Diverse Viewpoints among Whites is Not Diversity

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Diverse viewpoints among whites is not diversity. 

The Problem We Face

I am frankly beyond tired of the supposition among predominately white Christian colleges and seminaries that a diversity of viewpoints is sufficient to call an institution "diverse." This is only so because professors, administrators, and trustees at those institutions want to preserve white culture and white theological frameworks in their curriculum, and white fiscal policies in their budgets.

These institutions would rather teach five hyper-nuanced versions of reformed 'lapsarianisms' than, say, the historically black Christian doctrine that God has elected black people as a community and their liberation is the work of the kingdom of God.

Institutions like Biola University/Talbot Seminary, DTS, SBTS, and TEDS have shackled their (few) professors of color, queer, and female professors in theology departments to the wall of white supremacy and straight male hegemony and then played off as if this is normal Christian practice. This is intolerable, heinous, and incompatible with the way of the kingdom of Heaven.  

The strict theological boundaries of these institutions have forced a black, gay, or female professor to teach as if their blackness (and the content thereof) is incompatible with the Christian faith.

Diversity and White Oblivion

The white individuals in charge of these institutions are at fault even though they are aware of their whiteness, as they stand as a part of a tradition of white supremacy and white power. Evangelical institutions were founded by racists and white supremacists, as was the norm in the early 1850s-1920s when these institutions were founded. To continue operation as normal is to perpetuate the racist, and therefore sinful systems which have stigmatized and criminalized black, gay. and female Americans for centuries. 

The Solution

The answer to this is simple. Whites in positions of power need to yield some of their power to the people of color under them, hiring practices need to reflect the diversity institutions seek to create, and curriculum needs to reflect racial diversity.

I am calling on the aforementioned institutions to allow the people of color on their staff to create policies that are welcoming to female students, queer students, and students of color. 

When the institutions training our ministers become less white in all areas, when they reflect the diversity of Christendom, then we will have made progress toward racial reconciliation and ethnic diversity in the church. Perhaps then Sunday mornings will no longer be the most segregated part of the week in America. 

 

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