Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective
It’s easy to poke evangelical Christians and even Catholics for their narrowness in often relegating women to the kitchen and gays to the ovens of hell. However, when it comes to racial equality, it’s the liberal Protestants who take the cake.
The mainline Protestant denominations – Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians and Lutherans (ELCA) – pride themselves on their “color blindness.” But where’s the substance?
In a recent study (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sept. 2015), emails were sent to churches requesting membership information from someone identified as having recently moved into the neighborhood. The names of the email senders were divided into easily identifiable racial/ethnic categories – black, Hispanic, Asian and white – to see if churches responded to these names in different ways.
When the responses were broken down into church groups – Evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches – there was little difference in the response rate for the four categories by Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. The liberal mainline Protestant churches, however, were more likely to respond to white names (67.1%) than to black (59.9%), Hispanic (57.5%) or Asian (48.9%) names.
Here’s My Take: People of color will soon comprise over 50% of our nation’s population.
Republicans, having no message for this new majority, seek to retain power by restricting voter eligibility and limiting immigration, whether Syrian or Mexican. Mainline Protestants do have a message – a much needed one of inclusion and compassion. As the above study suggests, however, they are lost in the gap between preaching and practice.
Republicans have heart problems. Liberal churches are without flavor. Both are addicted to grandma’s white flour only recipes in a multi-grain world. It’s time to change the diet.