The term “supply-side economics” is used in two different but related ways. Some use the term to refer to the fact that production (supply) underlies consumption and living standards. In the long run, our income levels reflect our ability to produce goods and services that people value. Higher income levels and living standards cannot be achieved without expansion in output. Virtually all economists accept this proposition and therefore are “supply siders.”
“Supply-side economics” is also used to describe how changes in marginal tax rates influence economic activity. Supply-side economists believe that high marginal tax rates strongly discourage income, output, and the efficiency of resource use. In recent years, this latter use of the term has become the more common of the two and is thus the focus of this article.
The marginal tax rate is crucial because it affects the incentive to earn. The marginal tax rate reveals how much of one’s additional income must be turned over to the tax collector as well as how much is retained by the individual. For example, when the marginal rate is 40 percent, forty of every one hundred dollars of additional earnings must be paid in taxes, and the individual is permitted to keep only sixty dollars of his or her additional income. As marginal tax rates increase, people get to keep less of what they earn.
An increase in marginal tax rates adversely affects the output of an economy in two ways. First, the higher marginal rates reduce the payoff people derive from work and from other taxable productive activities. When people are prohibited from reaping much of what they sow, they will sow more sparingly. Thus, when marginal tax rates rise, some people—those with working spouses, for example—will opt out of the labor force. Others will decide to take more vacation time, retire earlier, or forgo overtime opportunities. Still others will decide to forgo promising but risky business opportunities. In some cases, high tax rates will even drive highly productive citizens to other countries where taxes are lower. These adjustments and others like them will shrink the effective supply of resources, and therefore will shrink output.
Second, high marginal tax rates encourage tax-shelter investments and other forms of tax avoidance. This is inefficient. If, for example, a one-dollar item is tax deductible and the individual has a marginal tax of 40 percent, he will buy the item if it is worth more than sixty cents to him because the true cost to him is only sixty cents. Yet the one-dollar price reflects the value of resources given up to produce the item. High marginal tax rates, therefore, cause an item with a cost of one dollar to be used by someone who values it less than one dollar. Taxpayers facing high marginal tax rates will spend on pleasurable, tax-deductible items such as plush offices, professional conferences held in favorite vacation spots, and various fringe benefits (e.g., a company luxury automobile, business entertainment, and a company retirement plan). Real output is less than its potential because resources are wasted producing goods that are valued less than their cost of production.
Critics of supply-side economics point out that most estimates of the elasticity of labor supply indicate that a 10 percent change in after-tax wages increases the quantity of labor supplied by only 1 or 2 percent. This suggests that changes in tax rates would exert only a small effect on labor inputs. However, these estimates are of short-run adjustments. One way to check the long-run elasticity of labor supply is to compare countries, such as France, that have had high marginal tax rates on even middle-income people for a long time with countries, such as the United States, where the marginal rates have been persistently lower. Recent work by edward prescott, corecipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in economics, used differences in marginal tax rates between France and the United States to make such a comparison. Prescott found that the elasticity of the long-run labor supply was substantially greater than in the short-run supply and that differences in tax rates between France and the United States explained nearly all of the 30 percent shortfall of labor inputs in France compared with the United States. He concluded:
I find it remarkable that virtually all of the large difference in labor supply between France and the United States is due to differences in tax systems. I expected institutional constraints on the operation of labor markets and the nature of the unemployment benefit system to be more important. I was surprised that the welfare gain from reducing the intratemporal tax wedge is so large. (Prescott 2002, p. 9)
The supply-side economic policy of cutting high marginal tax rates, therefore, should be viewed as a long-run strategy to enhance growth rather than a short-run tool to end recession. Changing market incentives to increase the amount of labor supplied or to move resources out of tax-motivated investments and into higher-yield activities takes time. The full positive effects of lower marginal tax rates are not observed until labor and capital markets have time to adjust fully to the new incentive structure.
Because marginal tax rates affect real output, they also affect government revenue. An increase in marginal tax rates shrinks the tax base, both by discouraging work effort and by encouraging tax avoidance and even tax evasion. This shrinkage necessarily means that an increase in tax rates leads to a less than proportional increase in tax revenues. Indeed, economist Arthur Laffer (of “Laffer curve” fame) popularized the notion that higher tax rates may actually cause the tax base to shrink so much that tax revenues will decline, and that a cut in tax rates may increase the tax base so much that tax revenues increase.
