A e-book containing a prayer by a Black feminine writer calling on God to “help me hate white people” is inflicting loads of controversy.
The e-book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, was edited by Sarah Bessey and revealed in February and is obtainable at main sellers corresponding to Target, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The passage in the e-book by Chanequa Walker-Barnes, “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman,” seeks non secular steering to cease “caring” about white individuals who inevitably perpetuate racism.
“Dear God, Please help me to hate white people,” Walker-Barnes writes. “Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.”
She goes on in the prayer to say she needs assist to hate reasonable, “nice” white individuals who disguise their racism by performing pleasantly towards Black folks however who don’t take an motion to fight white supremacy.
“My prayer is that you would help me to hate the other white people—you know, the nice ones,” Walker-Barnes writes. “The Fox News–loving, Trump-supporting voters who ‘don’t see color’ but who make thinly veiled racist comments about ‘those people.’ The people who are happy to have me over for dinner but alert the neighborhood watch anytime an unrecognized person of color passes their house.”
She provides: “Lord, if you can’t make me hate them, at least spare me from their perennial gaslighting, whitemansplaining, and white woman tears.”
A Rhythm of Prayer is No. 1 on Amazon’s Christian Meditation Worship & Devotion part and is a New York Times bestseller. The e-book is “for the weary, the angry, the anxious, and the hopeful, this collection of moving, tender prayers offers rest, joyful resistance, and a call to act,” based on the outline on the shop’s web site. “Encompassing the full breadth of the emotional landscape, these deeply tender yet subversive prayers give readers an intimate look at the diverse language and shapes of prayer.”
A theologian, minister and psychologist, Walker-Barnes’ work focuses on “healing the legacies of racial and gender oppression,” based on her web site. Walker-Barnes stated in a Twitter thread on Wednesday that she wrote the prayer after a white particular person, “someone I would have called a friend,” used the N-word racial slur in an off-the-cuff dialog, triggering her. Rather than search “vengeance” or “ruin [the friend’s] rep,” Walker-Barnes resorted to prayer.
“I took my rage to God in prayer,” Walker-Barnes wrote. “I owned it, I was truthful to God about what I was struggling with. And I prayed for God not to let anger and hatred overwhelm me.”
Walker-Barnes went on in the Twitter thread to clarify that her grandfather and great-grandfather escaped from South Carolina sharecropping and fled to Florida in the 1900s. She added that her household’s and private historical past of racism have given her “millions of reason to hate white people,” and stated “dammit if God hasn’t given me a different spirit, one that insists on looking for goodness and possibility, one that holds anger and hope together.”
Walker-Barnes’ prayer was gotten backlash for calling for racism in opposition to white folks. Ryan McAllister, lead pastor at Life Community Church Alexandria in Virginia, responded through Twitter that Walker-Barnes prayer was “anti-Biblical” after a member of his church despatched him photographs of the prayer when she noticed it in Target.
Conservative outlet the Gateway-Pundit known as the e-book “satanic.” Korean Christian Conservative Kangmin Lee stated in an Instagram submit that Walker-Barnes’ prayer was “demonic” and joined McAllister in blaming essential race concept, which is a “conspiracy” that paints white folks as “guilty and sinful because of their skin color.” As a outcome, minorities discriminate in opposition to white folks to attain so-called “equity.”
“This breeds hatred, bitterness, division and violence,” Lee wrote. “This is NOT of God.”
Amazon customers left a spread of critiques for A Rhythm of Prayer.
One reader beneath the identify Christopher Lomas, stated controversy over Walker-Barnes’ prayer was “childish and very shallow in analysis and just perpetuates division.”
“Read the WHOLE thing before judging and you will see its heart is pure and not what is being blasted around,” Lomas stated. “If anything its raw emotion gave me, a white women, a glimpse of the depth of pain of the writer.”
Whereas one other reader, often known as Janelle, responded the e-book was not biblically based mostly: “It includes prayers of hate, it describes God using she & her, and changes Bible verses to be more ‘inclusive.’ God does not hate. God’s pronouns do not change. The Word of God does not change.”
Bessey, an acclaimed writer of a number of bestselling books about religion, responded that the aforementioned criticism of the prayer was not justified, based on PJ Media, citing a line in the prayer in which Walker-Barnes says she is just not calling to hate on white people who find themselves actively working in opposition to racism.
“I’m not talking about the white antiracist allies who have taken up this struggle against racism with their whole lives,” Walker-Barnes writes.
Supporters of Walker-Barnes additionally took to social media to defend her phrases.
“I am so sickened by the backlash over the prayer,” Andrew Robb-Scott, a former seminary pupil of Walker-Barnes, stated in a Twitter thread on Wednesday. He challenged critics to learn the top of the prayer, in which Walker-Barnes discusses striving towards a neighborhood “collectively liberated from whiteness” that experiences true freedom and equality.
“Will we only invite black speakers to our churches during black history month and ignore the cries ‘I can’t breathe!’ And this earn hatred? Or will we wake up and fight for our collective liberation? The choice is ours.”
Newsweek has reached out to Target, Bessey and Walker-Barnes for remark however didn’t hear again in time for publication.