Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

7/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

People like Butler lack credibility and are an embarrassment to serious scholars and educators.

Anthea Butler's comments about race and God in response to the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial are not a reflection of Catholicism. The Catholic Church is about truth, unity, beauty, and goodness not division and hatred.

Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: George Zimmerman, Verdict, Anthea Butler, Black liberation theology, Racism, DOJ, Catholic Church, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - The First Lady, Michelle Obama, may finally be proud of her country, but I am not. In some ways, I think the United States has reached a new low. I am referring to the disgraceful leadership we are witnessing in response to the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman. More specifically, I am referring to Anthea Butler, and the bizarre comments she posted on July 14 on Religion Dispatches.

Anthea Butler refers to herself as a "wiser, older professor" in her comments. She earned a doctorate in religion from Vanderbilt University and a masters in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is an associate professor in the religion department at the University of Pennsylvania and a regular guest on MSNBC and CNN.

There is no doubt that she has been blessed with an education and a leadership role in our society, but she has used these powerful blessings to incite people rather than enlighten them. I believe her comments exemplify the disgraceful state of leadership in America today in education, media and politics.

Her comments on race and God were in response to the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. She wrote, "God ain't good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in a nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain't my god. As a matter of fact, I think he's a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men."

She goes on: "Is God the old white male racist looking down from white heaven, ready to bless me if I just believe the white men . . . ?"  She also says that Christians are "some of the biggest racists," and that the underpinnings of racism in America are based on Christianity.

I strongly disagree with her. Her comments about God are completely ridiculous and sacrilegious. Furthermore, the fight against slavery in America and worldwide was spearheaded by Christians responding to their faith and love of neighbor. And the Catholic Church crossed the boundary of race two-thousand years ago. We only need to look at a list of her saints to know this is true. We can also look at the faces of Catholic priests and religious. They are from all over the world.  

Anthea Butler is supposedly Catholic, but her comments are not compatible with Catholicism. However, they appear quite compatible with something called black liberation theology. Black liberation theology is not a real religion. Some versions combine Christianity and Marxism into a racist social and political ideology. James Cone is one of the most significant leaders of this movement.

Cone acquired a doctorate degree from Northwestern University and was awarded the Charles A. Briggs Chair in systematic theology. In his book, Black Theology and Black Power, Cone wrote, "we can be certain that black patience has run out, and unless white America responds positively to the theory and activity of Black Power, then a bloody, protracted civil war is inevitable."
 
According to an entry in Wikipedia, Cone believes that "if God does not desire justice, then God needs to be done away with. Liberation from a false god who privileges whites, and the realization of an alternative and true God who desires the empowerment of the oppressed . . . is the core of black liberation theology." In another entry he said, "A white man who is in power cannot be a Christian, unless he gives up that power and give it to the black man."

Cone reportedly believes that Jeremiah Wright's church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, is "the best example of a church formally founded on the vision of black liberation theology." This is the same Jeremiah Wright who was Barack Obama's pastor for about 20 years and who said, "not God bless America! God damn America" in response to the terrorist attacks on this country on September 11, 2001.

While I cannot be certain that Anthea Butler's bizarre comments on race and God in response to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial are rooted in black liberation theology, they certainly reflect the same quality of thought that Cone preached. This is not intellectual diversity, it is intellectual rubbish and hatred, a kind of fundamentalism like we find among violent Islamists.

According to Fox News, Josiah Ryan, editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, said, "In tumultuous times students must be able turn to their professors for calm and wisdom. In stoking the flames of hatred, Professor Butler has betrayed her students' trust. [University of Pennsylvania] administrators ought not to allow her back in the classroom."

I agree with Ryan completely. People like Butler lack credibility and are an embarrassment to serious scholars and educators. She does not belong in a classroom or on television. If Ivy League schools and major news outlets like MSNBC and CNN associate themselves with charlatans like her, then they also lose credibility and the public's trust.

Nowhere is the loss of credibility and trust more evident than at the highest levels of government. The Obama administration is possibly the most corrupt and divisive administration in the history of the United States. For instance, as the head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Eric Holder has refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panthers for voting rights violations, yet he now appears to be engaging in a flagrant witch hunt against George Zimmerman.

In an interview on the Sean Hannity radio show, Pat Buchanan said, "What is taking place now, Sean, is not the prosecution of George Zimmerman, that's over. He was found 'not guilty' on all counts. He was found innocent on all counts. What's taking place now is the persecution of George Zimmerman. This man has his life threatened. He is hiding. His family is being threatened. The Justice Department is threatening him with a second trial . . . . This is not what is supposed to happen in America."

