- (Photo: Reuters)
In the wake of the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, there has been varied reaction on both sides of the issue, but an Ivy League professor has provoked a particularly strong reaction after stating that "God is a white racist."
Anthea Butler, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Religious Studies, made the comments in a blog post on Monday on ReligionDispatches.org.
"God ain't good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us," she wrote in the post. "As a black woman in an [sic] nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain't my god."
"As a matter of fact, I think he's a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men," she added.
Butler added that from her perspective, Trayvon Martin's murder was due to the association and influence that Christianity can have on racism.
"As a historian of American and African-American religion, I know that the Trayvon Martin moment is just one moment in a history of racism in America that, in large part, has its underpinnings in Christianity and its history," she wrote. "Those of us who teach American Religion have a responsibility to tell all of the story, not just the nice touchy-feely parts."
"When the good Christians of America are some of its biggest racists, one has to consider our moral responsibility to call out those who clearly are not for human flourishing, no matter what ethnicity a person is. Where are you on that scale? I know where I am," she continued.
Butler holds doctorate and master's degrees in religion from Vanderbilt University as well as a masters in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is also the author of "Women in the Church of God in Christ, Making A Sanctified World," that was published in 2007.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty on all charges in the shooting murder trial of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, after a jury of six women delivered their verdict following 16 hours of deliberations on Saturday night.
Zimmerman had been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter after shooting Martin dead after an altercation between the two last year.
Lawyers for Zimmerman, a volunteer Florida neighborhood watchman, argued that he had killed Martin in self-defense and that he used justifiable deadly force.