How likely is this inverse relationship between tax rates and tax revenues? It is more likely in the long run when people have had a long time to adjust. It is also more likely when marginal tax rates are high, but less likely when rates are low. Imagine a taxpayer in a 75 percent tax bracket who earns $300,000 a year. Assume for simplicity that the 75 percent tax rate applies to all his income. Then the government collects $225,000 in tax revenue from this person. Now the government cuts tax rates by one-third, from 75 percent to 50 percent. After the tax cut, this taxpayer gets to keep $50, rather than $25, of every $100, a 100 percent increase in the incentive to earn. If this doubling of the incentive to earn causes him to earn 50 percent more, or $450,000, then the government will get the same revenue as before. If it causes him to earn more than $450,000, the government gets more revenue.
Now consider a taxpayer paying a tax rate of 15 percent on all his income. The same 33 percent rate reduction cuts his rate from 15 percent to 10 percent. Here, take-home pay per $100 of additional earnings will rise from $85 to $90, only a 5.9 percent increase in the incentive to earn. Because cutting the 15 percent rate to 10 percent exerts only a small effect on the incentive to earn, the rate reduction has little impact on the amount earned. Therefore, in contrast with the revenue effects in high tax brackets, tax revenue will decline by almost the same percentage as tax rates in the lowest tax brackets. The bottom line is that cutting all rates by a third will lead to small revenue losses (or even revenue gains) in high tax brackets and large revenue losses in the lowest brackets. As a result, the share of the income tax paid by high-income taxpayers will rise.
As the Keynesian perspective triumphed following World War II, most economists believed tax reductions affect output through their impact on total demand. The potential supply-side effects of taxes were ignored. However, in the 1970s, as inflation pushed more and more Americans into high tax brackets, a handful of economists challenged the dominant Keynesian view. Led by Paul Craig Roberts, Norman Ture, and Arthur Laffer, they argued that high taxes were a major drag on the economy and that the top rates could be reduced without a significant loss in revenue. They became known as supply-side economists. During the presidential campaign of 1980, Ronald Reagan argued that high marginal tax rates were hurting economic output, but contrary to what many people think, neither Reagan nor his economic advisers believed that cuts in marginal tax rates would increase tax revenue.
The 1975–1985 period was an era of great debate about the impact of supply-side policies. The supply siders highlighted the positive evidence from two earlier major tax cuts—the Coolidge-Mellon cuts of the 1920s and the Kennedy tax cut of the 1960s. Between 1921 and 1926, three major tax cuts reduced the top marginal rate from 73 percent to 25 percent. The Kennedy tax cut reduced rates across the board, and the top marginal rate was sliced from 91 percent to 70 percent. Both of these tax cuts were followed by strong growth and increasing prosperity. In contrast, the huge Hoover tax increase of 1932—the top rate was increased from 25 percent to 63 percent in one year—helped keep the economy depressed. As the economy grew slowly in the 1970s and the unemployment rate rose, supply-side economists argued that these conditions were the result of high tax rates due to high inflation.
Keynesian economists were not impressed with the supply-side argument. They continued to focus on the demand-side effects, charging that it was irresponsible to cut taxes at a time when inflation was already high. They expected the rate cuts to lead to larger budget deficits, which they did, but also that these deficits would increase demand and push the inflation rate to still higher levels. As Walter Heller, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President John F. Kennedy put it, “The [Reagan] tax cut would simply overwhelm our existing productive capacity with a tidal wave of demand.” But this did not happen. Contrary to the Keynesian view, the inflation rate declined substantially from 9 percent during the five years prior to the tax cut to 3.3 percent during the five years after the cut.
