Ahmad Greene-Hayes: Progressives of faith will have to start walking the talk

December 20, 2018

RNS asked some of the country’s top faith leaders, scholars and activists to consider what changes the religion landscape will see in 2019. Find all their predictions here.

Photo by WELTHE Images

As a black scholar of religion and a leftist, my prediction is unapologetically a prophetic lament in the spirit of the African-American prophetic tradition. Indeed, as anti-black racism, xenophobic violence directed at Latinx migrants, Islamophobic vitriol against Muslims, the burning of Jewish synagogues, the rape and molestation of children in both Catholic and Protestant churches and the unabashed disdain for black bloodshed in the streets continues to register as quotidian practice in the U.S., the gods of white supremacy, capitalism, imperialism, cisheterosexism, sexual violence and deceit will have to be earnestly reckoned with, and with urgency.

If not, in 2019, the “discomfort” and “discontent” expressed prominently by liberals and self-avowed progressives regarding the current U.S. presidential regime will remain mere lip service. How many more people will have to say that a priest, pastor or government official sexually abused them before we do something? How many more children will die in the custody of ICE? How many more houses of worship will burn or be gunned down by white supremacists? How many unchecked, bold lies will surface again and again on our television screens or down our Twitter feeds? How many more? And for how much longer?

Greene-Hayes is a doctoral student in religion at Princeton University. He is the founder of Children of Combahee, a organization combating child sexual abuse in AfricanAmerican churches.