Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘critical race theory’

Critical race theory provides answers very different from what Christianity offers


Thousands of people gathered in the heart of Atlanta to worship, pray, and repent for systemic racism in late June 2020 for an event hosted by OneRace Movement. | Courtesy of Adventures in Mission

Francis Schaeffer described how ideas escape the ivory towers of universities and think tanks eventually to shape how ordinary people think, speak, and view their world. In 2020, one idea made that journey in record time. Not that long ago, conversations involving Critical Race Theory were largely relegated to academic papers, classroom discussions, and scholarly journal articles. Today, dialogues about CRT can be found across social media, in corporate boardrooms, and even in the Church.

As a theory, CRT descends from European and North American philosophical traditions, particularly Marxism and Postmodernism. Like these worldviews of its intellectual ancestry, CRT sees the world in terms of power dynamics. In this way of thinking, social evils such as poverty, crime, or oppression result not from universal human frailties but from Euro-Americans intent on securing and increasing their economic and social power. Based on this metanarrative, equality and justice demand privileging the stories of those kept out of power. CRT sees members of the oppressed group as morally right, and members of the oppressor group as morally wrong.

CRT, like any worldview framework, should be evaluated. That, however, is easier said than done, even in the Church. Advocates often point to common ground between Critical Race Theory and the Christian worldview (for example, the commitment to justice and human dignity), and label any critiques of CRT as convenient ways to avoid confronting injustice and racism (which may not be true, but often is).

Many Christian critics, myself included, are specifically concerned with how CRT conflicts with a Christian worldview, particularly in areas of identity and morality. Not everyone agrees. Recently on Twitter, a defender of CRT boldly tweeted, “Whoever told you CRT is a worldview was either lying to you or didn’t know what they were talking about.” Of course, assuming malice or greed is a way of dodging the question rather than making an argument.

Another Twitterer offered a different response, “If CRT is bad because it’s a ‘secular worldview’ and we must only derive our worldviews ‘biblically’ then I better not see a TRACE of Aristotle or Plato in your worldview either, brother.” This one is a slightly more clever way of missing the point or, specifically misunderstanding what it means for a worldview to be “biblical.” To have a Christian worldview is to hold views that are consistent with the Bible, not to only have views that are in the Bible. The problem with Critical Race Theory is not that it isn’t found in the Bible; it’s that it offers a very different explanation of humanity, sin, and redemption than the Bible does. 

Like the postmodernism that birthed it, Critical Race Theory can be considered a worldview. It does more than just offer a handful of specific ideas about race and society; CRT offers a complete framework of beliefs, a universalizing story of the world. CRT describes who we are, what’s wrong with the world, and prescribes how to fix it and what “better” would be. In other words, like Christianity, CRT answers the basic questions any worldview does. Except, the answers CRT provides are very different than those Christianity offers, even if both worldviews recognize the world is broken by evils such as racism and injustice.

Critical Race Theory has critical errors. By simplistically reducing evil to power dynamics and external social realities, CRT denies moral agency and the redemptive potential of entire groups of people because of their racial identity. 

At the same time, those who oppose Critical Theory must do more than simply write off all its concerns. Like Marxism, Critical Theory is something of a Christian heresy, taking the Christian themes of human dignity and justice and a world remade, and re-orienting these causes under new management. Most pertinently, CRT is slipping into the space where the Church belongs but is too often absent.

If we don’t want unbiblical explanations of life and justice sweeping through the Church or culture, we’d better make sure we communicate and embrace the full ramifications of Christian truth for society, and then act justly and love mercy. If we rob our Faith of its social implications, we are no longer talking about Christianity. Such a personalized, privatized moral system may make us feel better, but it will never stand up to the rival worldviews of our day.

Over the next four Tuesday nights, The Colson Center is hosting an online course taught by Dr. Thaddeus Williams, on his book, Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth. This is the book I’ve been waiting for, the book that carefully and biblically walks through a Christian view of justice. Dr. Williams carefully explains not only why theories like CRT aren’t true, but what the Bible asks of Christ’s followers when it comes to justice. Space is limited. Register today at breakpoint.org/Williams.