Economists continue to debate the precise effects of the 1980s tax cuts. After extensive analysis of the 1986 rate reductions, both Lawrence Lindsey and Martin Feldstein concluded that for taxpayers previously facing marginal tax rates of 40 percent or more, the drop in tax rates caused such a large increase in taxable income that the government was collecting even more revenue from taxpayers in these top brackets. This would mean that tax rates of 40 percent had had a highly destructive impact on economic activity. Joel Slemrod argued that Lindsey’s and Feldstein’s estimates of the extra income due to tax rate cuts are too high because they inadequately reflect people’s shifting of personal income from high-tax-rate years to low-tax-rate years and of business income from regular corporations to partnerships and Sub-S corporations in response to the lower personal tax rates. According to Slemrod, only a small portion of the increase in the tax base resulted from improvements in efficiency and expansion in the supply of labor and other resources.
Even though economists still disagree about the size and nature of taxpayer response to rate changes, most economists now believe that changes in marginal tax rates exert supply-side effects on the economy. It is also widely believed that high marginal tax rates—say, rates of 40 percent or more—are a drag on an economy. The heated debates are now primarily about the distributional effects. Supply-side critics argue that the tax policy of the 1980s was a bonanza for the rich. It is certainly true that taxable income in the upper tax brackets increased sharply during the 1980s. But the taxes collected in these brackets also rose sharply. Measured in 1982–1984 dollars, the income tax revenue collected from the top 10 percent of earners rose from $150.6 billion in 1981 to $199.8 billion in 1988, an increase of 32.7 percent. The percentage increases in the real tax revenue collected from the top 1 and top 5 percent of taxpayers were even larger. In contrast, the real tax liability of other taxpayers (the bottom 90 percent) declined from $161.8 billion to $149.1 billion, a reduction of 7.8 percent.
Since 1986, the top marginal personal income tax rate has been less than 40 percent, compared with 70 percent prior to 1981. Nonetheless, those with high incomes are now paying more. For example, more than 25 percent of the personal income tax has been collected from the top 0.5 percent of earners in recent years, up from less than 15 percent in the late 1970s. These findings confirm what the supply siders predicted: the lower rates, by increasing the tax base substantially in the upper tax brackets, would increase the share of taxes collected from these taxpayers.
Supply-side economics has exerted a major impact on tax policy throughout the world. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, there was a dramatic move away from high marginal tax rates. In 1980, the top marginal rate on personal income was 60 percent or more in forty-nine countries. By 1990, only twenty countries had such a high top tax rate, and by 2000, only three countries—Cameroon, Belgium, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—had a top rate of 60 percent or more. In 1980, only six countries levied a personal income tax with a top marginal rate of less than 40 percent. By 2000, fifty-six countries had a top marginal income tax rate of less than 40 percent.1
The former socialist economies have been at the forefront of those moving toward supply-side tax policies. Following the collapse of communism, most of these countries had a combination of personal income and payroll taxes that generated high marginal tax rates. As a result, the incentive to work was weak and tax evasion was massive. Russia was a typical case. In 2000, Russia’s top personal income tax rate was 30 percent and a 40.5 percent payroll tax was applied at all earnings levels. If Russians with even modest earnings complied with the law, the tax collector took well over half of their incremental income. Beginning in January 2001, the newly elected Putin administration shifted to a 13 percent flat-rate income tax and also sharply reduced the payroll tax rate. The results were striking. Tax compliance increased and the inflation-adjusted revenues from the personal income tax rose more than 20 percent annually during the three years following the adoption of the flat-rate tax. Further, the real growth rate of the Russian economy averaged 7 percent during 2001–2003, up from less than 2 percent during the three years prior to the tax cut.
Ukraine soon followed Russia’s lead and capped its top personal income tax rate at 13 percent. Beginning in 2004, the Slovak Republic imposed a flat-rate personal income tax of 19 percent. Latvia and Estonia also have flat-rate personal income taxes.
Supply-side economics provided the political and theoretical foundations for what became a remarkable change in the tax structure of the United States and other countries throughout the world. The view that changes in tax rates exert an impact on total output and that marginal rates in excess of 40 percent exert a destructive influence on the incentive of people to work and use resources wisely is now widely accepted by both economists and policymakers. This change in thinking is the major legacy of supply-side economics.
by Patrick Hall (October 11, 2010)
Several weeks ago, I visited one of my older siblings who owns’ a Floral Shop in the inner city of Rochester, New York. Although I had been back to Rochester several times since leaving there in 1969: that Rochester where I grew-up (the Rochester of Black and White working-class neighborhoods) has changed considerably.
