June 24, 2022 Editor

What Happens When White Identity Comes Before Christian Faith?

In the U.S. today, two-thirds of white Christians practice a “religion of whiteness,” a new study finds.

By Michael O. Emerson

July 2022

image above: Illustration by Michael George Haddad

WN: The “religion of whiteness” says it all. The pullquote taken from the article states the way out of a ruinous heresy embraced by Christians the world over . . .


MY COLLEAGUES AND I have done extensive research on race and religion for 30 years. We’re now wrapping up an intensive, three-year national research project where we heard from thousands of Christians and examined trends in church attendance and commitment. We have a clear conclusion: God is shaking down the U.S. church. It is currently in a reckoning, the likes of which has not been seen for centuries.

We need the practitioners of Christianity to pray and work for mass conversions from the “religion of whiteness” to an authentic Christianity rooted in the radical teachings of Jesus.

As our team interviewed Christians of color across the U.S., we heard a similar and painful story repeated: White Christians, by their actions, seem to favor being white over being Christian. Christians of color cited many instances of that type of behavior, national and local, communal and personal. We wondered if this was the case empirically and, if so, why. As we tested the hypothesis, we found a plethora of evidence substantiating what we heard.

My co-author Glenn Bracey and I are proposing a theory in our forthcoming book, The Grand Betrayal: Most church-attending white Christians are not bad Christians. This is because they are not Christian at all. Instead, we propose they are faithful followers of a different religion: the “religion of whiteness.”

Please click on: White Identity Comes Before Christian Faith?

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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