Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jesus Wasn’t A Slut-Shamer or How Conservative Theology Harms Black Women

I’m a feminist who believes in God. Raised Christian, I still attend church.  But what I am not is a person who will willingly check her brain, political convictions, or academic training at the door in order to enter the house of God or to participate in a community of faith. Express homophobic views, tell me that God requires me to let a man rule my house because I have a vagina, or spout a prosperity theology premised on the idea that poor folks are poor because they lack faith, and you are likely to see me get up and walk out.
I love Jesus, and I remain a person of faith, because I know, to put it in the parlance of the Black Churches of my youth, how good God has been to me. And while that kind of God-talk doesn’t play well in secular academic contexts, it doesn’t have to. My Christianity isn’t about trying to save anyone else’s soul but my own. I know that’s not what a good evangelical is supposed to say, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, a good evangelical is not what I’m trying to be.
U.S. Black women are the most religious demographic in this country and most of that religious identification falls within the bounds of Christianity. But if Black feminism does not grapple with the fact that Black women still love the Black Church, still sustain that institution in startling numbers, it will miss a significant segment of the population. And that is untenable because conservative evangelical Black Churches are one of the central places that black women pick up harmful gender ideology.
Read the rest here

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