America has moved from black and white to technicolor, HD, and 4K in a generation. Some want to take us back to black and white. Backing away can reveal the picture in 4k clarity. However, the fantastic little random dots that we call pixels have been with us all along. The indecencies, practices, policies, justifications, and denials; call them little white lies.
The little white lies of America’s Star Speckled past are comprehensive. Including the notion that Africans were products of the brutal land of war and bloodshed, therefore justifying slavery as the way to save these so-called inferior subhumans from the savage Dark Continent. A similar justification amassed in the slaughter, genocide, and later forced removal of Indigenous Americans from their lands.
The little white lies of the U.S. multiplied many times over in numerous broken treaties with Native Americans.
The historical landscape dotted with little white lies continued to subjugate communities of color. Lies of “the civil war was not fought over slavery,” to the so-called Lost Cause and Redemption, even contemporary anti-CRT rhetoric attempts to rewrite history.
With the mounting abundance of little white lies, the American picture went lacking. A photoshopped image of this reality was none other than the American Church. Not to be confused with Jesus’ church, this exists as a self-interested, self-justifying, self-righteousness embodied hegemony. We can begin to see an image coming into focus out of these dots.
Frederick Douglass saw in clear focus when he said, “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I, therefore, hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.”
“Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff.” —Sojourner Truth.
This Americanized version of Christianity with its own little white lies has cloaked patriarchal hierarchy in this country. Lies such as the Hamitic curse served as justification for chattel slavery. The second iteration of the KKK coalesced the Ideas of a white Christian nation and the lies of white nationalism, nativism, and white supremacy.
In the late 20th century, with the emergence of Evangelicalism, the image becomes even more precise.
“Since 2006, white evangelical Protestants have experienced the most precipitous drop in affiliation, shrinking from 23% of Americans in 2006 to 14% in 2020.” CNN
The little white lies protect a shrinking yet influential political power that further galvanized into a force with the inception of the Moral Majority in 1979. The movement’s original issues were not the protection of life and traditional values but opposition to removing tax-exempt status from Bob Jones University for Its racist practices of not admitting African Americans and later not allowing interracial dating or marriage among students, staff, or faculty.
Max Blumenthal reports the little white lies from its Co-founder Jerry Falwell who said, “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”
Falwell’s jeremiad continued: “The true Negro does not want integration…. He realizes his potential is far better among his own race.” Falwell went on to announce that integration “will destroy our race eventually.” The Nation, “Agent of Intolerance”
“Christian Nationalism is the greatest threat to the witness of the church and to democracy in the United States today. – Dr. Jemar Tisby
“So, What is Christian Nationalism?
Andrew L. Whitehead defines it this way: “It’s a collection of myths and traditions, symbols, narratives, and value systems that idealize and advocate for a fusion between Christianity, and you can place an asterisk by Christianity, with American civic life “… “it includes assumptions of nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy, authoritarianism, militarism, and it sanctifies and justifies violence in the service of what they deem the greater good or even God’s plan.”
Council on Foreign Relations interview on The Rise of Christian Nationalism Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Paul D. Miller added that “Christian nationalism would not claim that whites are inherently superior on the surface level. If you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that Christian nationalists and white nationalists, agree on a range of subjects. For example, if you ask whether racial inequality in America is primarily due to individual merit or due to structural systemic factors, Christian nationalists and white nationalists would agree it’s due mostly to individual merit. They would both advocate for strong immigration restrictions. They would reject that systemic racism exists. There is a difference, but there is some overlap in those underlying attitudes.”
Quick to Listen podcast, January 2021
As a Christian believer, I welcome a nation free from state-sponsored religion. About 20% of white Christians are Christian Nationalists. White Evangelicalism is more of a political movement than a vehicle to spread the good news.
Our confidence lies in something more significant and more inclusive than the limitations of a fatherland. Fulfillment is only realized in the Abba Father and Christ, Lord of All.
“But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
By Kevin Robinson Founder/Editor, Publisher of Three-Fifths Magazine
4 thoughts on “Little White Lies, White Nationalism, and Christian Nationalism”
A very neat package of ” truth “!
A much n the des requirement for
Thank you Gwen. All children and adults alike need to by taught the truth.
This is a great article, Kevin. I really like the use of the phrase little white lies for the not-so-hidden truths about racism and racist policy. I will use that idea in my thinking about systemic racism going forward. Just brilliant. Thanks.
Thank you for your kind words Wes!