Prof says 'white Christians' facing an 'existential crisis'

Toni Airaksinen
Columnist at PJ Media

  • A theology professor argues in a recent academic journal article that "white Christians" tend to support Donald Trump because they are facing an "existential crisis."
  • Darrius Hills says this has created a sense of "aggrieved entitlement" that led them to turn to Trump for help “ameliorating these racial and religious anxieties.”
  • An assistant professor at Morgan State University claims that white Christians are experiencing an “existential crisis” due to the declining religiosity of white America.

    Darrius Hills, who teaches African American religion at MSU, claimed in the journal Black Theology that white Christians have lost their “spiritual centre” and are collectively facing an “existential crisis” that has led them to turn to Donald Trump for help “ameliorating these racial and religious anxieties.”

    "It is a perpetual despair that results from...the realization of personal, social, and political reconfiguration and its impact upon the hierarchical positionality of White communities."   

    [RELATED: Theology prof writes book connecting Christianity to racism]

    Notably, Hills previously co-authored an article with Tommy Curry, the Texas A&M professor who argued on a podcast that “some white people may have to die” for black people to be liberated, and who told his students that “white people dying…has generally worked.”

    In his new article, Hills contends that white Christians are facing a sense of "White loss, which is generated by the recognition of the death and dying of White Christian America."

    “White loss” is a term that Hills says he invented to describe “the existential crisis of White Christians in light of myriad issues, including, a globalized society, a precarious economy, and the declining of racial and religious majority status.”

    [RELATED: UMD prez: Trump wants to ‘make America white and Christian again’]

    “It is, to paraphrase Paul Tillich, the loss of a spiritual centre, a falling to pieces with no foundational anchoring point,” he adds.

    Although the research makes no mention of any interviews or focus groups with white Christians—a common feature of qualitative research—Hills nonetheless contends that white religious people are in a perpetual state of despair.

    “It is a perpetual despair that results from the acknowledgment and the realization of personal, social, and political reconfiguration and its impact upon the hierarchical positionality of White communities,” he asserts.

    [RELATED: Theology prof writes book connecting Christianity to racism]

    Interpreted through the lens of critical race theory, Hills argues that white American males are uniquely discontented in the current year, claiming that they have feelings of “aggrieved entitlement” because of the rising minority population in America, and have therefore "proven to be eager and willing theological bedfellows."

    Hills adds that white Christian support for Donald Trump “raises disturbing questions about the nature and mission of evangelical Christian thought as it pertains to racial and religious reconciliation,” calling the current "racial divide" among white Christians a "continuation of [Christianity's] socio-religious platforms since the eighteenth century."

    His article, which he describes as an effort to offer a “sympathetic” evaluation of white America, was published in Black Theology alongside articles on issues including “Witchcraft and Poverty” and another casting doubt on whether Trump can indeed make America great.

    Campus Reform reached out to Hills for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Columnist at PJ Media
    Toni Airaksinen is Columnist at PJ Media and a Consultant at Youth Radio. She was previously a New Jersey Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform with a focus on Title IX, the OCR, and the First Amendment. During college, she also was a columnist for Quillette and The Columbia Spectator. Her exclusives have been featured on FOX News and The Drudge Report. She graduated from Barnard College in 2018.
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