Because, the best antidote for the failings of Critical Theory and its inadequate worldview is for the Church to understand and live consistently with the Bible.

Originally posted at breakpoint.org

From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “BreakPoint®” and “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview®” are registered trademarks of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Stonestreet is the President of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and co-host with Eric Metaxas of Breakpoint, the Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is co-author of A Practical Guide to CultureA Student’s Guide to Culture and Restoring All Things.

Pure Racism: New York City Principal Sends Home White Identities List to Parents to Convert Them to the “White Traitors” Stage of Whiteness


Reported By Jim Hoft | Published February 16, 2021

Critical race theory watchdog Christopher F. Rufo reported on Monday that the principal of a New York school sent a list of white identities to white parents so that they could try to convert themselves from white supremacists to white abolitionists.

The East Side Community School teacher even included a white supremacism spectrum for parents to self-identify.

According to East Side Community School the goal is to become a white abolitionist. But these steps are subjective, not clearly defined and ALWAYS up for evaluation by your peers.

The modern-day left is determined to destroy our society with their hatred, ignorance and racism.

 

Apparently this list of the eight “white identities” has been passed around on Facebook for a couple of years.

Its author is Professor Barnor Hesse.

Hesse is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology

His research interests include post-structuralism and political theory, black political thought, modernity and coloniality, blackness and affect, race and governmentality, conceptual methodologies, postcolonial studies. His book, Un/settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglements, Transruptions, reconsiders the meanings of multiculturalism in the West. In introducing a new conceptual language, the volume stresses the importance of distinguishing between the multicultural as a signifier of the unsettled meanings of cultural differences, and multiculturalism as the signified of attempts to “fix” their meaning in national imaginaries. The book also casts the debates about multiculturalism in the contexts of globalization, post-colonialism, and what Barnor Hesse calls “multicultural transruptions”–which he sees as resurgent, irrepressible multicultural issues.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Parents too afraid to oppose critical race theory in schools, says activist


Reported By Jackson Elliott, Christian Post Reporter 

Critical race theory has infiltrated Christian private schools and parents aren’t speaking up because they’re afraid, said one education activist.

Elana Yaron Fishbein started an organization called “No Left Turn in Education” to help parents take the lead in the education of their children and to show people who oppose critical race theory that they have allies. Among its slogans is “education, not indoctrination.” In only a few months since its beginning in August 2020, her Facebook group grew dramatically. Today, her group has chapters in 18 states.

“Many parents say ‘how can you be against it (CRT)?’ until you open it and see what’s in it. It’s the exact opposite [of what it says,]” said Fishbein to The Christian Post.

Fishbein’s own courage in fighting critical race theory comes from her Jewish faith background, she said.

Originally from Israel, she noted, “It’s Jews, more than any other group in the history of the world, who have suffered from racism and the consequences of racism. Am I going to sit down and watch what they’re doing, turning this country into a racist country? Blaming all the whites for being racist and privileged? As an Israeli, I know if I don’t stand up and fight, we’ll be gone.”

She sounded the alarm that both public and private schools have begun teaching CRT as well as comprehensive sexual education, which instead of encouraging abstinence, focuses on normalizing sex outside of marriage and encourages confused kids to question whether they are male or female.

Critical race theory has varied definitions. Oxford Reference notes: “CRT regards the privileged position occupied by mostly White, middle-class academics as a major obstacle to a comprehensive exposure of the racism that is seen to permeate the law, its rules, concepts, and institutions.”

Conservative website Pulpit & Pen argues that CRT is dangerous in that it is “fundamentally opposed to the American Civil Rights Movement,” as it does not advocate for treating people equally but rather that “the law may actually need to [be] biased in favor of minority identity groups” to redistribute power. Race is the defining feature of human identity, Pulpit & Pen states, and every person is part of either an oppressor race that holds power, or an oppressed race that oppressors abuse.

Fishbein argued, “They attach to critical race theory a lot of beautiful names, but they mean the opposite. Of course, we are ‘anti-racist.’ Of course, we are ‘for diversity.’ But they mean the opposite.”

