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How the White Evangelical Church…Stays White

11 O’Clock Sunday Morning is still the most segregated time in America…

That isn’t accidental.

And no – a black (or minority) is not going to go to a Church where support for Trump is part of the package when they know full well that Evangelical support for the CHumph is a lot more about racism than religion.

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HOW “RACE TESTS” MAINTAIN EVANGELICAL SEGREGATION

…“We need more diversity on that stage!” and “What about that one minority guy? Can we get him to do announcements?”

Crist’s sketch functions as a reminder of the fact that, as Dr. Martin Luther King once famously remarked, the eleven o’clock hour on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of American life. Despite all that’s occurred over the past 50 years in the culture more broadly, and all the Christian hand-wringing, American churches have remained largely segregated. And, while many have sought more benign explanations, others have spoken for quite some time, albeit in hushed voices, about the racial gatekeeping that persists in much of white Christian America.

Talk of gatekeeping was largely anecdotal, until now. In a recent study called “‘Race Tests’: Racial Boundary Maintenance in White Evangelical Churches,” published by Sociological Inquiry, researchers Glenn E. Bracey, II and Wendy Leo Moore sought to reveal how evangelical religious organizations, many of which claim to be open, remain so heavily segregated.

Bracey and Moore hypothesize that these ecclesial organizations perform a “race test” on incoming persons of color that manifest as anything from micro-aggressions to outright overtures of racial stereotypes, in effect seeing “whether the people of color are willing to serve the interests of whites in the space, or execute exclusionary race tests to coerce people of color into leaving the space.”

To turn on the TV and watch the telecasts of churches, it’s easy to see that most churches have a super-majority of one race or ethnicity. While many of the church-going population have no problem acknowledging tendencies toward racial segregation in voluntary groups, this new study shows that there is a toxic combination of unintentional and intentional behaviors that are keeping white evangelical churches mostly white.

The researchers introduce the notion that these white evangelical churches have created what they call “white institutional space.”

Simply put, white institutional space is created through a process that begins with whites excluding people of color, either completely or from institutional positions of power, during a formative period in the history of an organization. During this period, whites populate all influential posts within the institution and create institutional logics—norms of operation, organizational structures, curricula, criteria for membership and leadership—which imbed white norms into the fabric of the institution’s structure and culture. Although the norms are white, they are rarely marked as such. Consequently, racially biased institutional norms are wrongly defined as race-neutral, and thus merely characteristic of the institution itself (e.g., “the appropriate way to act in church”), masking inherent institutional racism.

Bracey, who is African American, ventured into seven churches and attempted engagement in numerous ways. In one of the more passive micro-aggressions, on an early visit, a white congregant whom he’d been emailing with, immediately introduced him to a black mother and her apparently biracial child. The lady even slipped, saying “I’ve been praying that God would send a bla—, a man, that could step in and be a father figure to this child.” One of the other examples was a trip to a small group meeting where pictures of Confederate soldiers were proudly displayed and where the homeowner spoke of the “heroism and hardships of his Confederate ancestors.” Bracey left the meeting quickly, faking an emergency.

Each interaction Bracey had with church members seemed to get decidedly worse than the previous one, as if there were a level of intentionality to maintaining white exclusivity. The study delineated between utility-based race tests and exclusionary race tests. The former is where one’s entry is pre-conditioned, based on how the white institutional space expects a person of color to behave; while the latter functions as a bolder macro-aggressive statement, outwardly expressing sentiments of exclusion. One of the macro-aggressive examples occurred during a small group session at a congregant’s house, when one member of the group made a reference to his “China Gun”—because of the “chink chink” sound it makes when being cocked. He then proceeded to point his imaginary gun at a Latino participant and the researcher.

