A Catholic university recently hosted an event titled “Rejecting White Christianity,” featuring a speaker who told attendees that white people needed to “crucify their whiteness” and urged others to “ethically lie” to make amends for past wrongs.
The College Fix reported that Carlow University invited Dr. Miguel De La Torre, a professor of social ethics and “Latinx studies” at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, who spoke on March 3. According to the Fix, which reviewed video of De La Torre’s speech, the professor “began his presentation by lambasting evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump.”
“When eight out of ten white evangelicals voted for a person who is completely against everything Christianity stands for, I don’t know what Christianity they are practicing,” De La Torre said. “But I want nothing to do with that Christianity.”
De La Torre then spoke of differences between “white theology and ethics” and “Latinx ethics,” reportedly noting “white” doesn’t refer to skin color but to an “ontological concept,” the Fix reported.
“Those of us who are colored, some of us can also be white. But the good news is there is salvation,” De La Torre said. Later in his speech, he reportedly said salvation means “we [who are colored] have to crucify our colonized minds, and for our white brothers and sisters, they need to crucify their whiteness.”
De La Torre also rejected “hope,” saying it was a white concept, the Fix reported.
“We embrace Euro-centric concepts like hope because it helps to pacify the oppressed during their oppression,” he said. “It leads to spiritual liberation, and ignores physical liberation.”
“I’m defining hope through my own Latino roots. In Spanish, hope is esperanza, esperanza comes from the word esperar, which means ‘to wait.’ And we’re not quite sure what we’re waiting for, or how long we’re waiting for—and what we’re waiting for may never come. This hope in Spanish does not mean the same thing in English,” he added.
He then explained that hope was “a middle-class excuse to do nothing.”
Later on, De La Torre said he uses what he calls a “trickster ethic” to change society to his vision. This ethic, he said, includes “how to ethically lie so we can discover what is true, how to ethically steal so we can feed those who are hungry…[and] how to disrupt the structures that have trained us to oppress ourselves and to take upon our body our own discipline.”
“This empire was built on stolen resources and cheap labor,” he added. “So hospitality is really the wrong word. What we need is restitution…By seeing this dilemma through the eyes of the margin, we come to a very different understanding of what the Christian response should be.”
TFP Student Action, a conservative nonprofit and Catholic watchdog group, protested the event at Carlow, writing that De La Torre “advocates the overturning of order and morals by violent means.”
Sean McFarland, Carlow University’s public relations and communications manager, told the Fix that “viewpoints of lecturers should not be taken as either an endorsement or opposition of how the University feels about a particular issue.”
“Rather, the intent of our university’s liberal arts tradition is to expose students to a variety of worldly perspectives and encourage them to think critically and individually on how they feel about the topic(s) in question,” he added.