Churches and Christian schools are teaching children how to classify each other by race and see color instead of character, she said. It’s not only being taught in public schools but “it’s very, very pervasive in Catholic schools, Episcopalian schools, charter schools, we’re getting a lot of references from most private schools,” she maintained.

“The majority of private schools are in bed with all this too. It is very common even in religious schools and in a lot of churches. A lot of synagogues have gone totally woke.”

In Missouri, a student filed a lawsuit alleging that her Catholic school tried to force her to lie that she was racist. A Nevada charter school forced students to identify themselves as members of a race. A public school in California told children to rank themselves by “privilege” in the classroom. Some of the elements that defined privilege was whether someone was white and a Christian.

These incidents aren’t isolated. According to The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy Director Lindsey Burke, many of America’s 14,000 public school boards are embracing CRT. One key driver of this educational change is The New York Times’s 1619 Project, which promotes the ideology.

“More than 4,500 classrooms around the country have begun to incorporate the 1619 Project curricular materials into their content,” she said.

Burke and her colleagues specifically asked school board members and families across the country about the 1619 Project and 50% of all parents and 70% of school board members said that they do not want schools to use the instructional materials rooted in the idea that slavery is the center of the national narrative. Likewise, 70% of parents and 74% of school board members believe that slavery is a tragedy that harmed the nation but freedom and prosperity represent who Americans are.

Their data showed that only 25% of parents and 17% of school board members believe that students should be taught that the founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written and that U.S. history must thus be reframed.

Fishbein believes that critical race theory often goes unopposed because its opponents feel too afraid to fight it. She often meets people who don’t tell even their close friends that they oppose the ideology.

One woman she met had a close friend who would host sleepovers with her children. For years, she felt too afraid to say she opposed CRT developments at the school their children attended. When she finally spoke up to her friend, her friend agreed with her and said that she also had felt too afraid to share her real beliefs.

When Fishbein first objected to CRT at her own school, parents weren’t willing to stand with her. Several people loudly condemned her, she said.

“The lynching was public, but the support was private,” she said. “I was really concerned about the people being afraid to talk. People say they are 100% with me and they agree, but they’re afraid to talk. It blew my mind. How in this country with First Amendment rights people are afraid to talk?”

Fishbein encouraged parents to run for school boards, form networks, and use resources on No Left Turn in Education’s website to fight back against the teaching of CRT.

“The school board dictates the curriculum,” she said. “Do you care about your kids, do you care about your family, do you care about your nation? You have to start getting involved.”

Scholars warn of dangers of critical race theory, how it’s being injected into students


Reported By Brandon Showalter, CP Reporter

People gather near the White House during a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism, on June 13, 2020, in Washington, DC. AFP via Getty Images/Daniel Slim

Scholars are warning about the influences of the neo-Marxist paradigm in many realms of culture, a theory they say undermines the foundations of a free society and harms the marginalized people it purports to help.

In a webinar hosted by The Heritage Foundation‘s Angela Sailor Monday, policy experts spoke at length about the ways in which critical race theory and the identity politics it underpins have sown hostile division into public life while claiming to combat racial injustice.

Broadly defined, critical race theory utilizes race as the lens through which every area of life is examined, categorizing everyone into oppressor and oppressed groups. The racial theory is the child of critical theory, the scholars explained, and most Americans do not agree with its ideological claims but it is being pushed strongly by elites and has entrenched special interests in many public institutions.

Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, noted in her remarks that among the most influential arenas where critical race theory is being furthered is through the approximately 14,000 public school boards across the country. Those boards indelibly shape the minds of schoolchildren and many are approving the use of the curriculum materials based on the 1619 Project, a series of New York Times reporting that frames the arrival of African slaves on the shores of the United States as the central feature of the American founding. This view stands in stark contrast to the the idea that nation was birthed at the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

“More than 4,500 classrooms around the country have begun to incorporate the 1619 Project curricular materials into their content,” she said.

