Tag Archives: Confederacy

Hugo Schwyzer, Cheap Grace, and Narratives of "Redemption"

Redemption (Angel novel)

Redemption (Angel novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oftentimes, I feel unbearably guilty about posting on issues dealing with the Culture Wars or what’s referred to as “Identity Politics.” Should someone as myself invested in the discipline of Church History take an interest in “worldly” things? I struggle to reconcile these interests from time to time, but I try to take theological approach to inter-sectionality, or how we as a society govern ourselves and others according to race, sex, and class. This is something that I learned from my mentors, from Womanist theology and ethics, as well as post-colonial theory.

I am guilty of remaining silent, about how predators roam free and victims’ and their experience with abuse goes unheard. There is something deeply twisted about the way our culture understands redemption. At its core, it is a theological claim that is heretical as it is privatized. Dietrich Bonhoeffer articulated perfectly what USians understand as “redemption:” He referred to is as cheap grace in his The Cost Of Discipleship:

““Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” “

Redemption, in other words, requires that a person is, #1, willing to freely turn away from evil, and #2, willing to sub-ordinate themselves to a liberated community. Cheap grace means meaningless apologies, the “I’m sorries” said over and over to victims as perpetrators roam free without accountability. Cheap grace is when a celebrity makes a racial slur and they are sent to “racial-sensitivity counseling” all the while having the stigma of being a bigot for the rest of their career. But again, there’s no taking responsibility, it’s more like, oooooops, I’m sorry I got caught. Redemption in USian media culture, which is thoroughly idolatrous in its glorification of capitalism, means that I get to save myself on my own terms, without regard for the victims of my behavior or for welfare of my neighbor.

This is why I am so sick of hearing “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry” are two words born out of privilege; you briefly acknowledge your victims have suffered, and then go back to your abusive behavior. Today, I was at a local restaurant. I was the only other person in line, but the person in front of me was paying with all coins. Looked at me with my bored look, and softly whispered, “I’m sorry.” How about instead of “I’m sorry,” how about a “thank you for being patient!” See the difference. The difference is my agency is acknowledged, and it’s not about you (the apologizer and your experience). That’s the problem with derailers who want to make this about Hugo and about mental disability. It’s not, it simply isn’t. This is about human agency and privilege. I would love for the students I work with who have mental disabilities to be able to earn a PhD and to “earn” a voice as influential as a Hugo Schwyzer. Again, this all boils down to particularity.

Whether it is Sovereign Grace Ministries protecting child abuse, KKKristianity Yesterday (Christianity Today) & John Piper & The Gossip KKKoalition defending confederate bigot Douglas Wilson, or Relevant Magazine, Christian conferences, and white feminist media all who gave Hugh Schwyzer a platform, USian Christianity as well as its Civil Religion has Cheap Grace as one of its favor doctrines right along side White Supremacy.

Right now, the Women of Color, that risked themselves to confront and engage Hugo Schwyzer’s abusive ways, SEEM to be the enemies of him, opposed to his “redemption.” And that they should; “redemption” purchased with the Almighty Dollar is the very definition of cheap grace. This is more than about Professor Feminist (who, btw, has a PhD in Medieval Church History). This is more than about Paleoconfederate Racists. This is more than about Pastors Gone Wild. This is about how apathetic our culture is to the vulnerable. I mean, for crying out loud, the current government shutdown is probably one of the blatant examples of this ill-compassion.

English: CJ Mahaney, founder of Sovereign Grac...

English: CJ Mahaney, founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a way, “redemption” as it is conceived in the 21st century USian neoliberal context, always functions as a code for “sympathy for the devil.” This soteriology is harmful to both the victim and the abuser. The victim is isolated and ridiculed, and her story is ignored. The abuser is also not given the community he needs to learn that he is in need of repentance, and therefore becomes neglectful of the responsibility which he needs to own up to. Salvation in this light is short lived, paid for with the tears of the oppressed. The best friends that persons like Hugo Schwyzer have right now are “his enemies.” My commitment to Christianity, and to the teachings of Jesus, allow me to see these labels of “allies” and “enemies/opponents” as fluid, because Christ taught that we should love both. In particular as our example (but he is not alone), Hugo’s quest to regain his influence after losing it (because he deserves it right? he already apologized, what more does he need to do?) by joining probably more religious blogging circles— he already has/not gonna link is an unhealthy quest given the state that he admits he is in as mentally ill. The last thing he needs to do is to make a “comeback” all on his own. So things can go back to the way things were. No, my friend, repentance means that things will never be the same. Apologies in our cultural religion of cheap grace allows for such, but not the freedom that is given by our Liberator Christ Jesus.

