The simmering debate over slavery reparations has moved from government to the church. The president and CEO of “Christianity Today” in an editorial is calling on churches to consider making “biblical restitution” to African Americans for the sins of slavery, segregation and racial injustice by setting up financial funds “to make it right.”
“It’s time for white evangelicals to confess that we have not taken the sin of racism with the gravity and seriousness it deserves,” Timothy Dalrymple wrote in the editorial under the headline “Justice Too Long Delayed.”
Dalrymple quoted a Barna poll that found “only 42 percent of white Christians believe the history of slavery continues to impact African Americans today.” He wrote that the impact of slavery continued through American history because the “virus” – racism – “mutated.” Dalrymple labeled slavery one of America’s “original sins” and detailed not only its history but that of reconstruction and Jim Crow laws, “progressive policies” that made things worse, and over-incarceration.
“The result is a catastrophic wealth gap: The median net worth of black families in the United States today is one-tenth the median net worth of white families,” he wrote. “Sixty-two percent of black children born between 1955 and 1970 were raised in poor neighborhoods, compared to 4 percent of white children. Results for the generation born between 1985 and 2000 were even worse, with 66 percent of black children raised in poor neighborhoods compared to 6 percent of white children.
“The only way to explain the story above is the persistence of racial prejudice and its enshrinement into the apparatus of government.”
In December, after Dalrymple and the magazine called for President Donald Trump to be impeached, evangelical leaders across the nation condemned it. Many said that the magazine was deciding before the evidence had been heard by the Senate, which acts as the jury.
Hundreds of Christians signed a letter publicly criticizing the magazine for disparaging those that voted for Trump.
Gilberto Velez, chairman of the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, was one of many Hispanic and black leaders who signed the letter.
Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook that “Christianity Today has been used by the left for their political agenda. It’s obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism.”
The Senate voted to to acquit the President.
Noted intellectual Walter Williams has written extensively and pointedly on why reparations is not the answer. Williams, who is African-American, stated in an 2019 editorial, “The reparations movement would be an amusing sideshow were it not for its damaging distractions. It grossly misallocates resources that could be better spent elsewhere.”
Williams also takes on what he calls a false notion that slavery made the United States rich. “Reparations advocates make the unchallenged pronouncement that the U.S. became rich on the backs of free black labor. That’s utter nonsense,” writes Williams. “While some slave owners became rich, slavery doesn’t have a good record of producing wealth.”
Williams continues that more money has been spent on ending black poverty than all of America’s wars combined.
“As of 2014, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution. If money alone were the answer, the many issues facing a large segment of the black community would have been solved.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice