Contributors defend devotional book asking God for help to ‘hate white people’

Contributors to a devotional book featuring a prayer that asks God for help to “hate white people” have come to the author’s defense, saying people are missing the full context of the piece. 

Screenshots of the devotional book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal were posted online last week by users who objected to the inclusion of a prayer titled “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman” by Chanequa Walker-Barnes, a professor of practical theology at Mercer University. 

“Dear God, Please help me to hate White people. Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist,” the passage read.

Walker-Barnes is described in her bio as “a clinical psychologist, public theologian, and ecumenical minister whose work focuses upon healing the legacies of racial and gender oppression.”

The genesis of much of the pushback against the book appears to have started with a Twitter post by Ryan McAllister, an evangelical pastor from Alexandria, Virginia, who shared images of passages from the book that one of his parishioners had taken at Target, where the book is being sold. The prayers, he said, are “completely anti-biblical” and a direct influence of critical race theory. 

Ariel Gonzalez Bovat, who describes herself on Twitter as a counselor and theologian, added: “It’s a travesty this kind of writing comes from a former clinical psychologist turned ‘ordained minister.’ Under no context should these words be an acceptable method of expression for professing Christians.”