Burke and her colleagues specifically asked school board members and families across the country about the 1619 Project and 50% of all parents and 70% of school board members said that they do not want schools to use the instructional materials rooted in the idea that slavery is the center of the national narrative. Likewise, 70% of parents and 74% of school board members believe that slavery is a tragedy that harmed the nation but freedom and prosperity represent who Americans are.

Their data showed that only 25% of parents and 17% of school board members believe that students should be taught that the founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written and that U.S. history must thus be reframed.  

Jonathan Butcher, a senior policy analyst at Heritage, explained that what the CRT worldview does is dismantle social and governmental norms and foments a new kind of intolerance.

“Critical theory is not a sympathetic perspective with policy goals that lead to racial reconciliation, freedom, and opportunity. That’s not what it is. It’s talking about subjugation and retribution,” he said, referencing a paper he co-authored with fellow panelist and author Mike Gonzalez.

One of the founders of CRT calls for “transformative resistance strategy” in response to the rule of law and the U.S. constitutional republic, he said. According to those who adhere to the theory, they are “highly suspicious of the liberal agenda” with liberal in this sense meaning classical liberal values from the Enlightenment, he noted.

Gonzalez, author of The Plot to Change America, offered during his remarks that it is important to realize that the far left feels emboldened to repress conservative ideas and are calling for vast institutional change, noting its grip on the government, culture-making institutions, Big Tech, and many Fortune 500 companies.

At base, CRT is “a tool for changing the country,” he said, a tool that undermines societal foundations and holds that the rule of law and jurisprudence is to preserve the privilege of those who write the laws.

Christopher Rufo, a journalist and visiting fellow at Heritage Foundation, has been examining how the theory has been operating within institutions, HR programs, and in federal government agencies.

At the National Nuclear Laboratories in New Mexico, CRT-based training sessions were held in which white male executives were taken to a resort and were forced to undergo a series of exercises to deconstruct their white male identity, something that the trainers claimed was akin to the Ku Klux Klan, mass killings, and MAGA hats, he explained. The men were asked to condemn themselves and then write letters of apology to women and people of color and apologize for their whiteness. Similar training efforts and exercises were taking place across the federal bureaucracy but President Donald Trump canceled them with an executive order.

Rufo is now working on reporting that will show how this ideology is being inculcated into K-12 students. An upcoming story he will soon publish highlights how 3rd graders are being tasked with deconstructing their intersectional identities, which is “slicing and dicing their own internal self-image on the axes of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, transgenderism … and then ranking themselves on a hierarchy of power and privilege.”

“They’re taking these tenets that were once limited to academia and now trying to basically inject them into the bloodstream of every institution from kindergarten to the federal government,” he said.  

“They are now training elementary school students how to hold protests, how to disrupt the system, how to become revolutionaries.”

The theory, which promises a utopia of sorts and racial equality, is not aiming to build anything but rests in negation that relies upon the thrill of revenge yet offers nothing to the margins of society, Rufo argued.

He urged parents to find out what is in their children’s school curriculum, noting that much of it is not only indefensible but likely illegal and is only backed by a tiny group of activists in all but the most extreme school districts. It will take courage to resist but it is necessary and the more scrutiny it receives the more likely it is to be rejected, he said. 

The Heritage Foundation discussion comes amid ongoing debate over CRT among evangelicals, with some influential leaders, including John Piper and Tim Keller, rejecting it.

More recently, a group of Southern Baptist seminary presidents released a statement declaring that CRT is incompatible with their beliefs while denouncing racism. The statement sparked outrage among some within the Southern Baptist Convention, forcing at least two black pastors to cut ties.

A group of pastors, including SBC’s first and only black president, responded with a statement, lamenting that “the actions of some in the SBC appear to be more concerned with political maneuvering than working to present a vibrant, gospel-loving, racially and culturally diverse vision.”

“Many who recognize systemic injustices are labeled as ‘Marxists,’ ‘Liberals,’ and ‘Critical Race Theorists,’ even though they are theologically orthodox and believe in the total sufficiency of Scripture,” they said. “[W]e stand firmly in opposition to any movement in the SBC that seeks to distract from racial reconciliation through the gospel and that denies the reality of systemic injustice.”

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: