Sad Wingnut Explains Slavery Saved Souls
Twitter brings us glimpses of the world we might otherwise not know about. We're especially fond of the medievalists who share bizarre marginalia from illuminated manuscripts, like weird (non-white) mermaids or violent rabbits. Along similar but far less pleasant lines, yesterday a tweet brought to our attention a bizarre opinion piece at the American Conservative site, in which a dude gripes about how "postmodernism" destroyed his church. That horror was exemplified, among other things, by the time a guest sermon by a mean identity-politics black person said it was "sinful" to point out the simple fact that the slave trade brought millions of Africans to Christ.
See? Every bit as odd as medieval mermaids.
The piece was an anonymous letter to editor and columnist Rod Dreher, the conservative thought leaderer who has previously explained that liberal women are too busy masturbating to love their children, and who mourned the death of George Michael by wishing the singer had been straight. No way Dreher will one day meet him in heaven now! Dreher prefaces the lengthy letter by noting the writer gave permission to run it anonymously, and offers this semi-disclaimer:
There's a lot to think about here. By publishing it, I'm not necessarily endorsing his conclusions. I just think there's something here worth considering.
So don't you go around saying Rod Dreher believes slavery was a real shame but at least it brought souls to Jebus. He merely ran a guest opinion insisting slavery was a real shame but it brought souls to Jebus.
We'll spare you the bulk of the letter's jeremiad against the pernicious effects of "postmodernism," mostly because the writer takes his definition of "postmodernism" from a Jordan Peterson video about "Cultural Marxism," which he quotes at length. You silly degenerates may think PoMo is a literary theory about the subjectivity of interpretation and the interplay of texts, but that's merely because you've been hypnotized by international jouissance.
Peterson explains that postmodernism is really about RAW LEFTIST POWER to destroy traditional values by calling anyone who opposes them a "racist." It's the same damp, warmed over culture wars garbage you'd expect, and now some tedious Peterson fan will show up in the comments and tell us we've got it all wrong because we've oversimplified Peterson's simplistic reductionism, and we need to go watch 57 hours of videos to really get the point.
Really, the writer just doesn't like all the liberalism seeping into his church and ruining it for normal people.
He explains that he and his wife had to abandon their former church because it got "woke." In the Before Times, while the church "had some management issues," it at least had sound doctrine:
[Our] church was NOT a liberal church. Our church's statement of faith was borrowed from The Gospel Coalition's website. We had deep theological teaching. We had a concentration on community. We had great worship.
Ah, but then the pernicious influence of postmodernism (evil woke commies) arrived!
But then things started to get weird. The first issue was a sermon on the Civil Rights movement. Now, I'm fine with the Civil Rights Movement, but I didn't know how the Bible said anything about the Civil Rights Movement, so I was a little perturbed that we dedicated an entire sermon to it.
It's not like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher or anything. But he's fine with the Civil Rights Movement, as long as those people aren't having civil rights out in public where children can see. He could have lived with a single sermon on history, he guesses, if only the guest speaker hadn't been so identity-political about it.
During that sermon, the guest preacher (a black member who eventually became an elder) made a claim that made me pause. He was speaking about the "racist" origins of the Southern Baptist Convention (with which our church associated). He bemoaned the sinful origin of the organization and said "They even believed that because of slavery, God had brought more Africans to faith! That's wrong! That's sinful!"
Fact check: Why yes, the Southern Baptists did split from the abolitionist northern Baptists over slavery. That is an actual history fact, and not in dispute, even if you put scare quotes around "racist."
But the dude's real conniption is over the notion that it's "racist" to be joyful that all those enslaved people were brought to Jebus. Don't get him wrong, he knows that doesn't justify slavery, he's not saying that. But "facts" are "facts":
I winced, because what he just called sinful, I believed. I still believe it. No, it's not a sufficient justification for slavery, but I do believe (as an accident of history and a proof of God's sovereignty), that the slave trade exposed Africans to Christianity when they wouldn't have been exposed to Christianity otherwise.
He may not wince at racism, slavery, or genocide, but he damn well winces at having a cherished belief called problematic or racist. God's plan clearly included slavery, because God's a mysterious fucker that way, and how dare these Marxists deny that The Blacks got saved, unfortunate though all the forced labor, torture, murder, rape, and dehumanization may have been. He goes on to be Very Concerned some more:
I believe it in the same way I have no problem believing that "all things work together for the good of those who love God" and "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." For that reason, I have no problem believing that the trans-Atlantic slave trade led many people to saving faith. Plus, isn't it objectively true? Regardless of the facts, I was troubled that one's mental conviction on a factual (not theological) point was being called "sinful."
There's a lot more, some about race (Jesus may have been swarthy but he wasn't "black," for instance -- no mention of White Santa Claus at least), and some about women, and some about esoteric theological matters, but it all comes down to a long whine about how sad it is that the Left took over his church. Somebody should remind him that only liberals care about "feelings."
We'd recommend the poor distressed fellow hole up with some nice Christian history textbooks for kids, so he can be reassured that the best thing about slavery was that it promised freedom in heaven, and also gave us some beautiful spirituals, and yes, hooray, as one book for 8th-grade homeschooled kids says, he's absolutely right about how slavery spread the word of God:
Although the slaves faced great difficulties, many found faith in Christ and learned to look to God for strength. By 1860, most slave holders provided Christian instruction on their plantations.
That same textbook, we should note, also argued that while the Trail of Tears was certainly a bummer for all those Native Americans sent on death marches across the continent, it had a terrific upside:
Christian missionaries accompanied the Indians on their long journey to Oklahoma, called the "Trail of Tears." Many Cherokees were so discouraged that they were ready to lie down and die. The missionaries restored their spirits by preaching, baptizing new converts, allowing for rest on Sundays, and meeting many physical needs. God used the "Trail of Tears" to bring many Indians to Christ. [Underline and bold in original -- Dok]
Still, sad wingnut dude does have a point, of sorts. People who think like he does no longer have a monopoly on cultural power. We bet God is just all broke up about that.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.