In today’s America, various institutions are divested into transparent, Glass Houses. The Glass House analogy is for two reasons; the first is institutional’ fragility. Among numerous white Evangelicals, many are classified as white working-class Americans. Swaths of them grew increasingly sensitive, some to the point of anger and resentment over the conversation of systemic racism. Why?
The old saying says, “if you live in a glasshouse, don’t throw stones.” The stones of morality, freedom, and sanctity of life are hallmarks of modern evangelical rhetoric. Yet, the house begins to shatter when those stones rationalize their favorite political leaders’ immoral behavior and their perceived indifference for Black Lives.
The second glasshouse comparison comes because of leanings of superficiality. Fantasy conspiracies, from the Birther propaganda to “Stop the Steal,” drove many Americans into deception, “hook line, and sinker.” Many from the propagandized culture wars, including some in America’s Evangelical Community, were caught up. In actuality, these institutions’ makeup has often been inundated with ideology and aggrieved overtures against America’s increasing coloring.
“Beyond the promises of judges and tax breaks, Evangelicals had their manly protector and bully benefactor. As Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, said about the candidate, “I want the meanest, toughest, son-of-a-you-know-what I can find in that role, and I think that’s where many evangelicals are.” Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith And Fractured a Nation”
Kristin Du Mez, Pittsburg Gazette’s Tom Cox
This new manifestation of America is different. Akin to existing debates over social issues, The world of white evangelicals and others looked for a yesterday that never existed for African Americans, etc. Looking back is not an option for African Americans and other populations of color.
Scripture says this:
“Can an African change skin? Can a leopard get rid of its spots?
So what are the odds on you doing good, you who are so long-practiced in evil?” Jerimiah, 3:23 The Message (MSG)
The likelihood of any of the above is nearly impossible, except for Sammy Sosa or the late Micheal Jackson. This kind of transformation is rare at best in lieu of compromise represented by the Complicit. “Well, at least it’s not me” has become America’s mantra. On the contrary, Scripture teaches us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Compromise adds camouflage to Racism’s backdrop. The mutability of this evil is breathtaking. This Chameleon has stalked humanity throughout history in the frail darkness of the imagination and builds entire empires upon its skeletons. It blends into society by nuance. Expressions like, “we need a Border Wall to keep Americans safe from criminals” or make voting more secure by protecting elections from fraud and the old staple “Law and Order.”
In a similar fashion to the Spread of COVID 19, America became ground zero for systemic racism cresting in the murder of George Floyd. COVID 19 embodied the real-time disparities wrought by the Chameleon of the extrapolated Three-Fifths Compromise. In plain sight, these disparities coexisted beyond the rhetoric of the oblique mirage brand of equality. When the heat of stressors begins to weigh on this phantasm, realities peek over the horizon. To look directly into these realities harms the eye of the soul, contemplating what to do next.
By challenging structures, Evangelist Beth Moore and the African American Reverend Joel A. Bowman Sr. and others have the Southern Baptist Convention reeling after their departures. Fighting this hypocrisy comes in the form of consensus building, i.e., finding those allies that will not compromise values and spirituality to preserve self or structures of white supremacy. Who are they? Look around; you may also find them hidden in plain sight.
Kevin Robinson President and Editor of Three-Fifths