There are some deeper theological and ecclesiastical questions that are triggered by this study, including: how does evangelical Christianity propagate white institutional spaces so well? Most protestants have left behind the iconography that depicted Jesus as a medium-to-small-framed white guy with either blond of brown hair wearing a robe. But, as contemporary churches designed new sanctuary spaces, with massive stages replacing traditional pulpits, the actors on the stage replaced the icons. Effectively, then, “Jesus” was still a medium-to-small-framed white guy with either blond or brown hair. When the representation of holiness—in pastors, lay leaders and worship leaders—is still overwhelmingly white, it will consistently perpetuate white institutional space. The tokenization of persons of color in the worship bands merely adds fuel to the machine of white institutional spaces; that persons of color can only function for minstrel entertainment purposes.

The failure of ecclesiastical white institutional spaces to find ways to bridge the gap across racial and ethnic boundaries draws a direct correlation to the persistent reluctance of white Christians to accept a gospel message from anyone but another white person—usually a male. Recall, then-candidate Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the numerous denouncements from the Christian right and moderates about how black liberation theology was heretical and separatist in nature. The distinct incapacity to accept another lived reality as it encounters the Gospel of Jesus is the breathing apparatus that gives life to white institutional spaces that are, as Bracey and Moore put it: “normatively white in policy and practice by explicitly accounting for the intersecting mechanisms—structure, culture, ideology, and discourse—that justify and reproduce white privilege, power and accumulation of resources in these institutions.” In other words: white is, and will continue to be, right.

Recently, here on RD, Deborah Jian Lee reported on the ways in which persons of color are pressured to perform to standards of whiteness in evangelical spaces. She writes that “for those staying, they must contend with a dominant white theology shaped in the cauldron of privilege…. It fails to recognize how unfair policies and societal structures harm the economic and social wellbeing of those subject to those systems.” Her article is bookended by the story of a person of color, pastor George Mekhail, who ultimately chose to leave evangelicalism. Unfortunately, that’s the choice that many face: stay and try to fight an uphill battle or leave and let the chips fall where they may.,,,The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Science Finds Caual Link Between Brain Damage and Trupazoidism!

Now we know what Trumpazoids fly into firs of mouth lathering rage at the merest mention of truth!

At least Football Players come by their brain damage honestly.

Chumphism is a religion.

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Study finds link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism

new study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

Religious beliefs can be thought of as socially transmitted mental representations that consist of supernatural events and entities assumed to be real. Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be and are updated as new evidence accumulates or when new theories with better predictive power emerge. On the other hand, religious beliefs are not usually updated in response to new evidence or scientific explanations, and are therefore strongly associated with conservatism. They are fixed and rigid, which helps promote predictability and coherence to the rules of society among individuals within the group.

Religious fundamentalism refers to an ideology that emphasizes traditional religious texts and rituals and discourages progressive thinking about religion and social issues. Fundamentalist groups generally oppose anything that questions or challenges their beliefs or way of life. For this reason, they are often aggressive towards anyone who does not share their specific set of supernatural beliefs, and towards science, as these things are seen as existential threats to their entire worldview.

Since religious beliefs play a massive role in driving and influencing human behavior throughout the world, it is important to understand the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism from a psychological and neurological perspective.

To investigate the cognitive and neural systems involved in religious fundamentalism, a team of researchers—led by Jordan Grafman of Northwestern University—conducted a study that utilized data from Vietnam War Veterans that had been gathered previously. The vets were specifically chosen because a large number of them had damage to brain areas suspected of playing a critical role in functions related to religious fundamentalism. CT scans were analyzed comparing 119 vets with brain trauma to 30 healthy vets with no damage, and a survey that assessed religious fundamentalism was administered. While the majority of participants were Christians of some kind, 32.5% did not specify a particular religion.

Based on previous research, the experimenters predicted that the prefrontal cortex would play a role in religious fundamentalism, since this region is known to be associated with something called ‘cognitive flexibility’. This term refers to the brain’s ability to easily switch from thinking about one concept to another, and to think about multiple things simultaneously. Cognitive flexibility allows organisms to update beliefs in light of new evidence, and this trait likely emerged because of the obvious survival advantage such a skill provides. It is a crucial mental characteristic for adapting to new environments because it allows individuals to make more accurate predictions about the world under new and changing conditions.

