by Rev. Kwame Pitts
Why are Black and Brown bodies the ones who are demonized,
as if the sickness we are identified with is seeped into our skin,
And the only way we can be “cured” is if we bring ourselves to the feet of the white Plationized, manufactured Jesus to be healed..
….into denial of ourselves?
It’s fascinating to me that although clearly mentioned over on the average of 30 times in Scripture about the demonic, demons and Satan, white Christianity routinely dismisses the idea of the demonic. Many times, in Seminary classrooms I was faced with classmates and ideology that Satan/devil was nothing more than a construct; that demons and demonic activity were either metaphors for mental illness or placed in the category of the abstract. Throughout social media, as pastors, pastoral types have routinely brought up the subject of congregational and community members who have reached out with fear and agony about experiencing negative spirits and activity in their homes…
..and people are still dismissive of colleagues picking up the Psalms, and reminding that it is the Creator who is the beginning and the end, speaks into those empty void spaces lurking in our homes and sacred spaces, of the joy that life does transform in the presence of the Creator.
And that Jesus Christ, speaks to those malevolent, vengeful demons and calls them to cease,
And leave us,
Who are that sacred space within our very being.
Then again, I stand corrected, because there is a part of Christianity that does believe in the demonic and routinely, every Sunday attempts to beat the devil out of the collective body.
Yet, this same Plationized Christianity refuses to exorcise the demonic that it sees right in front of it.
Because inhaling, consuming those demons is the sacrifice of our humanity that the Empire requires of us.
Last night I watched my Twitter and social media feeds blow up with damaging and incendiary language that desecrates and dehumanizes the lives of indigenous folks. Last night the demonic was bold enough and content enough to be public and visible because we as a collective humanity have been cowardly to use our voices, use what the Creator has given us and the Holy Spirit has burned into us to reclaim spaces where we should be able to be authentic,
Places where we once thought were relatively safe and at worst, cordial
..were now full of unclean and impure Spirits:
schools-our youth are being dragged back into the ruins of Jim Crow;
communities-where we are uninvited and unwelcomed, or
neighborhoods-where our sacred bodies are being dumped because we
Churches where the new normal
is the white nationalism
being infused into theology
as the Gospel truth.
And when we rise up,
Express righteous anger
Demand of obliteration of the systemic racism
Then are demonic,
To be exterminated
(a sacred space in the heart of Haiti)
45 had the absolute audacity to mention a place of raw beauty and creation in Haiti as something deplorable. It shows his ignorance because he does not know or want to know their history and the example they are,
Of a fiercely embedded in their spirituality and Faith
And unashamedly connected to the Creator
And of the model of fighting for Freedom
And of dancing at the Altar as so many other peoples of the world have done
Of coming before the Creator, and the Ancestors, and the Holy Spirit and Spirits
The people of Haiti, when faced that their lives and humanity were ignored and abused for Napoleon’s financial gain.
When faced with access to their economic livelihood had been eliminated
..their lands appropriated;
That the ways in which they celebrated and worshiped the Creator God
Would be questioned?
Their spirituality under scrutiny?
Faith practices banned?
The Haitian people went to that sacred place in Creation,
And through ritual,
And ritualized actions
They prayed for liberation
So why are their ways, or any other ways seen as demonic simply because it does not follow the same tradition? They simply brought their pain, their suffering, their sick, their worries to the altar…
Just as the people who see and know Jesus Christ is near, and can heal, and make them whole. They recognize that the only path to freedom and wholeness,
Is to be in community, to gather together, to pray
Not just for healing
But for Transformation
And can you imagine then,
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
God does not faint or grow weary;
Her understanding is unsearchable.
The Creator gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless
When Jesus stands in those sacred spaces,
Will the status quo be bold enough,
Will they release their hold on the empty, tangible things
That the Empire and Plationized White Christianity
Offers up freely to them
Will they drag that which is the demonic-
What is TRULY demonic,
Before the Creator God,
To be exorcised?
Ache’, Amen, Lape Bondye
Please ensure credit is given to the author, Rev. Kwame Pitts, during your sermon if any ideas specific to this commentary are used in a sermon, facebook post, or tweet). Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions or permissions.