Davidson College is trying to school its students.
By “students,” I mean churches.
By “churches,” I mean white ones.
As reported by Campus Reform, the North Carolina school — as described by TheRichest.com, “one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation” — will shell out $1 million to educate “white-dominant” congregations.
The subject: how to work toward racial equity.
To be clear, the funds come courtesy of Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Lilly’s a private foundation concerned with race and faith-focused charitable enterprises.
Davidson’s project is called “Churches That THRIVE for Racial Justice.”
Of course, “justice” is a subjective term.
Once upon a time, it implied equal opportunity.
But if “equity” — equality of outcome — is the goal, that’s a tall order.
And as it turns out, white churches have a problem that’s radically racist.
Hence, per Davidson online, the project will employ a cool mil to “shed light on the challenges of racism among white dominant congregations in North America.”
Furthermore, it will “build on their commitment to racial equity and expand their capacity for confronting racial justice.”
More from the webpage:
Gerardo Martí, L. Richardson King Professor of Sociology at Davidson College, will lead the project in partnership with Paula Clayton Dempsey, director of partnership relations for the Alliance of Baptists (a denominational partner of Myers Park Baptist). The project’s core team also includes sociologists Mark Mulder, of Calvin University and Kevin Dougherty, of Baylor University, who’ve spent their careers examining racial and ethnic dynamics in American churches.
If I may offer some extraneous info: Since the project is aimed at educating whites on how not to be racist (presumably due to an assumption that whites are racist), it may be relevant to point out that Gerardo, Paula, Mark, and Kevin are all white.
Even so, Paula’s psyched to smoke out systemic sin:
“As we engage in the thriving congregations project, the leadership of the Alliance of Baptists hopes our congregational partners will actively embrace our already stated commitment to expose and address embedded systemic racism.”
Healing lies ahead:
“And by doing so, we will heal as our systems change and as we develop identities and practices that are inclusive of multi-cultural ways of doing ministry in today’s world.”
So what exactly are the “multi-cultural” methods of having church?
Apparently, they partly relate to hammering heteronormativity:
“Having defined the denomination early as welcoming women into full partnership in ministry and engaging in ecumenical and interfaith partnerships, the Alliance evolved to affirm and embrace the LGBTQ community.”
White whittled away at what was once wonderful:
“Now the denomination is committing to finding a way to repair the damage done by white dominance within itself, church and society in order to nurture community.”
From the looks of headlines the whole web wide, white people have really made a mess of things:
Mental Health Journal's Article on 'Parasitic Whiteness' Laments There's 'Not Yet a Permanent Cure'
— RedState (@RedState) June 11, 2021
Professor Reveals List of America's 'Whitest Law Schools,' Proposes an End to Testing to Eliminate 'Excess Whiteness'
— RedState (@RedState) March 10, 2021
And white supremacy is everywhere:
Back to Davidson, its announcement champions the timing:
The funding from the Thriving Congregations Initiative comes at a strategic moment in the history of the Alliance. In 2018, Alliance leaders framed racial justice as a critical need in the current national context and issued a new denominational statement of commitment that begins: “Systemic racism has been a part of the history of the United States of America and continues to exist. We, the Alliance Board of Directors and Staff, recognize that our organization was born out of white privilege and white supremacy.”
Per point man Gerardo Martí, The Alliance is gonna fight those pro-slavery Baptists:
“The Alliance emerged out of a denomination whose history is deeply entangled with Christian support for slavery.”
Thankfully, they’re willing to clean house:
“By taking a mirror to themselves, they’re saying not only that racial injustice is a problem, but also that they’re willing to take a hard look at how aspects of racial oppression and racial marginalization may remain amidst their churches, even though they are among the boldest Christian advocates speaking out against racism today.”
We’ll see how it goes.
But judging by all the related links above, perhaps Davidson needs to take up some offerings while they’re at church — fixing America (or even just the religious racists) is going to require a lot more than a measly million dollars.
Still, the college is no one-trick pony; it’s endeavoring upon a multi-faceted fixing of society:
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) July 17, 2021
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