Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
White supremacy goes back to ‘early church’: Oxford professor

Racism has ‘distorted’ Christianity since Jesus’ time, theologian says

White supremacy remains so prevalent in Christianity today because it took root in the early church, theologian Anthony Reddie told a Baylor University conference this month.

Reddie, a professor of black theology at Oxford University in England, said in his Feb. 15 speech that white supremacy has “distorted” Christianity since the time of Jesus Christ, according to Baptist News Global.

The conference, hosted by Baylor’s Truett Seminary, focused on racism in the world church.

“The most egregious thing that we have to wrestle with is the normalization of white supremacy,” Reddie said.

Although Christianity “was created as a movement for those who are marginalized and oppressed,” he said white leaders quickly began using the religion as a weapon to seize land and oppress other cultures.

Reddie traced the distortion back to the early Christians who blamed the Jews for killing Jesus, instead of Roman leader Pontius Pilate, according to the report.

“Pilate represents white supremacy, and white supremacy now becomes normalized and effectively becomes the religion of Jesus, the religion of God,” the professor said.

As time went on, more and more people began to believe Jesus was a white European, like them, Reddie said.

Baptist News Global reports:

That’s why few white Christians flinched at the claim that Jesus called European and American Christians to travel the globe to oppress brown- and Black-skinned people, he said, explaining that a Christianity suffused with white supremacy enabled plantation owners in the American South to see no contradiction between their faith and owning other human beings. “They saw people who are other as inferior and that it was OK to kill or enslave them for their own good.”

Those attitudes clearly continue to exist and in the U.S. are evident in the rise of Trumpism, the British scholar said.

Because white supremacy has been connected with Christianity for so long, he said it has “distorted the very fabric of what we call Christianity and the nature of church.”

The Baylor conference is part of a “three-year sequences of programs on confronting racism in the white church and seeking God’s justice,” according to the event website. More than a dozen pastors, theologians, and Christian leaders participated. Baylor is a private, Protestant Christian university in Texas.

Last year, a Catholic university professor also linked white supremacy with the early Christian church in a new book, “Christian Supremacy.” The author, Fordham University Professor Magda Teter, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that white supremacists’ ideology “is rooted in Christian ideas of social and religious hierarchy.”

MORE: Professor blames St. Paul and ‘Christian supremacy’ for modern-day racism

IMAGE: JLWO/flickr

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.