To put it mildly, The United States of America is a largely ethnocentric country, which basically means they evaluate other cultures based on the standards and norms of their own culture. To say it as it is, the xenophobia is so extreme that the news frequently features how deeply racism is ingrained in the system and that discrimination and violence against non-Whites, especially Black people, run rampant in the streets.
Given this, one would assume that the automatic response of a member of the oppressed minority would be righteous indignation. Such is not always the case as there are a myriad of concerns to be addressed too. Going against the flow will rock the boat and inconvenience those who sit comfortably atop it. Those at the top unfortunately also happen to be the ones in charge, and thus have the power to make one miserable should they want to.
Torrey Fingal is a Christian man who grew up in a predominantly African-American suburb in Washington, D.C., went to predominantly African-American schools and a Black church, and had Black friends. In other words, his whole life was surrounded by the Black community. To him, being Black is just as absolute as being Christian.
Heading off to New Orleans to attend the Xavier University of Louisiana, which also happens to be a historically Black university, he was surprised to learn that some portion of the Black population viewed religion as a threat to the Black community. It came as a shock that his two truths -both being Black and being Christian – could possibly be conflicting with each other. A surprising amount of people thought that being scientific could not coexist with being Christian, and being Christian could not come with being pro-Black.
Black, Saved, and Smart is a blog that empowers African-American intellectual Christians to engage in discussions about science and religion, among others. It has two main goals, the first of which is to encourage a critical approach to discuss social issues and the Bible. This is common for Torrey, but it seems that some Christian circles actively discourage this skill. The second main goal stems from the first: to dismantle the selfish, Americanized version of Christianity that even the Black churches preach.
Where most religions tend to discourage criticism of their teachings from their parishioners, Black, Saved, and Smart encourages it. It welcomes discussions on the tension between Christianity and science and philosophy to the point of discomfort and provides a space free from judgment or reprisal for Christians to explore societal and cultural issues through the lens of their intersectionality. Black, Saved, and Smart hopes to engage more Christian in their discussions, especially intellectuals who are involved in liberal arts and who are believers of God but have questions about the Bible.
Some titles in the blog are “I’m both Christian and Mad as Hell (And That’s Okay),” “It’s Okay to Question God,” and “Is God Really Male?”. The American portrayal of the Bible does not really pay much attention to historical accuracy, and to address that, they are currently in the early stages of launching a biweekly social media show seeking to place popular Bible stories in their proper historical context, entitled “Here’s What Really Happened.”
To find out more about Black, Saved, and Smart and the intellectually stimulating discussions they have, visit their website and follow their social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.