Controversial Book Claims "Jesus Worship Devalues Black Men"
WASHINGTON --"'Jesus worship' is equivalent to 'white male worship,' and it is detrimental to the mental and emotional health of black people and emasculating and devaluing to black manhood," argues Dr. Christopher C. Bell Jr. in his book, The Black Clergy's Misguided Worship Leadership. In this book, Dr. Bell cites cogent educational and behavioral reasons to explain why and how the glorification and worship of the ancient, Roman-made, white male, Christian idol, Jesus Christ is not only idolatrous, but that such worship subliminally makes black people complicit in their own psychological oppression.
Here are some points discussed in the book::
a. The "Jesus Christ" worshipped by black people today is the ancient, Roman-made, white male, idol god created by Roman Emperor Constantine and church bishops of the Roman Church at the Nicene Council (CE 325) and made compulsory for all Roman citizens, and that centuries later white European slave masters for over 300 years imposed this same white male idol god on their black African slaves; resulting in the white male image of the idol "Jesus Christ" being deeply ingrained in the psyche of black people as well as white people.
b. The Jesus worshipping (white male worshipping) customs of the black community are led by the black clergy and these customs reinforce the racist notion of white male superiority in the same ways as white racial discrimination and other American cultural symbols and representations of white supremacy;
c. The Jesus worshipping (white male worshipping) culture of the black community in conjunction with other American cultural symbols and representations of white supremacy subliminally afflicts many black people with a deleterious white superiority syndrome (WSS) that leads to emotional and spiritual depression resulting in self-limiting beliefs and aberrant behavior such as; low academic achievement motivation among black adolescents, mutual alienation between black men and women, increased feelings of hate toward whites and other blacks, and increased stress and other health related problems in black males;
d. The white male worshipping (Jesus worshipping) folkways of the black community are mentally oppressive and emotional emasculating to many young black men who after years of embedment in such folkways feel alienated, demeaned, devalued, and angry, and react in ways that lead to high rates of recalcitrance, self abuse, crime, violence, and incarceration;
e. The Jesus worship (white male worship) tradition within the black community is a black clergy-lead exercise that is a carryover from black peoples' past experiences as chattel slaves, and this tradition ensures that black people continue to learn and believe, as their slave masters would have insisted, that "whiteness and the white male Christian power structure are anointed and approved by God"; a result that promotes behavior and sentiments in many black people that are reflective of a "slave mentality" or a "low caste group" self-image;
f. The white male worshipping (Jesus worshipping) culture within black communities unavoidably buttresses, elevates, and glorifies white manhood, while inescapably and inevitably devaluing and emasculating black manhood; a result that stokes a latent anger, a temperament of violence or of self-injurious behavior in many young black men while promoting a sense of racial superiority in many young white men.
Dr. Bell argues that to neutralize the above negative effects of "Jesus worship," the black clergy must stop teaching black people to glorify and worship Jesus Christ and begin teaching them a "new Christianity" that espouses WORSHIPPING ONLY GOD the creator and sustainer of life and that recognizes Jesus as a human being and prophet. Why? Because this "new Christianity" would promote Jesus Christ from the status of an unbelievable, make-believe, superstition-based, supernatural, extra-terrestrial, god-character to the status of a believable, historically feasible, real life human being and prophet; and young black men will be able to relate to a "Prophet Jesus" and to his teachings with a sense of rationality, human commonality, and self-respect. None of these relationships is possible between today's Christianity and black men.
He explains that due to reasons having nothing to do with the enlightenment and worldly progress of the black community, many black clergy members will be reluctant to change to the "new" Christianity and that change will come only when black clergy members have garnered the moral courage to speak the truth about the negative psychological effects of Jesus worship on the black community, or when black community uplift organizations and/or black university and college students decide to work together to persuade the black clergy to change from "Jesus worship" to "God worship ONLY."
Dr. Bell argues that the "new" Christianity is a crucial intellectual and cultural transformation that black people must undertake if they are to ever gain religious enlightenment and psychological liberation from the damaging effects of their white male worshipping folkways. Such an enlightenment and liberation will lead to: improved academic achievement motivation in black male adolescents, a downward mediation of the high rates of recalcitrance, anti-social temperaments, and violence among many young black men, a collective gain in authentic black male racial pride, and a reduction in young black men's plight and plunge toward incarceration.
About the Author:
Christopher C. Bell Jr., Ed.D., Major, US Army Retired, is a long time observer and analyst of the motivational and behavioral effects of religious educational programs on black people.