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Wright Comments Hurt Black Churches

(Released May 2008)

Black churches are facing a threat to their very existence.

A few years ago, there were unsubstantiated fears of a campaign of physical destruction by arsonists. There is also the danger every election year of liberal politicians using black pulpits as soapboxes in violation of tax law.

This time, however, the problem comes from within and is more dangerous.

“Black liberation theology” threatens to hijack the character and damage the brand of thousands of respected black churches in the U.S. The Christian messages of love, unity, faith and hope are in danger of being replaced with racial hatred, political rhetoric and victimization. Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s 15 minutes of fame gave black liberation theology unmerited attention and made Reverend Wright and his sermons the personification of the black church.

Let’s be clear. The opinions of Reverend Wright are not representative of most black churches. Speaking from many years as a member of black Baptist and Methodist congregations, I’ve never experienced sermons coming close to the political and social commentary he espouses.

Every minister I’ve known has a different style, but their messages about Christian faith are consistent and completely void of politics.

To be honest, I had never heard of black liberation theology before the Wright controversy. I now believe that such rhetoric has no place in any house of worship.

Dating back to the 1960s, black liberation theology asserts the victimization of blacks as a primary theme. It incites anger and hostility; blames Western capitalism for societal problems among blacks and denies the reality that times have changed since the 1960s and that we have moved on as a society.

Black liberation theology’s radical politics masquerades as religion. It ignores significant advances blacks have made and continue to make. Through hard work, dedication and perseverance, blacks are achieving their aspirations and becoming successful in business, entertainment, sports and politics – proving Reverend Wright wrong.

Reverend Wright risks portraying all black Christians as angry militants, which creates and reinforces negative stereotypes. Such negative branding can only harm race relations by poisoning the minds of millions of Americans.

Anyone who has not experienced a black Christian house of worship should not deem all black churches the same and definitely not in the model of Reverend Wright’s black liberation theology.

Ironically, Reverend Wright’s apparent personal wealth disproves the fundamental principles of his black liberation theology. According to news reports, he’s moving into a million-dollar four-bedroom mansion “complete with an elevator, whirlpool, butler’s pantry, circular driveway and four-car garage” in an exclusive gated community in an overwhelmingly white Chicago suburb. Such a lifestyle would be impossible if the elements of black liberation theology were true.

Reverend Wright’s message of despair and victimization is especially harmful to impressionable youth. Instead of delivering a message of hope, love and opportunity, he feeds the bleakness that often surrounds inner-city children. For those already struggling in dysfunctional households and failing schools, negative messages from authority figures can add to feelings of hopelessness. It also can lead children down the path of self-destruction through alcohol and drug abuse, gang membership and other criminal activities.

Reverend Wright’s views bring enormous harm to the institution of the black church. Many black ministers faced racial difficulties in the past that did not lead them down a destructive, negative path. These ministers positively serve their congregations to the benefit of the entire community, and their efforts go largely unheralded.

A traditional Christian church – black or white – is a place to worship, reflect and grow in the light of God’s love and mercy. Let’s hope Americans will take the time to think about the silent majority of black ministers and not allow black liberation theology to unjustly tarnish their reputation.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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