Although pockets of poverty and unkempt areas had always existed within the city, Rochester was not the collection of boarded-up houses and businesses, trashed full streets and the all too familiar crime-ridden neighborhoods that it is today.
The irony in all of this social dislocation and urban blight, is that most of this has taken place not in pre-civil rights Rochester; but in the 1970’s after Democrats had taken full control of most Eastern cities.
This decline continued to accelerate even after $ 7 Trillion dollars were spent on so-called Great Society and anti-poverty programs engineered by various democratic constituencies since the late 1960’s.
As someone who has lived in 10 states over the last 40 years, these social dislocation and urban pathology conditions is an all too familiar association within the Black community everywhere. Yet these communities are largely governed by Democrats who the majority of African Americans still vote into office despite the lack of any real progress in the areas of education, housing, employment, and business development.
Unfortunately most Blacks still aren’t holding the Democratic Party, or the current crop of problem profiteers otherwise known as the Congressional Black Caucus, remotely responsible for this lack of progress. Meanwhile, Republican legislators, conservatism, racism, and “the evil rich,” continue to rise as the primary reasons for why there has been so little progress despite trillions of dollars spent.
But this year, with fourteen Black conservative/Republican candidates (see below) on the ballot in several congressional districts, we may see the return of black Americans to the party of their roots: the first African Americans to serve in U.S. Congress, the party that founded the NAACP, the party that sent troops to little Rock in the 1950’s, the party that voted at a higher percentage than its democratic opponents for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Bill of 1965. Despite the revisionary history of the Democratic Party, Republicans and more correctly conservatism, offers Black Americans (if not, all Americans) the way out of its dependency culture fostered by nearly 50 years of democratic policies.
- Charlotte Bergman TN-9 opponent Steve Cohen (D) ElectBergmann.com
- Robert Broadus MD-4 opponent Donna Edwards (D) JusticeandLiberty.us
- Stephen Broden TX-30 opponent Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) BrodenforCongress.com
- Michael Faulkner NY-15 opponent Charles Rangel (D) FaulknerforCongress.com
- Ryan Frazier CO-7 opponent Ed Perlmutter (D) FrazierforColorado.com
- Isaac Hayes IL-2 opponent Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) IsaacHayesforCongress.com
- Charles Lollar MD-5 opponent Steny Hoyer (D) LollarforCongress.com
- Bill Marcy MS-2 opponent Bennie Thompson (D) BillMarcyforCongress.com
- Star Parker CA- 37 opponent Laura Richardson (D) StarParker2010.com
- Bill Randall NC-13 opponent Brad Miller (D) RandallforCongress.com
- Marvin Scott IN -7 opponent Andre Carson (D) ScottforCongress.com
- Tim Scott SC-3 opponent Ben Frasier, Jr. (D) VoteTimScott.com
- Chuck Smith VA-3 opponent Robert Scott (D) ChuckSmith2010.com
- Allen West FL-22 opponent Ron Klein (D) AllenWestforCongress.com
Over the past weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to communicate with a few of these Congressional candidates whose greatest desire is to affect a political, social and spiritual “metanoia” (change resulting from penitence) within the African American community.
To paraphrase the words of one of these candidates, “we must teach all Americans the fundamental lesson that our Constitution was written to promote the general welfare, not provide welfare”.
More than anything else, these individuals still see America as a place of opportunity for all people if we are willing to work for it; and not fall back upon the excuse of racism, racism, and racism—as the cause of what has truncated the social and economic progress of Black communities across this nation.
This new ascension of Black Conservatives is under girded by our belief that we must begin to roll back the state-dependency culture, which Obama and others seek to inflict on the rest of America.
As stated by Star Parker, a candidate running in the California 37th District in a recent column, “we must fight the Obama and the Democratic agenda which seeks to foist the same failed policies on all Americans that have devastated the majority of Black communities throughout the United States”.
As this columnist reviewed websites of these 14 Conservative candidates, one central theme stood out. All of them were firm believers that this is a nation of opportunities for everyone. The opportunity is there, if we are willing to work for it. If we are willing to persevere as Black people, as Americans, to see that the true freedom this country provides is the freedom to succeed and to fail.
