This article originally appeared on August 29, 2022 at Baptist News Global.
Last week, it was the almost humorousas signs of God’s favor on manly men. This week, it’s a not-at-all funny critique of Critical Race Theory and intersectionality — by a white man who is the father of a multiracial set of children.
This is the world of Desiring God, the website created by John Piper and friends to disseminate a Reformed, complementarian view of the world and fight against the forces of progressive Christianity and liberal culture.
This time, it’s personal for me. Like Trent Hunter, the author of this week’s piece against intersectionality, I am the father of five children. And in the past, I was a member of the church Hunter now serves as pastor.
While I commend Hunter and his wife for their loving adoption of four children from diverse backgrounds, I fear his narrow theology endangers them and many other children who need to know that systemic racism is real.
And it’s not just me who was bothered by this. Kyle Howard, who is a conservative, Reformed inerrantist, said this on Twitter: “This is actually one of the worst & most horrifying articles to come out of Desiring God in a long time. Many of you won’t be able to understand why, but that doesn’t change the fact, this article is top tier horrific & devastating.”
The problem is a piece titled “” where Hunter introduces us to his family and explains why he will not answer his 9-year-old daughter’s question about intersectionality — the teaching that systems of racism intersect and overlap with each other.
He opens his article by sharing the story of Corrie Ten Boom’s father refusing to answer her question, “What is sexism?” Hunter uses that story to justify his own unwillingness to define intersectionality for his daughter. But in the original quote from The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom never asked her father “What is sexism?” Instead, she asked him, “What is sexsin?” Or to put it clearly, “sex sin.” Hunter misread “sexsin” as “sexism” and then built his entire article from that misreading. (The quotation in the article later was edited to “sexsin” although the point of the author was not changed.)
And in keeping with the mantra of conservative evangelicalism today, he begins by making Critical Race Theory the boogeyman.
He says critical theory “views all human relationships through the lens of power dynamics.” But in reality, white supremacy structures all human relationships through power dynamics because it’s rooted in theologies and ethics of hierarchy. Critical theory simply recognizes how that functions in society.
He says it is a false worldview to point out the demographic details of oppression. But he’s being ignorant here because oppression can be shown in demographics.
For just one example, consider the demographics of spankings in schools that allow such punishment. Black boys are 1.8 times more likely to get spanked than white boys in public schools, while Black girls are 2.9 times more likely to get spanked in public schools than white girls. While Black students make up 16% of the student population, they account for 36% of spankings at public schools.
Trent Hunter can peddle his ignorance of those facts for Desiring God if he wants. But those facts are true, whether he labels them as a “false worldview” or not. And I could show a myriad of examples that would reveal how harmful Hunter’s ignorance of the basic demographic facts is.