A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network has denied “dangerous” claims made by popular televangelist and television host Pat Robertson, who alleged last week that the activist group is trying to destroy Christianity.
“In response to the outlandish comments made by televangelist Pat Robertson, we are here yet again being attacked for standing up against white supremacy,” Patrisse Cullors, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement Saturday.
“To insinuate that our movement is trying to destroy Christianity is disgraceful and outright offends our Christian siblings who are a part of our movement against racial injustice.”
The statement comes days after the 90-year-old Robertson said during last Thursday’s episode of “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network that Black Lives Matter was seeking to use the cause of racial justice to promote an anti-Christian, “anti-family, anti-capitalist, Marxist revolution.”
“Of course black lives matter, of course, we care about oppression against poor people. Everybody who’s got any sense, they do that. They don’t like police brutality or some of those things. But that legitimate thing has been hijacked by these radicals and they’re using that label to put forth an agenda. And people need to be aware of it,” Robertson stressed.
“They’re talking about Marxist communism. They’re talking about destroying the nuclear family. They’re talking about destroying essentially Christianity as being racist. And all the way through, they want to upend the capitalist structure and destroy America.”
“Of course we want to stand with oppressed people against police brutality,” Robertson continued. “Of course we do. But we don’t want to go along with a lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution. We don’t want that for America.”
Cullors, an organizer and educator who co-founded the organization in 2013 with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, contends that the statements made by Robertson “are completely inflammatory and dangerous.”
Like Robertson, many conservative Christians have endorsed the idea that “black lives matter” and they agree with the push for racial justice.
However, some vehemently disagree with including an LGBTQ agenda in with the push for racial justice as it goes against traditional Christian values.
Others have voiced concern about the co-founder’s past admittance that she and another co-founder are “trained Marxists." Some have even accused Cullors and other Black Lives Matter leaders of "summoning dead spirits" and practicing "witchcraft."
Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina warned Christians “to avoid even the appearance of evil” and find “other ways to express their justifiable outrage at racial injustice” rather than supporting Black Lives Matter. In a statement in August, the institution called many of the Black Lives Matter political positions “explicitly anti-Christian.”
In her statement, Cullors, who identifies as queer, acknowledges that while the organization’s vision, which includes support for the LGBTQ community, may not be shared by everyone, it should not be interpreted as “destroying a religion.”
“Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation recognizes that our vision may not be agreed upon by everyone. But to blatantly disregard our work and equate it to destroying religion is reckless.”
Cullors said she hopes that Robertson will address his remarks “and the countless lives his statements have offended.”
“We want it to be very clear that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation intentions are continuing to disrupt those individuals that have consistently attacked our character, progress, and path forward,” she continued.
Cullors contends that Black Lives Matter seeks to “connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their respective communities.”
She said Black Lives Matter also seeks to eliminate the “constant betrayal of our poor and oppressed communities” and “foster a united country that works for everyone despite their actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, disability, immigration status, or intergenerational way of life.”