no answer for the challenges of the black community. It's pathetic.

Jan. 29 2014 10:26 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It's interesting, he is a pro-abortion person. But he didn't mention it, even though it's one of his main concerns.

Jan. 29 2014 10:21 AM

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