Do Black Lives Matter in church?

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White on the outside.

I’d like to recommend this piece at The Marshall Project about a man who ended up leaving his church because of its indifference to Black Lives Matter issues.

While there are probably some mostly white churches that get it right on issues of racial justice, studies show that the majority don’t. According to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, white evangelical Protestants stand out as the religious group most likely to say the criminal justice system treats people of color and whites equally with 57 percent endorsing that belief. More specifically, 62 percent say that police officers treat blacks the same as whites.

The distance between these beliefs and reality suggests that white Christians are failing to hear their brothers and sisters of color. And that failure raises serious concerns about the ability of mostly white congregations to advance the gospel of Jesus, a victim himself of state violence.

I think the thing that’s surprised me the most about the response of many white people — in and out of the church — is an underlying, rarely stated presumption that they understand the experiences of black people better than black people understand their own experiences. Listening is really hard. We’d all do well to practice it more often.

Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

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