Can Critical Race Theory Help in Understanding Religion?

The debate over critical race theory has played out in TV studiosschool board meetings and state legislatures across the U.S. It has also found its way into churches.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11413
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Well stated. Christian churches would like to believe that we have had no responsibility for the structural racism we see in today’s society, and that we certainly no longer haver any responsibility to address the problem. I have had some fellow Adventists tell me that the SDA church certainly never participated in racism and to make their point they often recount the involvement of EGW herself in encouraging ministry to Blacks in the South. And yet, dig just a little and it is not hard to find stories of Southern churches during the Jim Crow era that cooperated with Jim Crow and did not allow Black children to attend church schools, and the GC cafeteria did not allow Blacks in for many years during that era. We as a church were clearly complicit with racism in the .past, and those who continue to deny the existence of structural racism today are simply carrying on the tradition

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Just as Aunt Mary"s litany of abuses she suffered from Uncle Glen beore thankfully divorcing him 25 years ago has no place at the family’s Thanksgiving dinner table so does CRT not be mandatied on captive audiences (or our military) as countless parents both black and white have objected across the nation-unless one revels in the polarization that results. If the theory has any merit disxuss it in graduate seminars

It’s hard to put that criticism on the church, which the State took over that role. Likewise, the scope of fairness becomes moot in a structure which collectively exploits the entire world by means of printing the currency in exchange for global resources.

While not everyone in US benefits from it the same way, whether you are black or white, you labor is still valued more than the labor of those in Malaysian sweatshops that are toiling away for mere 50x-100x less than that a salary of a typical American who doesn’t have to do anything, and can simply enjoy the social safety net to live the minimalist lifestyle.

At that level, CRT simply falls apart, since it can’t live up or properly shift the fulcrum point of the structure it directs its criticism towards.

So, CRT and CR in general, tends to run with its Texas Shaprshooter fallacy, by clustering variables that align with its premise, and ignore the variables and broader reality that would go against it.

Which is largely why church doesn’t see it as a viable tool to parse injustice today. Whatever you may think the disparity of injustice may be in the US, it’s far more amplified when you consider that disparity between the “First” and “Developing” worlds, and exploitation of labor relationships that’s maintained structurally.

CRT simply refuses to look that way, for obvious reasons. That structure isn’t unique to “white supremacy”. It’s a generic tendency of people to stratify society to position themselves at an advantage.

Hence, why it’s very difficult to discuss this issue with someone like yourself, because it takes on the moralistic motivation boosted by Belief Superiority effect, in which there’s a circular relationship between your views being morally righteous, and viability of the arguments that these views communicate, especially with policy these promote.

It’s exactly the same situation we find ourselves with Vaccine issues. Same Belief Superiority effect, in which policies that intentionally exaggerate the problem and risk, end up thinking it’s justifiable because these align with “high moral ground” of being concerned about “everyone” and not just individual who these policies may dismiss and throw under the bus. Hence, any conflicting information ends up being the enemy of the cause that has to be removed from the realm of public opinion and debate.

So, there’s no way to discuss these issues honestly, because the structure of the premise prevents you to do so. It prevents you to see anything that may conflict with your ideology as viable, largely because you are framing it against different hierarchy of beliefs that may not have direct relationships to these theories or subjects.

*Just to clarify. I’m not accusing you of dishonesty as intentionally skewing the truth. I’m saying that your hierarchy of belief in this case will have Belief Superiority effect that will result in preferential consideration given to research, opinions, and data on this subject. Where science in general tries to avoid moral bias.

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Glad to see you understand me so well.

Which is exactly why there is nothing more I can say in response. You clearly hold the higher ground.

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Discussions on any “race” theories tend to lead people astray from the real focus, and that is the humanness of humanity. Persistent racial inequalities are oftentimes rooted in cultural differences and behavioral tendencies that are not all traceable to slavery or Jim Crow, and cannot all be solved by purging the vague category of “structural racism.”
People act, behave, learn, and see things differently based on their environmental surroundings during developmental years. We should easily be able to accept that and if we as individuals wish to change any of that have the freedom to change ourselves. Using made up terms of “white privilege”, “white supremacy”, etc. only stirs up “racist” attitudes of hatred and feelings of victimization, thus being divisive. Keeping a focus on these subjects simply keeps one from looking at the heart of a person. CRT tends to be a one-sided, dogmatic intolerance of any alternative point of view.
“Rhetoric aside, it’s worth noting what critical race theory actually is: a complex body of scholarship that reflects the efforts of legal scholars to analyze how race functions in American society.” Personally, this type of study is useless. People are people regardless of their color.
For some, weekends are a better critical race theory brought to them by Nascar. :racing_car:

“You clearly hold the higher ground.”

