Look, I commend Giboney for admitting the “urban Christian” error of subordinating religious convictions in favor of racial pride, fidelity and succumbing to the novelty of a non-white president. Blacks supported “one of their own,” chronically defending the indefensible by supporting Obama to their shame as Christians and blacks, in that order.
Recently, Justin Giboney penned a piece for Christianity Today in which he laments and regrets the decision and refusal of “urban Christians” to challenge President Obama’s leadership and anti-Christian, leftist agenda. President Obama’s recent decision to coerce the county’s schools and universities to permit transgender students to use the bathroom, changing room, and locker room that corresponds with their “gender identity” rather than genetic dictates has forced Giboney and the urban Christian demographic to confront the consequences of sequestering their religious convictions in favor of outward social and political support for the first black president.
To Giboney’s credit, he admits that he and other urban Christians, (read primarily black Christians though he includes Hispanics) gave Barack Obama a pass when it came to his policy positions and agenda. Now suddenly after seven years, he finally questions the prudence of this decision.
Better late than never I suppose.
A proud supporter of Barack Obama, Giboney says,
I too was compelled by the historic nature of President Obama’s election. As a certified Obama apologist, I still smile in the glory of this collective prize. A culture of reverence and loyalty were aroused to historic proportions by a man who achieved the impossible. Not much more can be written about the historic nature of Obama’s election. The rejoicing mirrored the completion of a revolutionary effort. Reverence for a hero was immediately labeled sacred, and enshrined.
But the reward wasn’t without a price for black and Hispanic Christians. While our social concern was given voice, our values were muffled and dismissed. These slights were overlooked as we focused on protecting our protagonist from the far right. By code,we will condone our leader’s flaws before conveying the slightest hint of dissension to outsiders. That, after all, is family business.
First… Far right?
I wonder whom Giboney includes within this deprecatory designation. And to be sure, those who Giboney is denigrating aren’t the ‘far right’; they’re simply right of center. Though I gather there aren’t many who share Giboney’s complexion on this geographical end of the spectrum, there are many who do share his faith, and as such, are co-members of the multi-ethnic brotherhood of Jesus Christ. It’s because of this shared faith that many (though certainly not all) enthusiastically and with perseverance challenged Barack Obama’s agenda because it was – and still is – in clear and persistent conflict with their Christian religious beliefs.
Secondly, the “values” of black Christians weren’t “muffled and dismissed” as if blacks are passive victims to chance or circumstance. Giboney and other black Christians intentionally muffled and dismissed their Christian values to support and defend a black president. It was a calculated political trade-off and a bad one at that. He should at least admit fault when he’s attempting to admit fault.
Aside from that, this admission is an important and clarifying point about what’s been revealed in the age of Obama. Rather than standing on Christian principles and maintaining the courage of Christian convictions, Giboney (emblematic of most black Christians) intentionally chose racial solidarity with – and racial sympathy for – President Obama despite the predictable social costs, including the deterioration of black Christian integrity. Giboney confesses as much, admitting,
This steadfast sense of loyalty held by urban Christians forms a protective shield around our leaders. It’s dependable, almost unconditional… But it can also stifle accountability, making [minority leaders] more susceptible to their own faults.
We happily manned the front lines as Obama fought for the poor and underserved. We held our noses when he championed policy contrary to our beliefs. The unspoken, but understood call was to stand down lest we undermine our brother and empower his enemies. And stand down we did, submitting to the Obama Effect.
In other words black Christians (black non-Christians as well, obviously) reflexively circled the racial wagons, strengthening black racial fellowship and sympathy to defend Barack Obama, which was accompanied by an admitted double standard of morality and expectation primarily because of shared skin color (though certainly, ideology plays a part). I doubt Giboney and his fellow urban Christians would have sacrificed their religious integrity and the gospel of Christ by deferring to a non-black president in this way. The fact Giboney and others were decidedly silent as Barack Obama championed policies that were not only anti-Christian (same sex marriage and endorsement of homosexuality; economic policies nurtured by envy and grievance; punitive taxation and monetary redistribution, i.e., theft, politicized as reduction of inequality) but that also caused and intensified social discord (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”; several invocations of the Ferguson lie; circumventing federal immigration policies for political expediency; suing states to prevent them from upholding federal immigration policy; infringement of civil liberties) unmistakably demonstrates the power and privileged significance that racial commonality and black identity has over urban Christians.