Brain imaging research has shown that a major neural region associated with cognitive flexibility is the prefrontal cortex—specifically two areas known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Additionally, the vmPFC was of interest to the researchers because past studies have revealed its connection to fundamentalist-type beliefs. For example, one study showed individuals with vmPFC lesions rated radical political statements as more moderate than people with normal brains, while another showed a direct connection between vmPFC damage and religious fundamentalism. For these reasons, in the present study, researchers looked at patients with lesions in both the vmPFC and the dlPFC, and searched for correlations between damage in these areas and responses to religious fundamentalism questionnaires.

According to Dr. Grafman and his team, since religious fundamentalism involves a strict adherence to a rigid set of beliefs, cognitive flexibility and open mindedness present a challenge for fundamentalists. As such, they predicted that participants with lesions to either the vmPFC or the dlPFC would score low on measures of cognitive flexibility and trait openness and high on measures of religious fundamentalism.

The results showed that, as expected, damage to the vmPFC and dlPFC was associated with religious fundamentalism. Further tests revealed that this increase in religious fundamentalism was caused by a reduction in cognitive flexibility and openness resulting from the prefrontal cortex impairment. Cognitive flexibility was assessed using a standard psychological card sorting test that involved categorizing cards with words and images according to rules. Openness was measured using a widely-used personality survey known as the NEO Personality Inventory. The data suggests that damage to the vmPFC indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by suppressing both cognitive flexibility and openness.

These findings are important because they suggest that impaired functioning in the prefrontal cortex—whether from brain trauma, a psychological disorder, a drug or alcohol addiction, or simply a particular genetic profile—can make an individual susceptible to religious fundamentalism. And perhaps in other cases, extreme religious indoctrination harms the development or proper functioning of the prefrontal regions in a way that hinders cognitive flexibility and openness.

The authors emphasize that cognitive flexibility and openness aren’t the only things that make brains vulnerable to religious fundamentalism. In fact, their analyses showed that these factors only accounted for a fifth of the variation in fundamentalism scores. Uncovering those additional causes, which could be anything from genetic predispositions to social influences, is a future research project that the researchers believe will occupy investigators for many decades to come, given how complex and widespread religious fundamentalism is and will likely continue to be for some time.

By investigating the cognitive and neural underpinnings of religious fundamentalism, we can better understand how the phenomenon is represented in the connectivity of the brain, which could allow us to someday inoculate against rigid or radical belief systems through various kinds of mental and cognitive exercises.

 

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Trumpazoids the Major American Terrorist Threat

As if we didn’t already know the KKK types were violent…

 

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Tomi Lahren’s Microwave “Butt Pad”

Add to the growing list of white-wing talking heads getting shidtcanned.

Seems that Trevor Noah’s “girlfriend” suffers from a cold behind…

Strange.

It also seems to have gotten her…Unemployed.

Perhaps she should try longer skirts?

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Tomi Lahren’s former colleagues at The Blaze turn on her: Glenn Beck fired her because she was difficult to work with

Lahren is reported to have enjoyed humiliating co-workers by chewing them out and making them warm her butt pad

Image result for tomi lahrenWhile the immediate cause of Tomi Lahren’s termination from The Blaze was apparently her decision to tell “The View” that she believes the government shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies, a new report suggests that there was actually deeper drama behind the scenes that explains Lahren’s departure — and a lot of it has to do with accusations about her personality.

During her stint at The Blaze, Lahren is accused of being confrontational toward her colleagues and demeaning toward her staffers, according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke to the Daily Caller on condition of anonymity. This includes reports that Lahren became jealous of the attention received by BlazeTV host Dana Loesch and refused to enter the makeup room when Loesch was present. She is also reported to have gotten into a heated argument with an African-American host named Lawrence Jones after he confronted her about comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK.

Perhaps most disturbing are the claims that Lahren was abusive to her staff. Sources say that she would frequently yell and curse at people less powerful than her, in particular singling out one of her two makeup artists for humiliation in front of her co-workers and guests. Among the “diva” behavior described by the sources who spoke to The Caller was insisting that staffers microwave her “butt warming pad” before every show, a demand that a source referred to as “dehumanizing.”

Sources say that she would frequently yell and curse at people less powerful than her, in particular singling out one of her two makeup artists for humiliation in front of her co-workers and guests. Among the “diva” behavior described by the sources who spoke to The Caller was insisting that staffers microwave her “butt warming pad” before every show, a demand that a source referred to as “dehumanizing.”

The countersuit filed by The Blaze against Lahren claims that her “treatment of the floor crew was inappropriate and unprofessional.” The suit claimed Lahren “constantly complain[ed] about everything including but not limited to lighting, room temperature, editing, shooting, directing, etc. Lahren was divisive and created conflicts with other media personalities at TheBlaze.”

It is worth noting that Amy Holmes, who used to work as a political commentator for The Blaze, took to Twitter earlier this month to contest the notion that Lahren’s firing had anything to do with her pro-choice views.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Faux News

 

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Trump Supporters Call for “Liberal Genocide” and Deporting/Killing Jews

This shit is going to end in violence. These folks are going  back to Jim Crow.

Trump supporters call for ‘liberal genocide’ and deportation of Jews at Arizona Rally

Maricopa County burnished its reputation as the Trumpiest in America last weekend as hundreds of locals, including heavily armed militiamen, white nationalists and even a few elected officials, gathered to support the 45th president. The ensuing “March for Trump” was as horrifying as it sounds.

“I heard ‘lock her up, lock her up,’ and we still need to pursue that,” announced Arizona Congressman Anthony Kern; a nod to a prominent Trump campaign promise to imprison then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“If you don’t like it here, go to Syria, go to someplace else,” one attendee shouted.

“I don’t want ’em, as a veteran I don’t want ’em, let ’em go back home,” another seconded. “If they’ve got a problem, let Saudi Arabia take care of ’em.”

Some even dared to tell Dan Cohen of the The Real News Network how they’d make America great again now that Trump was in office. And Muslims weren’t the only religious minority unwelcomed.

“If she is Jewish, she should go back to her country,” a 13-year-old Trump supporter said of a protester.

“This is America, we don’t want Sharia Law,” one attendee explained. “Christian country,” he added.

One man insisted that Senator John McCain was a “secret communist.”

“I think there’s a lot there,” he said of Pizzagate, a deranged right-wing conspiracy theory that Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta was running a child prostitution ring out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. “Definitely enough to warrant an investigation.”

The day’s proceedings would grow uglier still.

“I just want to let them know that I can’t wait for the liberal genocide to begin,” an Oath Keeper shouted at a small group of protesters.

“That’s the way to make America great again,” he later told Cohen. “Liberals are destroying the country.”

 

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France – And American Right Wing Racist Hate Speech

The horrific and despicable attacks in Paris, France will dominate the news cycle for at least a week to come. However for most Americans living in America, and especially for minority Americans, the threat of being harmed by International terrorism is about the same as getting hit by a meteorite from the sky while walking down the street. The threat of being the victim of Domestic Terrorism, either violent – or nonviolent through word, symbolic attack, or state sponsored through the Law Enforcement is an everyday reality.

A “Hate Crime” is an act of Domestic Terrorism by different euphemism. The last week’s series of death threats against black kids at U-Mo, Howard, Mich, Bowie U, and now George Mason illustrates just how common race or ethnic based Domestic Terrorism is. Not even discussing the murders at a Church in Charleston. More people in the US have been killed by Domestic terrorists since 9-11 than jihadis.

Part of the reason for that is, despite the success by ISIS in recruiting a few disaffected Americans to their murderous case – Islamic Fanaticism has no real outlet in America. There is no newspaper spouting “Kill the Infidels” daily in articles across it’s front page, no cyber madrasas teaching the religion of hate, no web sites teaching how to blow up your neighbors for the Islamic fanatic cause… And no television or cable channel(s) dedicated to the views of violent Islamic Fanatics.

But there is for the racist white wing.

“Allowable Terrorism”, brought to you by the right wing media, each and every day.

