i grew up believing in the white christian god.
well, i guess it's a little more complicated than that.
it was more like i believed in the biblical christian god. i don't even just mean passively believing. i mean, going to mass by myself or with friends until i was 22, counselor at a christian summer camp, read the bible in my free time believing. i had favorite verses and gospels i liked more than others, okay? "Blue Like Jazz," like, changed my life junior year.
in clearer hindsight, i did have some really powerful moments connecting with spirit and community within christian contexts. i think about praying in nature, the meditation of the rosary, and conversations with my muslim host-mother in Senegal about being "personnes du même livre." some sundays i still miss mass, but i've begun building my own rituals and prayerful routines.
to some degree, i think i would have drifted towards a less deity-centered religious practice no matter what, but without a doubt it was the conflict between the biblical god and revolutionary jesus i had studied and the white christian god and jesus i experienced within my culture that drove me away from the church.
by the time i moved to New Orleans and began living as a more independent and authentic version of myself, it became impossible for me to associate myself with a culture focused on limiting the rights of others based on what i perceived to be misreadings of scriptures i knew well. i dreaded the homily of mass each week, wondering if i'd have to endure a moralistic stump speech maligning my unashamed sexual womanhood or queerness.
eventually, i began to remove myself from all spaces where i wouldn't be accepted if i showed up as my full self. this meant saying goodbye to the church. beyond being unwilling to tolerate challenges to my personal dignity, the greedy hypocrisy of the bishop's mansions, the fetus-obsessed, narrow sightedness of pro-life politics, and the white-supremacist foundations of the most segregated hour in christian america became too much to justify just to get access to occasional spiritual moments i increasingly found i could have on my own.
for the twenty plus years i spent working through all of this, i got to know the white christian god and his followers well. for a long time, i thought they were earnestly confused, misled, and generally well-meaning. this is not true. these people are quite content with who they are, what they believe, and the white christian god they have constructed for themselves.
before the but, but, buts start, i'm not talking about the few and far between white christians who show up for justice and love all their neighbors (looking at you here, Quakers),
i'm talking about the hundreds of millions of white christians in america who feel no cognitive dissonance between their supposed beliefs and the current status quo.
there is no outcry about the thousands of children caged at our border despite the countless new and old testament verses about children and sojourners. even for "white" refugees the best white christians can muster is ukrainian flag emojis and corporations offering the option to donate at the end of purchases so their tax deductions can increase.
there are no verses in the old or new testament that mention abortion, but this is their political priority. they noticeably do not heed the countless verses about supporting those in poverty, despite there being over 11 million children in america who are poor, despite almost one in four children in Louisiana not having enough food to eat on a daily basis.
self-described christians fixate on queer and trans people despite a conspicuous lack of concern about us from jesus or god in the christian bible all while ignoring the countless children experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of christian adults in their homes and their churches.
white christians offer nothing more than thoughts and prayers in response to near constant death from mass-shootings, in fact, it is often white christian americans who most ferociously defend their right to live and die by the sword, unconcerned how many of us they take with them.
when is the march for life that calls for protecting the dignity of the mentally ill and disabled in prison? the dignity of the millions of us being ground to dust by the capitalist machine?
there is money for conversion camps, campaign donations, and "mission trips," but when it is time to pay reparations, the fishes and loaves have suddenly stopped multiplying. honestly, i hope y'all's camels get permanently stuck in the eye of that good needle.
there is no coherent, value or scripture-based logic to white american christianity, only an internal logic based in the delusion that all we have is comes from our own labor and blessings and those who lack must have been found lacking. this is the necessary delusion of white supremacy, the lullaby that puts white christian americans to sleep in the morally reprehensible bed of the status quo.
all the ideas, parables, psalms, and commandments needed to explain how fucking wrong damn near everything about american society is exist in the books white christianity is supposedly based on and in the songs they sing along to each week—or at least on holidays—but white christian faith isn't based on the god or jesus in those books or songs, they follow the god of their culture imagination, the god literally carved into halls of government and printed on currency.
since before americans called themselves american, the white christian god has always been the justification for supremacy, for conquest, for rape, subjugation, and plunder. this is what they are trying to conserve. white christian americans have always been ruthlessly focused on manifesting their self-assigned destiny to own and dominate.
this is the god they serve, their own self-interest.
i am not talking about trump supporters or even republicans broadly, i am talking about all people who believe in and serve the white christian god, most of whom consider themselves to be good people. i am talking about joe biden. i am talking about j.k. rowling. i am talking about your pastor growing up and i might be talking about your pastor now.
i might be talking to you.
if i am, it's time to renounce your god. it's time to stop accumulating. it's time to stop trying to lead. it's time to unlearn. it's time to be still. to return.
it's way past time.
katie wills evans