Relevant Magazine

Relevant Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those who are entralled with power, they *will continue to disregard* the plea of the victim, as churches as white feminist media have time and again chosen to do. We must come to learn to lend our ear to those on the bottom, to let those on the margins, the abused, the rape victims, the culturally despised “savages,” to uplift the powerless, and to reject cheap grace, and “I’m sorry.”


*Sentence has been editted to address problematic ableist language.*

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#AccidentalRacist Is Purposeful Ignorance: False Myths & Analogies from LL Cool J & Brad Paisley

Do you know what happens when Hip Hop artists & Country singers team up? Exhibit A: Nelly & Tim McGraw:

Wrapped Around

Wrapped Around (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the extreme mediocrity of that mashup is only surpassed by the awfulness that is Brad Paisley’s & L L Cool J’s “Accidental Racist.” Even the title of the track is based off of really really bad presuppositions, but gives you a hint into the ideology that’s gonna be behind this “conversation” starter. You can listen to Purposeful Racial Ignorance for yourself via the Daily Beast: ‘Accidental Racist’: Brad Paisley and LL Cool J Duet on the Confederacy in New Track

AND NOW FOR THE TAKE DOWN, lyric by lyric:

“When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms”

Red flag on your chest: Facts are that this red flag, the Confederate Stars and Bars you speak of, ARE NOT THE REAL CONFEDERATE FLAG to begin with. In fact, as historians will inform you, the CSA flag was something that looked like this:

The difference is a matter of importance, Mr. Paisley and Mr. Cool J. The Rebel Flag you all are defending was the one used to terrorized newly freed African Americans, in the name of protecting Jim and Jane Crow society. So, right off the bat, Paisley is starting this conversation off with lies. So, really, it’s not a dialogue, its more of a monologue to continue spreading racial and historical ignorance.

“I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done
And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame”

Rewrite history? You mean like Southern whites have, that the Confederacy was about rebellion and states rights? Rather than keeping blacks enslaved? Have you ever read the Confederate States’ Constitution? Try it some time, especially since it’s available for free online; also, learn a thing or two about Jefferson Davis before you go singing his praises, okay?


G.O.A.T. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I’m just a white man
(If you don’t judge my do-rag)
Comin’ to you from the southland
(I won’t judge your red flag)”

Again with the red flag. Please see point A. Move on. And continue. The do-rag has no moral equivalency to a battle flag for the Confederacy, at all. One is a fashion statement, used to straighten black men’s and women’s hair, the other is a symbol of violence, racism, and terrorism.

“I’m proud of where I’m from
(If you don’t judge my gold chains)
But not everything we’ve done
(I’ll forget the iron chains)”

How is not judging someone for having gold chains even remotely relevant to talking about (and learning from) chattel slavery? What if the gold chains are a symbol of a different kind of slavery, like hip hops commitment to free market economics, economic inequality, and mis-education?

I think between this ridiculousness from L L Cool J & Rick Ross’s tribute to Rape Culture, I remain skeptical of hip hop’s “liberating” potential. Seems like a colonizing force to me.

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Voice of White Supremacy Silences #CPAC Attempt At Racial Diversity


Today at CPAC, there were a group of Black conservatives given space to express themselves and talk about the history of black conservativism and how it could be useful to the Grand Ole Party (not to be confused with conservativism). K. Carl Smith wants the Republicans to attract more “Frederick Douglass Repubublicans” (you know, that dude who didn’t show up on that LINCOLN movie, and was an abolitionist and suffragist?), yeah that guy. Then, a paleoconfederate troll showed up out of nowhere to harass the speaker and the audience.


He informed the media and the crowd, that he and his people, Southern white males, were being “systematically disenfranchised.” Whoa! Doesn’t that just sound so familiar? Minorities can make this claim, and now so can the majority too! Furthermore, this dude went on to argue that we should be more like Booker T. Washington (more like, his white supremacist interpretation of Booker T Washington—without taking the lynching of black women and men into account for example). Blacks also need to vote, in Africa. Mister Terry, folks, is no plant by liberals, he is the face of the Southern Strategy.

What no one has pointed out from the video is that the group of young conservative whites around him were appalled, and it is these people that need to be speaking out. He does not represent Southerners, or conservatives everywhere. Mr. Terry is more of a symptom of the deeper problem in modern conservativism, and black conservativism at that: even in attempts to make a safe place for minorities to speak, hostilities and microaggressions still arise because conservatives (or liberals for that matter) aren’t willing to be honest about U.S. American history, empire, and the race problem