Fear of CRT
Listening to your critics or to those with whom you disagree can (at times) be very helpful and eye-opening if you give it long enough and don’t get defensive.
I have been taking in the current concern about CRT for the last couple of months to try and understand the real fear behind the public outrage by conservative Christians. You have to wade through some very distracting and disturbing inflammatory rhetoric at first but once you get past that you find several interesting areas of confusion.
- The Bible
- Identity Politics
- Hammer & Nail Thinking
- Utopian Expectation
So after listening, reading, and interacting for the last couple of months here are the biggest objections to integrating CRT with Christianity. On a side note, I have figured out that anything is a good excuse if you don’t want to do something.
Please see my page of 10 previous post about CRT or Whiteness
One issue is that most (86%) of the outrage is actually about overzealous Identity Politics and not CRT. Opponents of our current focus on racial matters or those who are defensive about whiteness tend to conflate Identity Politics and CRT because they have not taken the time to understand the difference.
The Bible is Used as a Barrier.
Based on things that are contrary to scripture. We can’t believe this because 1 Cor 6:15 says X. I have a dozen examples of this kind of thinking but John 8:34 was recently brought up, that Jesus says we are all slaves to sin so CRT can’t be right because it starts with the premise that some are oppressed and some are oppressors. This is an actual objection from just this week. It’s so easy to reconcile this! Yes we are slaves to sin that is why we participate in systems of oppression and we are oppressed. Those two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one might argue that one is the root of the problem and the other is a fruit or expression of that same systemic issue.
A Competing Worldview.
Christian critics of CRT think that there is a Christian ‘worldview’ and thus any competing ideology or truth-claim or overarching explanation of reality (meta-narrative) must not just be refused but resisted and even attacked. The problem of course is that once you take on this combative and adversarial mentality you tend to project it and create ‘worldviews’ out of approaches or systems of thought that are hardly cohesive or holistic worldviews. CRT is not a worldview, it is an analytic tool to address the disparity and injustice built into the system that these Christian critics are desperate to defend.
CRT makes race everything.
See everything as race. Sees race everywhere. This is a classic Hammer & Nail problem. See racism where it isn’t. They actually create the problem.
But this is where intersectionality comes in.
The biggest sticking points seems to be the binary that can be found in DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi that you are racist or anti-racist and that if you think you are not racist then you are really racist. Most people that have their hackles up against CRT are actually mad about overzealous Identity Politics or the binary approach of DiAngelo and Kendi. I actually think that if we could bracket these three things out we could have a very different conversation. I want to start asking people, “who are you working off of here?” because the vast majority of things that the outrage is focused at isn’t even CRT specifically but just a binary approach to Identity Politics.
I want to ask: who ELSE are you reading? Tell me who you are working off of.
You can read a lot of CRT and never encounter Marx. In fact I never have. In the history of Critical Theory you might but CRT has a different starting point. Its concern is legal, financial, issues of education, and other concrete consequences of the historical past that manifest in in our contemporary society.
I want to ask: Tell me who you are reading … what Critical Race Theorist? Please show me.
Tim Keller utilized this language but it is an odd thing for a Christian to say.
Let me know your thoughts, concerns, questions, or ongoing issues to address in future posts.