Liberation Theology

A lot of people have strong opinions about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor. Many Blacks stick by him and many Whites decry him as bigoted and anti-American. The simple fact is that Rev. Jeremiah Wright is one of the current leaders of the Black Liberation Theology movement along with James Cone and Dwight Hopkins, who are considered the founders of contemporary Black Liberation Theology.

Since Wright is a fully committed and passionate advocate of this system of belief it would be best to define him in the context of that theology.

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

— James Cone
A Black Theology Of Liberation

There you have the distillate of Black Liberation Theology as announced by the movement’s founder in 1970. It’s a angry, exilic theology with a core doctrine centered on fear and hate.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a pastor and when he speaks he speaks as such – as he has firmly said. Black Liberation Theology is what he speaks and preaches. His words should be judged on this basis. His actions should be judged on their merits and effects.

Related Reading:

The Moody Handbook of Theology
Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters
The World's Religions (Plus)

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2 Responses to “Liberation Theology”

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