Jesus Christ was “a radical revolutionary” dedicated to the destruction of “the American empire,” and every church should be “a home of revolutionaries,” Ibram X. Kendi, the best-selling author of How to be an Antiracist, said in a recent interview.
Kendi said he believes in black liberation theology, as opposed to “white evangelical theology,” which allegedly teaches that black people are “a backward, uncivilized, sort of, savage race, and Jesus came … to save black people” and “so-called ‘white trash’ from themselves.”
Kendi, one of the foremost popularizers of the ideas associated with Critical Race Theory, expounded on his religious views during an hourlong interview program sponsored by Uproxx, titled “People’s Party with Talib Kweli.”
Kweli began the religious discussion. “Any Gospel that does not speak to liberation is not truly Gospel,” said Kweli during the July 6 interview. “The understanding of Jesus as a radical revolutionary nowadays is more popular than it used to be,” something he credits to Cornel West, the honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America and faculty member at Union Theological Seminary.
“Can you break down the difference between, you know, seeing Jesus Christ as a figure of liberation versus like the white nationalist Christ?” Kweli asked Kendi. Kendi responded:
In many ways, you know, white evangelical theology projects Jesus as not only white — but not only a white Savior, but a white Savior of people of color and even, you know — because we, apparently, according to this theology, were a backward, uncivilized, sort of, savage race. And Jesus came, apparently, to save humanity, particularly to save black people, to save even poor whites, those so-called “white trash” from themselves, while liberation theology and black liberation theology is like, no, Jesus was a — as you stated — a radical revolutionary that came to free the people from the clutches of Babylon and oppression, and from the clutches of empire, whether it was the Roman empire or the American empire, and that the engine or the job of the church, you know, is to be a place or a space, really, a home of revolutionaries.
Kendi has expressed the same theological beliefs more cogently in the past.
“Jesus was a revolutionary, and the job of the Christian is to revolutionize society,” Kendi said in a video shot in 2019. “The job of the Christian is to liberate society from the powers on Earth that are oppressing humanity.”
He then contrasted what