The Religion of Race: America’s First Religion

Dr. Audra L. Savage, SJD

Dr. Audra L. Savage, SJD, is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Law, Religion and Human Rights at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.  Her work examines the law’s effect on the rights of racial and religious minorities, engaging several different fields of study.

Racism is the lingering effect of the American holocaust of slavery. In this talk, Savage argues that the reason for the persistence of racism is embedded in the founding of America.  By compromising on the issue of slavery, the Founding Fathers established a national civil religion based on racism.  In the Religion of Race, whiteness is sacred and blackness is profane.  The Constitution is the sacred text divined by the Supreme Court, who uses the ritual of Law to perpetuate this religion.  The only way to move the country forward and end racial injustice against Black Americans is for a true reformation that sacrifices white privilege in order to reestablish the natural law rights of Black people.