The primary architect of Black Liberation Theology in North America is James Cone. A Protestant minister who grew up in Arkansas under the heavy hand of segregation, Cone observed first-hand the way white Christians treated blacks — even after desegregation was ordered by the federal government. The Christian messages of peace and brotherly love contrasted sharply with Christians’ bigoted behavior, and this left a lasting mark on Cone’s thinking.
Eventually Cone developed a “black theology” of liberation from oppression, racism, and poverty — and independently of the work of Gustavo Gutiérrez. Cone argued that the white church and white theologians had all failed in their duties to uphold biblical principles of helping the poor and marginalized of society. Indeed, Christians had become actively complicit in making the lives of others worse.
Because of this, it was no longer acceptable to leave the interpretation of the Bible to white Christians. Blacks must take responsibility for their own religion and their own relationship with God. Black liberation theology has a great deal in common with the Black Power movement that also developed in the 1960s. In his book Black Theology and Black Power, Cone writes:
“A moral or theological appeal based on a white definition of morality or theology will serve as a detriment to our attainment of black freedom. The only option we blacks have is to fight in every way possible, so that we can create a definition of freedom based on our own history and culture. We must not expect white people to give us freedom. Freedom is not a gift, but a responsibility, and thus must be taken against the will of those who hold us in bondage.”
White Christians in America might have preached a message of love and peace, but at every turn they failed to live up to their own words. The existence of segregated denominations and segregated churches proved this. Cone could also point to the long history of Christian theologians using religious arguments to defend both slavery and segregation.
Although Cone’s most obvious target was racism, his message was actually much broader. He also criticized middle-class black churches and argued that racism was only part of the problem. The much larger issue was the failure of Christianity to properly motivate people to care for others. Instead of acting on Christian principles of love and charity, they remain isolated in social or cultural groups.
Cone could also at times find some good things to say about white European theologians. He pointed to the examples of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who, at great risk to themselves, used their theological writings to aid resistance to Hitler. Against this Cone contrasted the passivity of American theologians in the face of oppression aimed against blacks and other minorities.
Most of the time, though, Cone was critical of the ideas of European theologians that were part of the American experience. He noted, for example, that many white Christians emphasized ideas like justification by faith and grace as central Christian themes. Against this he argued that, from the perspective of black Christians, the idea of liberation from oppression was much more important and had a much more immediate relevancy to their lives.
Black Liberation Theology from James Cone to Wright to Obama
Obama Speaks Of Rev. Wright In This 1995 Interview
****Listen carefully from 1:00 to end of video**
“The sense of Liberation that is embodied in the historically African American Church”
Big Government: The Jeremiah Wright Sermon on Derrick Bell
March 12, 2012
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Jeremiah Wright on Derrick Bell, Jesus, and the Jews: A Sermon Obama Could Not Have Missed: Jeremiah Wright, Bar… bit.ly/yuqq3H
From Big Government:
In one sermon, which Wright published in 1995 in a collection entitled Africans Who Shaped Our Faith: A Study of 10 Biblical Personalities, Wright referred specifically to Bell’s protest against Harvard–the same protest that Obama supported in a video released by Breitbart.com last week.
The sermon repeats the main doctrine of Bell’s Critical Race Theory–that the United States was founded on racism, and that America remains irredeemably racist. Wright also attacked “Jewish lawyers,” comparing the Jews of Jesus’s [sic] time to “Klansmen” and describing Jesus as a racial provocateur. In 2008, Obama claimed that he had never heard Wright use anti-American or racist rhetoric from the pulpit, yet this radical, antisemitic sermon–among others–was in print, and likely available from the church, while Obama sat in the pews. He could not have missed it, nor pretended not to know about Wright’s views.
Derrick Bell Describes Marxist Foundation of Critical Race Theory
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Who is Obama’s Derrick Bell (VIDEO)
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Breitbart: Unedited Obama Race Video Unveiled 2012
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Barack Obama was as close or closer to Derrick Bell than he ever was to Jeremiah Wright. Obama didn’t merely sit in the pews — or not — for Derrick Bell. He didn’t just hang out with Derrick Bell for prayers. He said:
“Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell.”
If we did, here’s what we’d be opening our hearts and minds to. This is a close associate of Jeremiah Wright, a man who was quoted by Jeremiah Wright regularly. This is a man who posited that the civil rights movement was too moderate because it accepted the status quo, and believed that the entire legal and constitutional system had to be transformed in radical fashion. This is a man so extreme that, as we’ve reported, he wrote a story in 1993 in which he posited that white Americans would sell black Americans into slavery to aliens to relieve the national debt, and that Jews would go along with it.
There’s far more coming on Derrick Bell. This is just the beginning. And this video is a smoking gun showing that Barack Obama not only associated with radicals, he was their advocate.