And that is the issue in a nut shell! To deny that structural racism exists or has existed is an attempt to rewrite history or at the least pretend it never happened. Religion has been a very big part of that issue. Divine Destiny.

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According to the post script, these ideas come from “experts” who contribute to The Conversation, a non-profit “news” organization. Wow, that makes me feel better!

No, this is pre-organized to divide the country and make sure the kids, who do get into some classroom, get properly indoctrinated.

If the racial situation is so unjust to anyone without a white face, why are all these non-white people literally dying to get across the border. Did you not see them line up at the Kabul airport, as well.

Throwing out words like “scholars” and “experts” as validation of this “theory” impresses only the uninformed. And no, I’m no evangelical - just an anti-Communist.

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Indeed. And you can probably detect my weariness in even trying to converse with anyone who has already rewritten history. The great majority of current historians concede the existence of structural racism and its roots, and although they may differ on how we reached the situation we are in today, they are very clear that structural racism is real. Only closing one’s eyes to clear statistical evidence can one claim that structural racism does not exist.

Here is a single data point that just came out in the news this week. Here is the headline: Home appraisal grew almost $100,000 after Black family hid their race. That may be a single data point, but there are numerous data points to support the very issue represented by a story like this. Black homeowners routinely get their homes appraised at lower values than white homeowners. If that isn’t a clear example of structural racism, I am not sure what is.

If one bases their belief in the existence (or lack thereof) of structural racism on personal experience, then it can be easy to not see it. Many of us have not experienced its existence firsthand (or even secondhand). It is only by compiling quality sociological/economic data on things like housing, jobs, healthcare, etc. that structural racism becomes clearly evident. Of course, some people don’t trust sociologists, so they just ignore the data, and it becomes easy to claim that structural racism doesn’t exist.

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Sometimes we as humans have trouble accepting what happens to others because it would mean seeing ourselves as part of the issue. I recently watched a documentary about persons who had been a part of Nazism and its program of extermination of the Jews. Some of them still refused to believe it took place because it was too horrible to believe it had happened. A good book that I would recommend about slavery in America, “The Hairstons, an American family in Black and White” by Henry Wiencek. It might help people understand the issues talked about in CRT.

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CRT is simply a catch word used to moralize a political ideology. We act as though some geniuses have stumbled on the “root of all evil” in the USA as well as the entire Western world, while the abuse of minorities is as old as time itself. The OT is filled with the root cause of CRT, as are various other religions across the globe. Joseph Conrad’s book The Heart of Darkness spells it out pretty well.

The current version of CRT is simply a political tactic to create division; and to create a generation of obedient, uneducated underclass that is perfectly happy to exchange personal responsibility for the handouts from a benevolent political upper class. That sounds vaguely familiar. It used to fly the “hammer and sickle”, until it crumbled under its own weight. The ideology, however, didn’t die. It never dies as it preys upon man’s basic need to control everything to its own personal benefit.

“Can Critical Race Theory Help in Understanding Religion?” You betcha! But the irony is that CRT wants become a religion itself. All religion could be judged by it, from the depths of Africa, as the white Europeans landed there with Bible in one hand and whip in the other. It shows up in India and of course, on our own shores. The struggle has been on-going; and just as we started to get a handle on it, the Phoenix rises out of the ashes left over from a by-gone-era. The ideology, of pitting one group against another never actually died. It just settled in a nest called “academia” which gave it status as a theory, and is now flapping its wings, trying to fly once more. There is never a lack of candidates ready to hitch a ride on its wings.

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I can’t, because clearly whoever lives in that Lake Wobegon of academia along with you, are superior beings of infinite wisdom.

It doesn’t seem to occur to you that this is a false dichotomy? You don’t see how one could point out that both, history exists, and that we should avoid cluster fallacy and thus drawing a bullseye around data that “manifests” invisible structure hidden in biases that none of us are aware of?

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To ignore history is to repeat it. Yes, we know that is happening. To study and understand history is a way of learning the mistakes and trying to make changes. At times people try to avoid understanding by attaching other ideologies to the parts of history they do not want understood. What is it we fear? I have yet to read or hear of anyone making CRT a religion but quite often they do try to make it out to be some Marxist or communistic plan or…or…rather than discussing the issue in a rational manner. It is not about dividing people but rather trying to understand the reasons for the existing division, which will be difficult when dialogue is only about ignoring or saying ‘get over it’ or some other dismissive terminology.

The key to understanding others is listening to their story, understanding their culture and seeing the world through their eyes. Religion has long taught that the way to God is through ‘my eyes’. All are equal in the eyes of God, in every way and desire. John 3:16 has no ‘strings’ attached, all strings are manmade.

