Rutgers Professor: Religious Right Worships a Fictional, ‘A**hole’ God of ‘White Supremacy and Patriarchy’

Christianity’s tent is not big enough to accommodate both the supporters of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper, who in a Wednesday piece for Salon blasted both the state’s pre-fix RFRA and the religious right in general.

“This kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women,” declared Cooper. “That means these people don’t represent any kind of Christianity that looks anything like the kind that I practice…This white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus of the religious right is a god of their own making. I call this god, the god of white supremacy and patriarchy...This God isn’t the God that I serve…He might be ‘biblical’ but he’s also an asshole.”

Cooper argued that left-wing Christians “need to reclaim the narrative of Jesus’ life and death” from Christian conservatives, who “have not been good stewards over the narrative. They have pimped Jesus’ death to support the global spread of American empire vis-à-vis war, ‘missions,’ and ‘free trade,’ the abuse of native peoples, the continued subjugation of Black people, and the regulation of the sexual lives of women and gay people. Let us mark this Holy Week by declaring the death to the unholy trinity of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy. And once these systems die, may they die once and for all, never to be resurrected.”

From Cooper’s article (bolding added):

Any time right-wing conservatives declare that they are trying to restore or reclaim something, we should all be very afraid. Usually, this means the country or, in this case, the state of Indiana is about to be treated to another round of backward time travel, to the supposedly idyllic environs of the 1950s, wherein women, and gays, and blacks knew their respective places and stayed in them...

…[G]iven our current anti-Black racial climate, there is no reason to trust that these laws won’t be eventually used for acts of racially inflected religious discrimination…

…This kind of legislation is largely driven by conservative Christian men and women, who hold political views that are antagonistic to every single group of people who are not white, male, Christian, cisgender, straight and middle-class. Jesus, a brown, working-class, Jew, doesn’t even meet all the qualifications…

…[T]his kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women. That means these people don’t represent any kind of Christianity that looks anything like the kind that I practice…

I often ask myself whether I really do worship the same God of white religious conservatives…[Jesus] never found time to even mention gay people, let alone condemn them. His message of radical inclusivity was so threatening that the state lynched him for fear that he was fomenting a cultural and political rebellion…

…This white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus of the religious right is a god of their own making. I call this god, the god of white supremacy and patriarchy...

This God isn’t the God that I serve…He might be “biblical” but he’s also an asshole.

The Jesus I know…was a radical, freedom-loving, justice-seeking, potentially queer (because he was either asexual or a priest married to a prostitute), feminist healer…seduced neither by power nor evil…

…We need to reclaim the narrative of Jesus’ life and death from the evangelical right. They have not been good stewards over the narrative. They have pimped Jesus’ death to support the global spread of American empire vis-à-vis war, “missions,” and “free trade,” the abuse of native peoples, the continued subjugation of Black people, and the regulation of the sexual lives of women and gay people. Let us mark this Holy Week by declaring the death to the unholy trinity of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy. And once these systems die, may they die once and for all, never to be resurrected.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters