AFA Journal staff writer
June 2021 – In a twisted token of virtue, Aunt Jemima, Mia – the Land O Lakes butter maiden, and Uncle Ben have all recently been relegated to the dustbin of history, erased from their legendary labels.
It seems a bit ironic to attempt to elevate minorities in culture by “canceling” their cultural icons. Yet such is the rationale when a culture is captured by the diabolical tenets of a wicked ideology known as Critical Race Theory (CRT), one of the biggest threats to modern Western society.
CRT has been on the scene for some time, somewhat limited to academia, working in the background mostly, and on the radar of very few. However, key events over the past two years have propelled CRT into the limelight and the national conversation.
Aside from a handful of discerning Christian leaders, the church for the most part was oblivious to CRT.
That changed when the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, passed the now infamous Resolution 9 at its 2019 convention, adopting CRT as an analytical tool. This caused an uproar, awakening many unsuspecting Christians to this new ideology creeping into the church.
In September 2020 President Donald Trump issued an executive order rejecting CRT in government institutions, only to have it revoked by President Joe Biden.
Recently Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) explicitly excluded CRT from Florida’s civics education curriculum, stating, “Let me be clear, there is no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory.”
These government decisions have led many to seek clarity on the issue. So what is CRT? How does it relate to and affect the culture and the church?
The roots of CRT
Abraham Hamilton, AFA general counsel and host of American Family Radio’s (AFR) The Hamilton Corner, schooled AFA Journal on the roots of CRT. He said the origins of CRT can be traced back to 19th century German philosopher Karl Marx.
“Karl Marx developed an economic philosophy that led his followers, Marxists, to believe World War I would cause an uprising of the underclass, the proletariat, to overthrow the upper class, the bourgeoisie,” Hamilton explained.
But things did not go as the Marxists hoped. They needed the lower class to be angry and see themselves as victims with no hope. Instead, they found the European working class surprisingly patriotic. People had witnessed the grand experiment and success of America, and they had hope.
“People began to think, ‘Wait a minute, we don’t have to be perpetually bound to the doldrums of life; we actually can live,’” Hamilton said. “And these people began to clamor for the freedom they had read and heard about in America.”
“So the proletariat saw hope for moving out of the underclass, upsetting the cultural Marxist narrative that they would live in perpetual oppression,” Hamilton continued. “As a result, classical Marxism was widely regarded by Marxists themselves as not having accomplished what they wanted to accomplish.”
In spite of the initial failures, however, those ideologies did not die. They soon found a new breeding ground. Marxists knew in order for their plans to succeed, the glimpses of hope that America offered would need to be dashed as well.
The rise of CRT
Meeke Addison, co-host of AFR’s Airing the Addisons, recently gave a presentation about CRT in a DVD production by American Family Studios. AFAJ attended the filming to gain her insight on this topic.
According to Addison, “The idea of America was an aggravation to cultural Marxists.
“Columbia University served as the midwife for cultural Marxism’s birth in America. In 1934 a Jewish Marxist by the name of Georg Lukács fled Nazi Germany along with some of his colleagues and brought their Marxist research institute, the Frankfurt School, with them to New York. At Columbia University, Critical Theory (CT) was welcomed and developed.”
Addison described CRT as a framework that seeks to dismantle every institution America holds dear – family, democracy, truth, biblical fidelity, and so forth.
“Essentially, the underlying premise of CT is that everything good is bad,” she continued. “It has undergone various makeovers and taken on new and ‘progressive’ iterations, but it’s all basically Marxism.”
To get from CT to its modern version, CRT, is no major leap, Addison said.
“We don’t have to work hard to link CRT to its paternity, CT, nor do we need to exaggerate its original intent. All we have to do is review what leaders of the philosophy said and wrote while defining the movement.”
Developed in 1989, CRT is a legal framework that views America’s legal system as inescapably and irredeemably racist.
Addison pointed out two scholars who are most credited with developing and expanding the framework of CRT – the late Derrick Bell (known as the forefather of CRT) and Kimberlé Crenshaw, Columbia and UCLA law school professor.
To prove her point that the progenitors of CRT were open with their intent, Addison cited one glaring example from the book Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement,” of which Crenshaw is a co-author:
“… a predominantly White left emerged on the law school scene in the late seventies, a development which played a central role in the genesis of Critical Race Theory. Organized by a collection of neo-Marxist intellectuals, former New Left activists, ex-counter-culturalists, and other varieties of oppositionists in law schools, the Conference on Critical Legal Studies established itself as a network of openly leftist law teachers, students, and practitioners committed to exposing and challenging the ways American law served to legitimize an oppressive social order.”
