Like many Americans, Ivy League professor Anthea Butler’s God disappointed her when Trayvon Martin’s killer was set free Saturday, but the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Religious Studies teacher speaks from a true position of divinity knowledge when she addresses the issue of where God was when a jury set George Zimmerman loose on society.
Anthea Butler’s God comment is sure to be controversial in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, but it probably also echoes the feelings of many as they struggle to cope with Zimmerman’s freedom and the six women in Florida’s decision to rule “not guilty.”
In a blog post, Butler’s God anger comes through clearly and strongly as she laments:
God ain’t good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in an [sic] nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god… As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men.
“When the laws were never made for people who were considered, constitutionally, to be three-fifths of a person, I have to ask: Is this just? Is it right? Is God the old white male racist looking down from white heaven, ready to bless me if I just believe the white men like Rick Perry who say the Zimmerman case has nothing to do with race?… You already know the answer: No.”
Anthea Butler’s God post concludes, saying that from her historian’s perspective, she knows “the Trayvon Martin moment is just one moment in a history of racism in America that, in large part, has its underpinnings in Christianity and its history, adding that “those of us who teach American Religion have a responsibility to tell all of the story, not just the nice touchy-feely parts.”
You can read Anthea Butler’s God post in its entirety over on Religion Dispatches.