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This is the origin of the Critical Theory. Critical Race Theory is a layer of Critical Theory that scopes class struggle to race struggle, and then runs with that, copying premises of Critical Theory.

Don’t you think it’s ironic that on one hand you claim that those that oppose CRT attempt to erase history of racism, and on the other you attempt to erase the history of CR and CRT?

So, what exactly will you glean about the church from a perspective historically rooted in New Atheism movements? Hmm. I wonder why would church resist interpretation of their theology through these lense?

Marx, of course, opposed religion. Frankfurt School guys thought that instead of opposing it, they could recruit it to align with their anti-Capitalism causes, even though all of them were atheistic materialists. Which is where this article fits.

“Let’s use Neo-Marxism to analyze and give insight into race struggle within the church”

Brilliant!

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I have often wondered if it might have helped had the term for the area of legal studies had not been coined “critical race theory.” The word critical in there is off-putting to many people I think, perhaps because they misunderstand the use of the word in this context. Who knows, but it seems clear that any mention of the term is “fighting words” for a certain number of people, as can be seen right here.

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Again, not quite. CT is an intellectual spawn of Marxism that got really disappointed in working class.

You see, working class started out as poor farming migrants into a city, where Marx was peeking into that slice of life in industrial development, and assumed that it will be forever and ever.

Yet, magically, everyone’s lives improved, including the working class in the US that thrown the Marxism into dumpster and thrived. With all of the golden age stories of a man able to support a family on a single salary.

So, these Frankfurt CT guys, the same ones that loaded a train cart with cash and Lenin on board to Russia… came together, and thought… well, working class can’t be motivated enough to stage global revolution in the US. So, we need a more motivated factions of society to antagonize.

In the US, these were women, and black people, and eventually gay people, and trans. There was a progress steps in place to help both overcome the effects of structural orthodoxy of the past in new industrial age, which was the true mechanism behind their liberation. But, Frankfurt guys saw that as opportunity to appropriate progress, by calling themselves progressive, and attribute it to all-powerful academia.

Since they heavily bought into Freudian ideas as mechanism of deprogramming the world, there plentiful practitioners that structured that into policy, promising political power to anyone who jumps aboard. Which is where figures like Ed Bernays come in, to liberate women by giving many of them lung cancer. But hey! Light up that torch of freedom, girls!

Of course, interpreting issue if racism through similar Marxism-Hegelian lens became convenient means to play politics. Since opposition to certain non-aligned ideology are called racists. And higher moral ground is achieved… when historically there’s something that even CRT proponents call “convergence theory” in which the plight of black minorities only counts as much as the ideals of neo-Marxist ideology. If not, then you are uncle-Tom. You are morally decadent. That’s the label game being played any time one points to the ideological issues of the “theory”, which isn’t a theory. It’s called a “theory” to wear the scientific garb, and hide behind aggregate stats it will paint bullseye around.

In reality though, BLM strangely dissipated when Liberals are at the helm, even though there’s nothing substantially different for progress of minorities, and artificial economic booms result in busts that hurt them the most and then are blamed on Conservative policies. Could it be, because BLM leaders are self-proclaimed Marxists that have broader ideological alignments than black and white? I don’t know, but it sure seems like it.

So, no. It’s not what you think, because the eventuality of the neo-Marxist model is quite surprising. They figured that they can’t oppose Capitalism, because capitalism is the most effective means of motivating production and signaling demand, which is very difficult to replicate through central planning.

They thought… how about if we just socialize poverty and middle class, and have the small class of capitalist eletes who are aligned with our vision of humanity? It works in China, so why not? They can still be playing monopoly. They can own everything, for all we care. We’ll just call that “management layer”. Who cares.

And now, that the story is done. Let’s pick up our Hymnals and sing … “Imagine” by John Lennon.

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So key. I would not have even taken the time to dig into this issue as deeply as I have had I not begun to talk with any Black person I had access to and simply tried to listen to them. Once I had done a bit of that and done some reading on the topic, things began to fall into place. I had to humble myself a lot before I could past some of the resistance I felt. Growing up I never saw what is called structural racism. I was not in a community where I could readily see its effects. Sure, I could discount all the material I have read on the topic and what many Blacks themselves have to say, but I think it is more compassionate to humble myself and really listen to what they have to say. Approaching the issue in a humble, teachable attitude takes the potential divisiveness out of it. I could easily have felt that what I was reading was a direct attack on me as a white person, but by stepping back and compassionately listening it became more of a deep learning process which helped me see that we are in this together, and need to work on it together in a way to bring about positive change. The first step is to be open to information and data we are inherently resistant to, because, frankly, it is hard to see how our ancestors constructed structural racist systems, some of them intentionally, others just going with the flow, as some continue to do today.