As Catholics, we need to earnestly pray for the Zimmerman and Martin families. We need to pray that our leaders will do the right thing and that peace and civility will prevail in our society. But we also need to hold our leaders accountable for their comments and actions. They are not to incite civil unrest or encourage it.

The examples given by many of the leaders in America today are absolutely disgraceful. And one final thing: Anthea Butler's comments are not a reflection of Catholicism. The Catholic Church is about truth, unity, beauty, and goodness not division and hatred. 

 -----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Disastrous, horrific high school prank ends with 100 seniors banned from graduation Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One hundred senior high school students from Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee were banned from graduation for misconduct after their involvement in a "trashy" prank at their school. The horrible prank, caught on camera, also resulted in the school ... continue reading


Nevada drought dramatically raises wildfire dangers Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On Nevada's fourth year of extreme drought, the state awaits the hot, dry, and long summer that will bring the risk of wildfires. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, three of the five Great Basin states, which are Utah, Oregon and Nevada, are in 99 percent drought ... continue reading


A Christian Woman's Cry and Promise: I Will Not Be Dissuaded Watch

Image of Do not misunderstand me. This is not arrogant boasting or a finger-wagging -I told you so! I don't say this to you, the culture, out of spite or snickering glee, but with a heavy heart that longs to see such a dismal future averted. Yet I know that even if the darkness closing in on us is not lifted, then the Church will suffer through it, be purified by it, and will be there, still standing, when souls come in need of healing and hope again. God is not mocked, and He is not dead.

By Jennifer Hartline

I am sad for my country, and for the world. I grieve for the immorality that has become so commonplace and celebrated. I grieve for the family -- father, mother, and children -- as I watch it crumble and be slowly erased from our collective understanding. I ... continue reading


Know your rights, ACLU declares as 'Black Spring Has Begun' Watch

Image of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaking live across the world, announced criminal charges against the officers in the death of 25-year-old Grey.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After the great tragedy of widespread rioting in Baltimore following the death of young black man Freddie Gray while in police custody, there is hope. The six police officers suspected in his death - three white and three black, now immediately face homicide ... continue reading


Chinese, Indian immigrants in United States taking away lead set by Mexico Watch

Image of Mexico and China in 2012 had been tied for top-sending country, with Mexico at 125,000 and China at 124,000.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of its next-door proximity to the United States, Mexico has lost the lead in send immigrants to the United States. Both China and India have increasingly been sending immigrants to American shores to work and live. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Former terror suspect among two gunmen shot, killed by police at Texas anti-Islam event Watch

Image of Thirty-year-old Elton Simpson, along with his 34-year-old roommate Nadir Soofi, above, were shot dead by police at an anti-Islamist art contest near Dallas, Texas Sunday night.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-year-old Elton Simpson, along with his 34-year-old roommate Nadir Soofi was shot dead by police at an anti-Islamist art contest near Dallas, Texas Sunday night. Both men were shot dead by police after they fired upon an unarmed security guard in the ... continue reading


Obamacare, State Sovereignty, and the Heckler's Veto at the Supreme Court

Image of An artist rendering of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Cameras are not allowed during arguments.

By Edwin Meese III & J. Kenneth Blackwell

Refusing to give effect to Congress's law would usher in an era where courts routinely let presidents rewrite statutes whenever the words Congress adopts does not produce outcomes the president likes. It will permanently cede legislative power to the executive ... continue reading


Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas on What it Means to be a Crusader Today

Image of Atonement Academy, the Parish School of Our Lady of the Atonement Parish Church in San Antonio, Texas.

By Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

When Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in 1095, he envisioned it as a defensive action, designed to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims and to protect the lives of Christians living there and of pilgrims going there.  It is interesting that what ... continue reading


Vast majority of Americans fear further racial unrest come the summer months Watch

Image of Asked to choose between two possible explanations for recent events, 60 percent of blacks said they reflected

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a poll, a vast majority of Americans fear further racial unrest come the long, hot summer months. A whopping 96 percent of those surveyed feel that there will be further demonstrations and rioting later this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


New study pinpoints most 'racist' areas in America -- and it's not where you think it is Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New research suggests that areas in the northern part of the United States have higher mortality rates for black Americans and the people were found to be more racist. Researchers from the University of Maryland, found that areas with more people Google searching the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:1-6
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:1-8
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2015 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, Martyrs Edward Jones ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter