Tag Archives: Presbyterian

50 Shades of Confederate Grey: Rape Culture And Slavery

And Why This Angry Negro Blogger Stays Away From Comedy Clubs


I have decided to do a follow-up post to this morning’s (real early this morning) post in response to The GOSSIP Gospel Coalition. It is bad enough that The Gospel Coalition’s Jared C. Wilson, and subsequently White Supremacist philosophy Doug Wilson, are getting all of this attention. I agree with Brian LePort, The TGC has our attention again, and not in the best of ways [see his post linked]. I think the TGC is like that one kid in kindergarten that just does anything for attention, even if it’s bad. Any kind of publicity and attention is a good thing. They are just witnessing to “God-centered” ministry and theology. Even after a number of comments protesting the TGC’s endorsement of Wilson’s perverted teachings on sexuality and marriage, [editor’s note: as suspected but not hoped, the Gospel Coalition took down the offending post, in it’s stead, today, 7/21/12, I offer the JPEG version here(if you want the PDF version, you can email me: TGC responds with a “you all can’t read and freedom of speech means no criticism” post. Jared Wilson, the author of the post, in comments on Rachel Held Evans’ blog and on TGC denies any relationship between Wilson’s commentary on sex and his views on race and the enslavement of African Americans from US History’s past.

As a follow-up, I would like to add some more commentary. I see that this is now necessary to show “the World” and “non-Christians” that there is a different kind of Christianity, that gives testimony to non-violence and the mutuality between genders. I think in particular I would like to look at the relationship between rape culture and U.S. American slavery within the history of racism.

A Southern Baptist blogger, Wade Burleson [his post linked here] did not only agree with me about Wilson’s racism but also Jared Wilson’s and the TGC’s soft stance on 50 Shades of Grey:

And I quote, from Burleson:

“The pornographic book 50 Shades of Grey is revolting to me. The only thing worse is Doug Wilson’s views on sex and marriage in his book Fidelity, views endorsed and praised by The Gospel Coalition.”

Now, I do realize that TGC is arguing that there is a “nuanced” difference here, between the promotion of adult erotic literature and what happens in the Christian bed room. No one is saying anything differently. What I am going to argue, and what critics are arguing, is that men’s fantasy of rape and the TGC’s blaming on society of loose morals, is BLAMING THE VICTIM, usually women, as if men have no role in raping women. It is women’s fault if they get sexually assaulted, and that’s the message Dough Wilson and TGC are sending. What is the difference between Daniel Tosh and the Christians so-called at TGC? TGC silences rape victims in the name of god, while Tosh does it in the name of comedy and the free market.

Now, in the same “nuanced” fashion that Doug Wilson treats women who have been victims of rape, Wilson uses the same brand of pseudo-scientific arguments to promote slavery as a righteous Christian endeavor. Using Confederate double-speak, Wilson will say both that racism is wrong and that the Confederacy was right with one breath according to his essay, Southern Slavery, As It Was. In Wilson’s own words, “Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. … There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.” See there, he can say that the slaves enjoyed “Southern Hospitality” and lift up the virtues of enslavement without a smile on his face. Isn’t that nice? For more, read these links on the story of Doug Wilson from University of Idaho and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s profile of Doug Wilson, linked here: Doug Wilson: SPLC profile.

What Wilson does not tell us is that rape is a weapon of war, and that the South had class warfare within itself. Enslaved black women were raped; American slavery was rape culture. If you are to be honest and to want to deal reasonably with the problem of race, we cannot separate it from the history of racism against persons of African descent. Joel is right, we gotta call it what it is: by any other name, it is rape. I do not wish for the Gospel Coalition to listen to Scot McKnight and take down this post; instead, they need to keep it up, and keep defending their position. This is the only way people will start seeing TGC for who they really are. The TGC has their own history of “providentially disappearing posts” in order to hide their true selves. It’s time they start coming out. This is the face of “God-centered” churchianity: anti-women, misogynist, and giving platforms to pro-Confederacy racists.

Now, there’s been a lot of talk ever since I started blogging about my aggressive “ad hom” style “shouting in the wind” but let me ask you honestly: are all of my posts that way? Or do some posts draw people’s emotions out that they can’t seem to confront their blind-spots or their inability to think critically?

To the victims of rape, male and female, I offer you this word: rape is not god’s will. sexual assault and violence is not god’s intention for your life. sexual abuse is not a part of “god’s plan.” In fact, these are violations of God’s will. God does not enjoy sin. God does not endorse domestic violence. God is hope. God is life. God is love. If you or someone you know are in these situations, please seek help, it doesn’t have to be a religious institution; but a third party is mostly always a good choice.

Other posts of interest:

Grace Is Human: Doug Wilson, The Gospel Coalition and Rape

Beyond Culture Wars: When I Have a Daughter: A Response to the Gospel Coalition

JK Gayle of Bible Literature and Translation: Review of the Novel 50 Shades of Grey Impact

The "Confederate Flag", a rectangula...

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Book Review: Letters to a Young Calvinist by @jameskasmith

A while back, I posted when I won James K A Smith’s Letters To A Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition.

Jamie Smith himself even took the time to answer my question via facebook about Reformed Theology and race, which I thought was really cool:

Today, I offer a few thoughts on the book.

Overall, I enjoyed the very pastoral tone of the book, it was pastoral without being too preachy. It’s format may have given me an idea for a future endeavor. As I am trying to give Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Post-Modernism another shot, Smith is slowly becoming one of my favorite Reformed (and Charismatic) Christian thinkers. The book is not meant as an apology for the Reformed tradition; rather, it is a humble explanation for what being and doing Reformed Christianity entails. Smith is quite upfront about the habits of cage-stage calvinists and their snarky ways. Much of the descriptions that Jamie provides are quite on cue. I appreciated the delineation that Smith makes between the simple “Westminster Reformed” Southern Baptists and the Belgic Confessional Reformed (mostly Presbyterians (Letter XII). Smith leaves himself vulnerable to criticisms by fundamentalists who decry the use of the incarnational (in Letter X), but from me, he gets nothing but props.

I enjoyed this book dearly for its honesty (and really, that’s about all I ask from writers, that they are upfront about their beliefs/agenda/subjectivity), and coming clean about the Reformed tradition’s troubled history with race was just what the doctor (okay okay, just I) ordered. In the chapter entitled, “God’s ‘Social’ Gospel,” Smith emphasizes (and rightly so!) that God’s economy of salvation is people-centric since the biblical authors’ use of YOU is primarily plural. In Texas, we could just translate it as Ya’ll. God in essence creates a third race a new humanity, a people Jewish and Gentile; thus, the Reformed tradition condemns what occurred in South Africa (page 69), especially with the Belhar Confession where the church admits its sin.

I know what you are thinking. Does all of this generosity and praise mean that I am headed back towards Geneva? Indeed, no it does not! The whole Jonathan Edwardsean/ John Piper self-glorifying vain g*d thing is something that will never sit right with me– I just have not found the right words yet, especially since its so dependent on the words of a creed that I do not adhere to.

I hope someday that James K. A. Smith will contribute a work that fully articulates his view of being a peopledom of God and how that it can help all persons engaged in anti-racist theologies.

The First Trumpet Blast against Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin & Michelle Bachmann

Against the Monstrous Regiment of Men

My people—children are their oppressors,
and women rule over them-Isaiah 3:12, NRSV

In my first year of seminary, I did a book report on John Knox for Church History II: The Reformation, Rosalind Marshall’s John Knox. Rejecting Knox as the founder of Scottish presbyterianism, her approach was that in his historical context, John Knox preached the Word that made Scotland more receptive to Calvinism.

In 1562, Mary, Queen of Scots rose to power over Great Britain as Queen Mary I. Knox would engage Queen Mary in debates over the Catholic and Protestant faiths. I nis his text, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, Knox proposed God had the great Isle of Britain under judgment by placing a WICKED woman in power. The key word here I think is the adjective “wicked” and his reference to Mary as Jezebel. It is wicked women [note: Catholic women and men] whom Knox objected to being in power. Knox served three years as a galley slave while living in exile since Protestantism was illegal (1547-1549), but safely made his way back once Parliament repealed the laws against the heretics.

Knox was so opposed to Catholicism, he was even offended by those who would kneel at communion (they do in the Anglican and Lutheran churches today. Just sayin…). He suffered political persecution and was once more driven into exile (the dude had a martyr complex, seriously), and it was there in Geneva, he became acquainted with John Calvin. I would like to note that Knox came to see that his Reformation would exclude the dukes an nobility of Scotland [an interesting point I need to go back and study–thanks Joel for reminding me of this paper] since it was the rich and the powerful that corrupted his movement.

From this position, added to the fact that John Knox knew of Protestant preachers executed at the hands of Mary I (so much for a more peaceful world if women reigned, yes?), it was a matter of life and death for John Knox to oppose Queen Mary.

What hath this to doeth with today’s world? Well, remember that controversy over whether Southern Baptists should vote for the McCain/Palin ticket simply because she was a woman? Or now how we are wondeirng if Michelle Bachmann shall be “submissive” at her denomination’s request? All of this baggage has a history connected with John Knox’s struggle with Queen Mary and his interpretation. Now, I predict we will hear evangelicals use the story of Deborah over Knox’s narrative of Jezebel.

And that’s fine. But let us not apply John Knox’s use of the Old Testament universally, and let us do admit his influence on the current debates over the appearance of women’s bodies in the public square.