Though CRT was developed as a legal framework, Addison said “because academia has spilled out into the larger society, these terms have taken on new meanings and now get applied to whatever.”
The result of CRT
“CT crushes any institution that allows its framework to be a tool for progress,” Addison said. “Either the institution itself collapses under the weight of the criticism that is inherent to CRT, or the institution acquiesces.”
And the proponents have been patient and are satisfied with incremental progress.
In fact, one of the early proponents of new Marxism, Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, while imprisoned under Mussolini from 1929-1935, wrote that “any country grounded in Judeo-Christian values cannot … be overthrown” until its Christian roots are cut.
Gramsci admitted, though, that “to cut the roots, to change culture, a long march through the institutions is necessary.”
Gramsci went on to write, “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”
Nearly 100 years later, it seems as though the “long march” Gramsci hoped for is almost complete.
It is dangerous enough for secular society to accept CRT, but both Hamilton and Addison agree that it has no place in the body of Christ.
“You can’t have biblical Christianity and CRT in the church. They are incompatible,” Addison said. “CRT and social justice in and of themselves are religious dogmas. These are not just philosophies that help us see the world better, these are new doctrines.”
Addison did not deny that people mean well. “We’re dealing with what I call the Frankenstein of good intentions,” she said. “We are dealing with a monster and trying to accommodate it in the context of the church.”
But Addison said, “When you hold [CRT] up against the gospel, it’s clear they are radically and diametrically opposed to each other. You cannot reconcile them.”
She points out that even proponents of CRT admit this, citing a quote from Patricia Hill Collins, a University of Maryland professor viewed as a leading academic on Black feminism.
Asked how or if there is a way to find common ground with conservatives who disagree with her, Collins replied, “No. You cannot ... bring these two worlds together. You must be oppositional. You must fight. For me, it’s a line in the sand.”
Of course, opposition to the body of Christ is nothing new.
“The gospel has never existed without a threat against it,” Addison said. “Every generation of the church must ask as Tertullian asked the early third-century church: ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’”
Nothing, according to Hamilton. “When we see various ideologies or when we trace their genesis, and we find their root is demonic at its core, we have a duty to make sure that we don’t take part in that.”
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn different things. I often cite Peter, who says we should supplement our faith with knowledge,” Hamilton said. “But what is happening today is that those who have a form of godliness but are denying its power, are suggesting that we need to learn this new canon in order to now rightly understand the Bible.”
“We don’t need to read from Kimberlé Crenshaw or Antonio Gramsci. We don’t need to learn from current philosophical trends. We don’t need these things to rightly understand Scripture,” Hamilton continued. “The Word breathed out by God Himself doesn’t need additional framework tools to help us understand how to rightly apply Scripture. No. We use the Scripture to tell us how we are to navigate these other things.”
Addison reminds believers of Paul’s admonition in Galatians 1:6-7 that “there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
“Don’t let them,” Addison implores. “There is no new gospel!”
CRT and the gospel: distinctly different
Meeke Addison cited these contrasts between the gospel and CRT:
CRT asserts various classes and perpetual oppression, while the gospel teaches “There is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11, ESV).
CRT says that knowledge and authority only belong to the oppressed groups, but the gospel says, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130, ESV).
CRT teaches one’s station in life, whether a victim or oppressor, is fixed. The gospel teaches that one can overcome and live in victory.
Conclusion: Clearly, CRT is a new religion.
What does CRT look like?
How does one recognize the application of CRT? What does it look like in today’s cultural climate?
It looks like the NFL and NBA becoming “woke” and advocating for “social justice” and “racial equality” rather than entertaining fans.
It looks like public schools’ and major universities’ curricula being inundated by grievance studies – e.g. gender studies, queer studies, critical race studies, etc. ...
It looks like the SBC adopting Resolution 9 and other faith leaders marching with Black Lives Matter.
It looks like racial sensitivity and diversity training in government entities and major corporations.
It looks like White people apologizing for being White, and the list could go on and on.
Get equipped for the battle
Visit The Hamilton Corner YouTube channel and search for the video Meeke Addison, Co-Host of ‘Airing the Addisons’ steps into ‘The Corner’ to hear a robust conversation between Abraham Hamilton and Meeke Addison concerning CRT.
AFS anticipates the release of Meeke Addison’s presentation on CRT in August.