Paul warns the Corinthians, “I am afraid…your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:3-4) Why are we so easily deceived? How has racism been overlooked for so long? What must we do to be saved from it?
You might have heard or even used the term, “It’s a fluke thing.” It happened by mistake. But in the case of the actual parasitic liver fluke it is a mind control thing (watch the fascinating National Geographic video about it). The liver fluke burrows into the brain of ants and makes ants slaves and moves them from their work in the ant colony to carry out the fluke’s work. The infected ant, like a zombie, delivers the fluke to the choice vegetation. A grazing cow eats the vegetation and the fluke gets to the cow liver with little effort on its part.
The fear of Critical Race Theory is a political fluke. Or is it an intentional tool? Either way, it exasperates Republican pundits and their supporters. Christopher Rufo from the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, recently said, “We will eventually turn it [CRT] toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category. The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’” (Washington Post, May 29, 2021)
Critical Race Theory is controversial and can be divisive. But so is politics.
Public servants take on a different persona when they fan the flames and stir their constituents to rage against some perceived enemy. The outcome is worse than the feared threat. The practice is not new. Nor is the reality of mobs murdering those around them. People are still alive who can give a firsthand account of Black women being raped, Black men being castrated and White Christians leading lynching mobs. Native Americans can also share personal experiences of their God-given identity mangled by well-meaning Christians seeing an illusionary devil in their innocent young bodies.
Critical Race Theory is a legal evolving practice that “critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers,” according to the American Bar Association in a recent article. It seemed like the ticket for rational Christians to address harm to believers. The legal community adapted this framework and made space for arguments on systemic harm to black people but eventually others who claimed racial bias began using the tool too.
The same text Paul uses to raise the alarm to the Corinthians on swaying from a pure devotion to Christ, conservatives use for a call to purity. The Feminist movement, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Queer movement, and Civil Rights Leaders have used the CRT tool to successfully win cases. So, conservatives have self-justified rejection of Critical Race Theory. Just like they did with the Belhar Confession, they believe they are justified in rejecting Critical Race Theory.
But is CRT the tool conservatives really object to, or is it a fear of contaminating their sense of religious and ethnic purity? Certainly, most if not all of the most influential fathers have been white, non-disabled men. For example, Abraham Kuyper, an admitted racist personally and certainly theologically, anchored his theology in White church identity (see this post by By Daniel José Camacho in the Reformed Journal). As we grow in our awareness of racism, we need to stop making excuses.
The sin of racism was rooted in the power of the law and opponents of Critical Race Theory are enacting laws to maintain power and maintain racism (read this Forbes, May 9, 2021 article). Indeed, Satan is in this divisive battle. But I am holding out for the promise that Christ has defeated this fluke. It is time to live into Christ’s promises. Critical Race Theory is not our enemy; the sin of racism is our enemy.