My Letter to the Washington Times
by CardBoard, Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:32:51 PM EDT
Why Even try? Well the times attack Black theology today writing... if you would like a crash-course lesson in Black Theology see my diary 'Strange Fruit & Black Theology'http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/15/1624 29/154#commenttop... the Times Wrote:
The church where Sen. Barack Obama has worshipped for two decades publicly declares that its ministry is founded on a 1960s book that espouses "the destruction of the white enemy."
Trinity United Church of Christ's Web site says its teachings are based on the black liberation theology of James H. Cone and his 1969 book "Black Theology and Black Power.
"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," Mr. Cone wrote in the book.
Mr. Cone, a professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, added that "black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy.""
This is, in the context the Washington Times put it, sounds terrible. However Cone is actually speaking of 'killing' the White Theology given to Black Folks. He is not speaking of killing actual people. I wrote weeks ago of my concern that this would lead to an attack on Black Theology, and there by an attack on a vibrant and necessary academic field. And, this is the first article I have seen doing so. If you have time I strongly suggest you email the Washington Times and call for a retraction. Here is the Letter I Sent:
I read your recent article on James Cone. I'm the sociology of religion field... my expertise of study is in Religion in America. I think your article on Cone shows a drastically poor knowledge of the works of Cone. Perhaps you should report that nearly every student in seminary across the country is asked to read Cone in their introduction to theology courses (I can speak for Union, Harvard, Columbia, Fuller, Duke, and Princeton). These students do not find it racists. Your quote from Cone advocating "the destruction of the white enemy," is completely out of context. He is obviously speaking of White Theology... yet you make it appear that he is speaking of White persons. I doubt a theologian would advocate killing White people at the very time he was learning from Niebuhr and educating a mostly white student body at Union. This reporting is either a. ignorant b. racists c. narcissistic... I'm not sure which you find yourself in, but you certainly are not representi
ng the entirety of Cone correctly. If Cone is racists so is Princeton Theological Seminary, because they proudly teach him.
I suggest you retract your story and offer an apology. If you throw Cone under the bus, for the sake of this campaign, you must also throw Countee Cullen, Cornell West, Katie Canon under the 'bus.' When you incorrectly attack Cone you attack a strong and proud theological tradition. Just to give you an idea of the broad spectrum of persons who have stood by Black Theology
Richard Lamb, head of the Southern Baptists Convention, defended it.
Jim Wallis, director of Sojourners defended it.
Not one faculty member from Princeton Seminary, Duke Divinity, Harvard Divinity, Yale Divinity, University of Chicago Divinity, or Union Theological Seminary has spoken out against it as 'racists' some are against liberation theology in general. In fact many have defended it.
Martin Marty, an/the expert on religious fundamentalism defended it...
David Kuo, ex Bush WH head of Faith Based Initiatives defended it.
T. DeWitt Smith, head of the Progressive Southern Baptists Defended it.
Anne Lamott, Gregory Boyd, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Gene Robinson all have defended Wright. Mike Huckabee even defended the stance
The fact is that the Theology has payed a heavy price for political ends... it is sad it was dragged into this. I'm yet to see somebody in the Christian community (save Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council) attack Wright, let alone Cone. Cone has theological foundations which are not racists by the judgment of nearly every theologian in the Country... yet you in the media has deemed otherwise. I'm sure you have decide to report on this because it is 'sexy,' but that does not make it right. You have an obligation as a reporter to tell the entire truth to the best of your ability, and either your abilities are not to high or you have not met your obligations.