Megachurch Pastor Praises Effects Of Slavery Then Attempts To Walk It Back
The white pastor of a Georgia megachurch has apologized for calling slavery a “white blessing,” according to Newsweek.
- In what he described as an error in word choice, the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Louie Giglio, pitched using “white blessing” as a replacement for white privilege during an online conversation involving him, rapper Lecrae, and Chik-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.
- The three came together in an online church service for "an open and honest conversation around how racism has plagued our city for generations, and the steps we can all take to confront it head-on in our church, our neighborhoods, and our hearts."
- During the service, Giglio addressed the discomfort of many white people with the term white privilege:
"We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do, and we say 'that was bad,' but we miss the blessing of slavery that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in."
"And so a lot of people call this 'white privilege' and when you say those two words it's like a fuse goes off for a lot of white people because they don't want somebody telling them to check their privilege."
- He then went on to propose that a new term be used to replace white privilege:
"I know that you [Lecrae] and I both have struggled in these days with 'hey if the phrase is the trip up, let's get over the phrase and let's get down to the heart, let's get down to what then do you want to call it,' and I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it 'white blessing'. That I'm living in the blessing of the curse that happened generationally that allowed me to grow up in Atlanta."
The term “white blessing” prompted criticism for Giglio’s choice in words.
- Pastor Robert Lee spoke out about the terminology:
"The notion that enslavement is a blessing is nothing short of white supremacy. It also happens to be b*******. We have to abandon the notion that pastors like Louie Giglio will help us with our messaging and Instagram stories and deal with our privilege faithfully and honestly."*
- Author Jonathan Merritt also chimed in:
"Watching Louie Giglio talk about 'the blessings of slavery' and 'white blessings' reminds me that MANY white evangelical leaders are two or three good questions (and a bourbon) away from confessing a white supremacist view."
- Giglio apologized for his choice of words, writing in a tweet:
"not seeking to refer to slavery as blessing—but that we are privileged because of the curse of slavery. In calling it a privilege/benefit/blessing—word choice wasn't great. Trying to help us see society is built on the dehumanization of others. My apology, I failed."