And so the hate speech begins: Let Paris be the end of the right’s violent language toward activists

In a still developing situation, the city of Paris, France, is under attack by terrorists armed with guns and explosives. Many dozens of people have been killed. A still undetermined number of people have been wounded. The terrorists took dozens of hostages in a concert hall. French police and military forces have been deployed. There is mayhem and blood in the streets of Paris.

President Obama has correctly described this day’s horrific events as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

Terrorism is politically motivated violence against a vulnerable population that is designed to intimidate, sow fear, create panic and alter public policy.

Terrorism is serious business that kills people, breaks bodies and alters lives.

It is not a game.

In the United States, the right-wing media and movement conservatives have for decades consistently used eliminationist and other violent rhetoric to describe liberals, progressives and other people with whom they disagree. As was seen in the recent attacks on a Charleston-area black church, and other violence by right-wing anti-government militias, such rhetoric does not float in the ether of the public discourse, harmless and unacknowledged. No, it does in fact lead to action.

In recent months, the right-wing media has used language such as “terrorism” and “violent,” or that the latter is “targeting police for murder” to describe the Black Lives Matter movement. Such bombastic and ugly screeds–which are wholly unfounded, with no basis in empirical reality–have also been used by right-wing opinion leaders to describe the African-American students who are fighting against racism at Yale and the University of Missouri.

There are many examples of this type of incendiary rhetoric from conservatives and their sympathizers.

A few examples.

Bill O’Reilly has declared “war” on Black Lives Matter and in doing so described them as a type of contemporary Ku Klux Klan (KKK). At its height of popularity in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the KKK was America’s largest terrorist organization. It was responsible for the murders of thousands of African-Americans. In contrast to the KKK, Black Lives Matter is a group dedicated to protecting the human rights of all people against state-sponsored violence and police thuggery and murder.

Ben Carson, in his designated role as a black conservative whose primary purpose is to disparage black Americans and to excuse-make for white racism, recently told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that the black and brown students who are advocating for their full rights and respect at Yale University are ushering in “anarchy” and “this is just raw emotion and people just being manipulated, I think in many of these cases, by outside forces who wish to create disturbances.”

Likewise, Fox News has repeatedly described the student protesters at Yale and Missouri using the same language. O’Reilly has even gone so far as to suggest that Black Lives Matter and the students who are protesting racist treatment are part of a cabal that is engaging in “fascist” behavior and “running wild” against white people. Trumping his allusions to “fascism,” on his October 22, 2015 episode of his TV show, Bill O’Reilly even made the absurd claim that Black Lives Matter is akin to the “Nazis.”

These are implicit threats and overtures to violence as racial authoritarian fascists are a clear and present danger to democracy and freedom. Thus, they must be eliminated by any means necessary.

Other critics of the student activists at Yale University and Missouri such as The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf have even made the absurd claim that so-called “safe spaces” are being “weaponized” by student activists in order to deny free speech.

Terrorism has been practiced in the United States. It was used by a Herrenvolk white settler society built upon the genocide of First Nations peoples and the enslavement of African-Americans to control, intimidate, and murder non-whites. The decades of Jim and Jane Crow white supremacy were also a form of State-sponsored terrorism as well. Political violence continues in the present where in too many of America’s communities, police and other security forces kill with impunity, force the black and brown poor into a state of “custodial citizenship”, and act in a thuggish and illegal way towards the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

Black Lives Matter stands against such violence. The student protesters at Yale and Missouri who are fighting for fairness and justice stand against violence. Liberals and progressives as a matter of principle, a belief in the Common Good, and a humane society stand against violence.

Despite what the right-wing media, Bill O’Reilly, and the opinion leaders in the White Right routinely bloviate, those groups and individuals are not terrorists.

Real terrorists have killed people in the streets of Paris. The right-wing media needs to take note of that fact and moderate their rhetoric and abusive language accordingly.

Given the American right-wing’s casual habit of using violent language to describe their foes, and to gin up fear and anxiety among the movement conservative base, the Fox News’ right-wing echo chamber and its elites should be ashamed given the death and destruction that terrorism actually reaps in practice.

 

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