We are a nation of opportunity, not entitlement; and the “nanny-state” vision for America that Obama and the Democrats are hell bent on creating, is not what this country has ever been about.
The entire philosophical framework operative within the modern Democratic Party is far too reminiscent of the culture of dependency that characterized East Germany after 50 years of living under communist socialism.
My wife, who hails from what was once West Germany, saw first-hand what happens to a people when a big “nanny-state” government runs everything for a generation. People lose any real incentive to work hard and are much quicker to blame someone, or society, when they are failing as a people.
For far too many East Germans who grew-up dependent on the state for education, food, and “make-work” employment such as a government job in the socialist bureaucracy, and who lived in an entitlement state when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the two Germanys were once again reunited; it was much more difficult for these East Germans to prosper and compete in this new world of freedom.
Similarly, Black folks have also looked far too often to the federal government, or social programs, for their “cultural” salvation; and have found, after forty years, that their neighborhoods and the majority of their family structure devastated by the simple reality that our salvation is not in more government control (which is the core belief of “Obamanism” and the Democrats).
Our progress as a people, as a nation, has its best chance for success when we are free from too much government inference and can pursue our dreams, not as Black Americans, but as Americans.
I urge you to get out and support these unique men and women by voting on November 2nd, and say yes to the freedom and liberty that is America.
Patrick Hall is the Director of the Haskell Memorial Library at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of St. Peter Canisius and the University of Washington where he earned three Masters Degrees in Religious Studies Education, Anthropology and Library Science. Mr. Hall has published in several national magazines such as Commonweal, America, Headway, Conservative Review, and the National Catholic Reporter. He also has published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Library Trends, Internet Reference Services Quarterly and American Libraries. Mr. Hall serves on the editorial and advisory board of Urban Library Journal a CUNY Publication and is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Black Studies.
With poverty rates at an all-time high, black unemployment numbers at daunting levels, and Obamacare bringing no change on killing black babies, stunningly, black support for Obama is up.
In fact, black approval of President Obama is virtually unchanged at 91 percent since his inauguration.
Now, unless we believe that 91 percent of blacks are truly as radical as Obama (and every indication is that blacks are far more conservative than he is), then what explains how Obama could have 91% approval, when even among Democrats as a whole, that number is lower at just 79 percent?
Worse, black poverty is higher now than under President Bush.
In fact, during the Bush years, black unemployment was actually lower than during Clinton’s terms (you know, “the first black president”), at an average of 9 percent and certainly lower than the 16.3 percent it stands at today.
Indeed, under Obama, black unemployment rose from 12.6 in January 2010 to 16.3 percent as of August 1 2010. An almost 30 percent increase.
So far, President Bush has a better track record on black upward mobility than Clinton or Obama.
Regardless, Bush only enjoyed an average of about 32 percent approval amongst black voters two years into his first term. And we haven’t even mentioned Bush’s historic cabinet level appointments of blacks or his unprecedented AIDS funding in Africa. Much to Kanye West’s chagrin, it turns out President Bush did, indeed, care about black people.
Still, some argue that black support of Obama is merely a function of “black solidarity”; that birds of a feather flock together. But that in itself is racist. After all, can you imagine white voters lining up 9 out of 10 to stand in “racial solidarity” with an elected official who was the equivalent of a wrecking ball slamming through their lives?
After nearly two years of Obama’s reckless spending spree, (John Keynes would be proud), 43.6 million Americans – one in seven people – now live in poverty, a 51-year high.
Looking deeper, these figures show that blacks, who account for only 13 percent of the population, make up 22.6 percent of the now 40.5 million Americans receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).
And after a year-long debate and an endless barrage of promises from the Obama White House that there would be no federal funding of abortions in the healthcare bill, we now know that tax dollars for abortions are being provided through high-risk insurance programs and have already been stopped in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland.
When political parties know that they no longer have to work for your vote, and that support from any voting bloc is automatic regardless of performance, those voters have relegated themselves to playing the role of perpetual dupe. Put simply, they are begging to be taken for granted.
Is it any wonder, then, that 50 years of black voters conceding 90 percent of their support to a party with a racist past has culminated in an anti-empowerment agenda that has sapped black Americans from achieving our maximum potential by creating a culture of dependency?
