It has been said that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America—and on November 4th, this habit of segregation appears to have translated into sharply divergent voting as well.
70% of white evangelicals, for example, appear to have gone for McCain, while 90% of black evangelicals went for Obama.
With regard to Barack Obama’s election, why was there such a sharp divergence between what white Christians wanted and what black Christians wanted?
Why, in short, did so many white Christians simply not talk much about—or even seem to see—the startling human spiritual advance, and world historical victory for equality, that Obama’s election might represent?
Indeed, why were some white Christians driven to such hysteria over the prospect of Barack Obama as president—defaming him as a secret Muslim, a terrorist—and even calling him the anti-Christ?
Obviously, there’s no singular reason, but last night I watched an old documentary from 1966—A Time for Burning—in which a white Lutheran pastor attempts to get his white congregants (in Omaha, Nebraska) to engage in cross-city church visits with black Lutherans.
The resistence to intermingling congregations—even with simple vistations—all comes from the white side, and it gets very ugly. The Lutheran pastor is ultimately driven to resign his congregation.
It is striking, watching this film in 2008, how far we’ve come since 1966.
And yet all the ugliness is still with us.
For further reflection on what Barack Obama’s election means, I strongly suggest seeing A Time for Burning. See its Amazon link here.