Thu, 09 Apr 2015 10:45:45 +0000
Campus Reform: Just days before Easter, one professor took to the internet to blast Christian conservatives for inventing a “white supremacist Jesus.”
On Wednesday, Rutgers University professor Brittney Cooper published a column for online magazine Slate excoriating supporters of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act—which she dubbed “religious freedom garbage”—and alleging that conservative Christians harbor “antagonistic” political views toward “every single group of people who are not white, male, Christian, cisgender, straight and middle-class.”
“Any time right-wing conservatives declare that they are trying to restore or reclaim something, we should all be very afraid,” Cooper wrote in reference to the controversial Indiana law that prevents the state from constraining individuals’ free exercise of religion without demonstrating a compelling government interest.
According to Cooper, the law is the culmination of “conservative anxieties over the legalization of same-sex marriage in Indiana,” and will lead the state back to the “idyllic environs of the 1950s, wherein women, and gays, and blacks knew their respective places and stayed in them.”
Cooper says the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby—which allowed owners of closely held, for-profit corporations to seek exemptions from laws that violate their owners’ religious beliefs—provided the logic Indiana has used to “curtail and abridge” gay rights. She also claims the Indiana law “sanctions the exercise of Islamophobia” and declares it a slippery slope that will lead to “racially inflected religious discrimination.”
“Nothing about the cultural and moral regime of the religious right in this country signals any kind of freedom,” writes Cooper, adding that “this kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women.”
The self-proclaimed Christian professor says she often questions if she “worship[s] the same God of white religious conservatives,” who she describes as a “white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus.” “I call this god, the god of white supremacy and patriarchy,” Cooper writes.
According to Cooper, “if your politics are rooted in the contemporary anti-Black, misogynist, homophobic conservatism, then we are not serving the same God.” That God, she claims, is “an asshole” with “nothing holy, loving, righteous, inclusive, liberatory theologically sound about him.”
Cooper concludes by encouraging others to declare “death to the unholy trinity of white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy” allegedly created by those on the Religious Right who “have pimped Jesus’ death to support the global spread of American empire vis-a-vis war…”
Cooper, who teaches Women’s and Gender studies and Africana Studies at the publicly-funded university in New Brunswick, N.J., describes herself as a “next generation black intellectual.”
Rutgers did not return Campus Reform’s request for comment.
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