When Uncle Sam is your “baby daddy,” is it any wonder that so many inner city children chose gang life over graduation? Or that in just four days, more black children die at the hands of the abortion clinic then the KKK killed in its entire history?
Progressives and Democratic elites have long argued that black stagnation is the result of racism. But is a 70 percent illegitimacy rate among blacks (90 percent in some inner cities) the fault of “racism,” or a lack of accountability and personal responsibility?
The painful truth is that blacks kill more blacks (whether by gun or by a trip to the abortion clinic) at a higher rate than the Ku Klux Klan could have ever dreamed of.
So-called “civil rights leaders,” pseudo intellectuals, and progressive lawmakers are fully aware of these facts, yet they insist on pretending that “systemic” forces (racism) are more responsible than blacks themselves for sluggish black advancement.
It’s time for a frank discussion about the folly of monolithic voting among black Americans. When 91 percent of any racial group votes one way, it’s either out of racism or blind groupthink. Neither of these is good for America.
|Jerome Hudson is a 24-year-old student of history, majoring in broadcast journalism, in Tallahassee, Fla. He blogs at http://jeromehudsonspeaks.weebly.com/|
by Dr. Robert A. Morey
All racist theologies have the same basic core ideas and methodology. Thus it does not really matter if we are talking about the KKK, the Nation of Islam or Black liberal theology, their focus is always on skin and not sin; race and not grace; gossip and not gospel. Racism is always focused on the outward instead of the inward because it cannot deal with the root problem of sin. Hatred and violence feed on bitterness and racist rage. Class envy does not help anyone in this life or in the next. Blaming others for one’s own sin and guilt will not solve the problem. We must take responsibility for what we do in life instead of blaming “the man” for our failures and woe. This is why we need to break the shackle of black liberal theology which enslave the black man and keeps him poor and angry. May God use this study to liberate black men and women from the lie of black liberal theology.
I am aware that while the vast majority of Black Liberal Theologians are clearly guilty of believing in white liberalism and Neo-Marxist liberation theology, there are a few “conservative” writers who have fallen for some of their lies. Thus they will complain that not everything stated in this article applies to them. But as with any other movement, we must deal with the majority view and not with those few who are out of step with that majority.
I. The “Roots” of Black Liberal Theology.
“Black liberal theology” (from now on shortened to the initials “BT”) is another name for Western Liberation Theology which was created by white, middle-class, European, Marxist, liberal theologians to foster social change by manipulating the lower classes to violent revolution against democratic governments in order to establish a communist state. Thus BT did not originate in Africa but in Europe.
The fundamental ideas of BT did not come from black thinkers but from such white European thinkers as Hegel, Darwin, Marx, etc. It is Euro-centric in its ideology although it is Euro-phobic in its rhetoric. Black liberal theologians are in reality “Uncle Toms” still licking the boots of their white, Marxist masters at such bastions of white liberalism as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc.. They are the slaves of Karl Marx.
II. The Goals Of Black Liberal Theology
The goals of BT are to turn religion into sociology, Christianity into a political agenda, Jesus into a black Marxist rebel, and the gospel into violent revolution. They are more interested in politics than preaching the gospel.
III. The Methodology of Black Liberal Theology
The main method employed by BT is to manipulate embittered young blacks by turning their feelings of inferiority, alienation, jealousy, hopelessness and self-hate, into racist rage against whites, Orientals and affluent blacks who are conveniently blamed for their lack of personal initiative to better their lot in life.
IV. The Main Philosophic Error of Black Liberal Theology
BT is based upon the philosophic error of relativism in which “Jesus” is viewed as only a religious symbol which can be interpreted anyway they want. Thus it does not matter who and what the historical Jesus really was. BT invented a black Marxist Jesus to lead the way to violent revolution because such a “Jesus” will serve their purpose. BT is condemned in II Cor. 11:4 and Gal. 1:8-9.
V. The Racism Of Black Liberal Theology
While BT is filled with racist statements against whites and Orientals, it is primarily a form of “black on black” racism. The following evidence demonstrates this to be true.