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Yes, that’s absolutely it! The word critical is in that theory simply because it’s critical of racism, and it’s not in any way a key word for ideological orientation of Critical _______ category of theories in social science originated nearly a century ago.

BTW. It’s not something I’m making up. It’s something that people behind novel applications of these ideologies point to as origin for many things they promote. You can read it from DiAngelo, for example, who is quite open about Frankfurt origin Critical Theory being the ideological force behind her seemingly novel ideas.

https://www.worldcat.org/title/is-everyone-really-equal-an-introduction-to-key-concepts-in-social-justice-education/oclc/993601567

So, either you are not aware of that. Or you don’t have any problems with neo-Marxism? Maybe it’s the “convergence” issue, where you align because you see them as good guys that advance your sympathy with black struggle in the US through political means?

Have you asked any of them what their ultimate ideals are, though? For example, what are their views on religion, church, and family? What is their ultimate vision for humanity? Whether they see materialism as something more than a methodological necessity in the lab?

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You know, it really annoys me when people view a specific philosophical idea as completely bankrupt just because it was used badly by someone once. You seem to assume that because many or Marx’s ideas were used for very nefarious purposes, by Lenin, for example, that the underlying philosophy is somehow wrong and evil. Very few philosophical ideas are all good or all bad, and throwing out CRT because it has some philosophical connection with Marxism is a straw man argument. Besides, no one needs CRT to identify structural racism. The evidence for structural racism is overwhelming and does not need to reference CRT at all to identify its presence.

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Well, no. It’s not even Marx ideas as he written them, but extension of “implications” of his ideas into a new framework, which turned into a mash of Hegelian-Freudo-Marxism , which today we simply understand as “Neo-Marxism”.

So, I’m not saying that everything that has Marx name and brand on it is terrible. I am saying that the ideological association that tends to resemble both methods, ideals, and goals… IS.

For example, there’s nothing inherently wrong with economic isolationism, coupled with nationalist socialism policies. But, when you mix a bit of “german race idealism” with eugenics… you get Nazis. I don’t really think you’ll be running around saying “Well, it annoys me that you see Hitler’s philosophical idea as completely bankrupt because it was used badly once by someone”. So, let’s at least be consistent.

I think it’s safe to assume that wherever it aligns with ideals of creative “better world” through heavy-handed and rapid social engineering, while eradicating previously-existing orthodoxy that was there for 1000s of years of cultural contextual trial-and-error testing… it spells out inevitable disaster. That’s especially the case when one attempts to embody moralism simply by virtue of assessing it as an axiom, while at the same time wrapping it in terms like “Responsibilization”.

Well, no. You need the conceptualization of CR in order to get to the ideas of “structural _____” , otherwise you are talking about vacuous concepts that you can’t point to. Is it found in legal structure? Well, no. Law seems to exist with no “black and white” mention. Does it exist in intentional bias of racist individuals? Well, again, no. These individuals seem to have no problem with associating, and even appreciating and supporting growth and development of marginalized communities.

Well, then it’s found in some invisible structure … that only exists when you paint a bullseye around it where you find statistical disparities! Bingo!

You don’t get that conceptualization without CR, because generally, we’d be looking towards specific factors that are actual roadblocks… like education, poverty, family structure or lack of it. And that spills over into communities that are more violent and more prone to depression and escapism through drug use, and which creates cyclical effects on problems perpetuated in these communities, like demand for over-policing and harsher sentences by members of these communities as possible solution. Which, spills into displaced issues, and broader stereotypes that can contribute to societal discrimination.

But none of these exist as ominous “structure” one sees from cluster accumulation of these issues (see cluster fallacy). It rather exist as a broader collection of independent problems that all contribute to the aggregate issue of poverty.

If you abstract that independent scope of clusters into “structure of white supremacy” and attempt to eradicate is by “educating our unconscious bias”, it should be very obvious to you that it’s the failed psychology of behaviorism at play, and something that subsequently takes a shape of political ideology, and even new religious orientation in which these ABSTRACTS that only exist as clustered stats, are being reified into reality of individuals.

So, no. I don’t think you spent some time thinking about implications. And it’s very clear to me that you are unaware of broader philosophical scope that powers Neo-Marxism, with all of it goal-oriented ideology… which is rather coherent when you consider that it all tends to align along similar teleology towards “ideals of progress”.

Again, you’ve avoided my questions, but see what are the generic attitudes of people who align with these ideals towards traditional concepts of Judeo-Christianity, and why do they work so fervently to stomp it out globally.