Should Christians Support Reparations for African-Americans?

First, I just want to say thank you Ta-Nehisi Coates, for all of the work he's doing and, I appreciate his transparency as well.  Walking through his logic and historical data shows how people can change their view when presented with facts. I am a big ole fan of his work. I truly believe his work is some of the best writing about America in a long time.

Most people are woefully ignorant about American history, believing they have not received the benefits of racist policies that extend far beyond slavery and Jim Crow, but have their roots in the insidious ideology of white supremacy.  I believe, Ta-Nehisi Coates almost single handed reignited the reparations conversation in this country with his "The Case for Reparations": An Intellectual Autopsy blog piece. By making the case that black social peril and inequality in the United States of America is mostly the result of the legacy of white supremacy and African enslavement, Coates has effectively initiated a new debate in public discourse about the virtues and vices of reparations. Among the many insightful aspects of Coates' arguments is his assertion that African enslavement and white supremacy were in part substantiated and justified on Christian theological grounds.

 Billy Honor
 For many of us, this is not new news; but it did get my mind to thinking again about the role Christian theology has played in advancing black social inequality. It is a historical fact that one of the primary supporting institutions of African enslavement was the Christian churches. Many of the churches provided the theological and ideological basis on which enslavement functioned and thrived. For this reason I argue that the Christian church was as complicit in the atrocity of enslavement and the advance of white supremacy as any other party; and as a result the contemporary Christian church must take responsibility for helping right the wrongs that it helped perpetuate in US society and culture. And this brings us to the issue of reparations. Source:

Do you as a Christian agree that the contemporary Christian church has contributed to our prejudice and racial history? 


  1. Love never FailsThursday, 19 June, 2014

    There is the Christian CHURCH and the CHRISTian church. The first is the man made religion of Christianity, the other is the Body of Christ here on earth without walls and not yet revealed. Regarding the first one I must agree that the church contributed. Maybe the part that the church played was even bigger than we think.
    But I don't understand what is meant with 'reparations'. Didn't Christ came to 'repair' us? I don't understand why we Christians always seek other ways to make things right. When will we accept the past and leave the repairing and judging to God? We can't move forward because we won't let go. If you belong to the Body of Christ then you know that God will make every wrong right.

  2. In the words of Frederick Douglass, he was moved by the "Christianity of Christ" (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave). Yes, the contemporary church has greatly contributed to ideologies such as racial degradation, although, as recognized by Douglass, it is Christ's church that introduces the God who can free those with or without chains. Reparations will only affect the surface of things. The power of God brought forth through His church will liberate the hearts, minds, and souls of man.


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