A. While BT claims to give blacks a better self-image, they unwittingly encourage a poor self-image among blacks by defining “blackness” in such negative terms as “the poor,” “the oppressed,” and “niggers.” Why do they always define the “black experience” in such negative terms? Why do they assume that all blacks live in the ghetto subsisting on welfare in the midst of crime and filth?
B. With its constant emphasis on God loves the poor, the oppressed, etc. BT actually paralyzes and demoralizes blacks to accept a parasitic life- style dependent on the government dole instead of fostering self-reliance and entrepreneurship.
C. It seems to me that BT feeds off of class envy and racist rage. Instead of spending their time blaming the white man for the black man’s problems, BT ought to be encouraging black men or women to become financially successful through hard work and self-reliance.
D. BT often describes the black man as a helpless victim of forces and people beyond his control. But this negative stereotype often leads people to accept poverty, drugs, crime and filth as their unalterable fate.
E. BT makes a great mistake when it assumes that poverty automatically means crime and filth. Just because you are poor does not mean you have a license to rob, rape, or murder others. The poor are for the most part good and honest people. Crime is crime regardless of who commits it. Poverty is no excuse for criminality.
F. BT judges people on the basis of the color of their skin instead of the content of their character.
G. BT gives the impression that the black man’s problem is his skin instead of his sin.
H. Most BT books glorify rage, hatred and violence instead of faith, hope and love.
I. BT preaches race instead of grace as the solution to problems.
J. BT cries out for political liberation instead of spiritual salvation.
K. BT thinks more of Marx than it does of Jesus.
L. BT is more interested in black culture than in Jesus Christ.
VI. The Liberalism Of Black Liberal Theology
BT is not a fundamental, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring theology. BT was created by white liberation theologians at white liberal seminaries and universities that are radically anti-Christian and anti-Bible.
A. Most of those involved in BT do not believe in the Trinity, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, bodily resurrection, literal ascension or return to this world. They claim that all such doctrines are “Western.”
B. Many of those who teach BT openly deny the immortality of the soul, a conscious after-life in heaven or hell, the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and the eternal conscious torment of the damned in hell. They usually say that hell is “being black on welfare in the ghetto.” They attack those blacks who talk about heaven as a “pie in the sky by and by slave mentality.”
C. BT often denounces Christianity as racist and the “white man’s religion.” But then it turns around and claims that Jesus was black. If Jesus was a black man, then how can Christianity be the “white man’s religion?”
D. Most BT writers deny the inspiration, inerrancy and authority of the Bible while at the same time using it to foster their racist agenda.
E. Many BT leaders teach the theory of evolution in which man evolved from an ape in Africa as if that theory can give dignity to blacks or to anyone else. The theory of evolution actually destroys all dignity and morals by reducing man to an animal.
VII. The Absurdity of Black Liberal Theology
BT is so filled with self-contradiction and erroneous ideas that it is has no intellectual merit. For example, BT defines “blackness” and “whiteness” in the Marxist sense of class struggle. Thus BT is not really talking about blackness as a race but as a class. WAKE UP! Read that last sentence again. Did you get it? Black liberal theology is really concerned with class struggle and not about black people per se. What is “black” and “white” according to the BT books?
Black = anyone regardless of race or color who is economically and politically oppressed by the upper classes.
White = anyone regardless of race or color who is guilty of oppressing the lower classes.
Walter McCray in his book, The Black Presence In The Bible, quotes with approval the definition of blackness given by his liberal mentor, Charles Copher.
Additionally, one may be defined as black regardless of color or race; all who suffer oppression…are classified as black.(p. 161, n.72.)
This irrational definition ends up with some white people being “black” and some black people being “white.” According to BT’s definition, a blond, blue- eyed, white Swede on drugs and welfare is “black” while the successful black man who owns his own company is “white.” Other absurdities abound in their writings.
A. BT claims that Adam and Eve were black. If this is true, then all men are “black” because they came from the first black parents. On what grounds then does BT divide up mankind into black vs white and black vs yellow? Aren’t we all “black” having come from the same original black DNA?
B. BT claims that Noah, his wife and their three sons and wives were all blacks. Yet, they also claim that the blacks descended from Ham. And they run through the Bible looking for Hamite references to track the history of the black race. How can this obvious contradiction be resolved ?
C. As part of its Marxist ideology, BT believes that history is as relative as morals. Thus BT rewrites history to foster its own socio-political goals. This is why BT does not hesitate to teach lies and to practice academic chicanery. The “truth” is not their concern. To manipulate young blacks into racist rage is always their real goal.
D. BT claims that nearly every individual and nation mentioned in the Bible was black. They do not prove that this true. They simply asset that this is so. Anyone who disagrees with them is labeled a racist.
E. BT claims that the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians were all black. Yet, they were the cruelest oppressors known in history. For example, the Assyrians enslaved and deported entire populations. Mass murder was their favorite means of oppression. How can they be “black” when they were worse oppressors than Hitler or Stalin?
F. BT claims that the ancient Egyptians were black and that the Jews were black as well. But since the Egyptians were a very oppressive society which enslaved the Jews and other minorities and conquered many surrounding nations, how can the Egyptians be “black” and oppress people at the same time?
G. BT just like the KKK and other racist groups claims that its race is the sole source of all that is good in all cultures. But this is a two edged sword. If the blacks are responsible for all the good in the world, then they are equally responsible for all the evil. To claim that the black man can do no wrong and that the white man and yellow man can do no good, is absurd as well as racist.
H. BT claims that the ancient Greeks were black and thus Greek philosophy was created by blacks. But then BT also says that the white Greeks stole their philosophy from African blacks. How can the Greeks be black and white at the same time? But if they were all blacks, then what is wrong with blacks sharing ideas?
I. BT claims that the Greeks stole their ideas from black Africans and thus all the good in Western culture comes from blacks. But if this is true, how can BT condemn Western culture on one hand and then claim that it came from blacks on the other hand?
J. BT also claims that all the good in Oriental culture came from African blacks. The Orientals thus stole their culture from the blacks. But if this is true, why are African motifs missing in Oriental philosophies and art?
K. BT authors claim that the Egyptian word Kemet means “the land of the Blacks.” In reality, the word actually means “the black land” referring to the dark soil along the flood plain of the Nile. It is used in Egyptian literature in opposition to the word Deshret which literally means “the red land,” a reference to the color of the dirt or sand in the desert.
VIII. Black Liberal Theology Contradicts The Bible
In order to make everyone in the Bible black, BT takes passages out of context, ignores the grammar of Hebrew and Greek, and then attacks anyone who disagrees with them as “racist” or “white.” But BT violates several clear Scriptures.
1. Acts 17:26 “He made from one all the nations of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.”
The Bible teaches that there is only one race –the human race– regardless of size, shape or color. Thus there is no “black” or “white” blood. There is only human blood which can be transfused from one man to the next regardless of color or race. BT con-tradicts this by talking about “black blood.”
2. Rom. 2:11 “There is no partiality with God.”
God does not treat people any differently because they are red, yellow, black or white. They are all precious in His sight. But BT claims that God is partial to blacks! This is just as wrong as the Nazis who claimed the same thing for the Ayrian race or the KKK who claims the same for the white race.
3. Gal. 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
BT divides the Church into different economic classes and pits them against each other. Thus they try to put asunder what God has joined together. The Body of Christ is one.
4. Eph. 4:4-5:2 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
BT preaches bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and that blacks should seek revenge instead of taking the path of forgiveness.
5. 1 Sam 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
BT looks only at the outward appearance. This is wrong. We must judge people not by their color but by their moral character or lack of it.
Black liberal theology is not of God but of the devil. It is nothing more than “white liberal religion” and is used by white theologians and politicians to keep blacks down in order to use them as cannon fodder for a Marxist revolution. Black liberal theologians slave for their white Marxist masters to bring about a violent revolution that would guarantee that all men, blacks included, would always be poor and oppressed. The only answer to liberal theology, regardless of the color of those who teach it, is personal salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you have experienced the love of God in Christ, you do not have any room in you heart for the self-hate and racist rage upon which BT feeds. The black community needs a revival– not a revolution; Jesus–not Marx; Christianity –not liberalism. Jesus is the only One who can change the hearts of all men and set them free from their bondage to sin.
Copyright © 1994 Research & Education Foundation (REF)