Megachurch pastor faces backlash for trying to reframe white privilege as 'white blessing'

In today's episode of WTF America, a pastor of an Atlanta megachurch tried to make an argument that the benefits white Americans got from slavery were blessings.

In what was billed as "an honest conversation about race and the Church" on June 14, Passion City Church pastor Louie Giglio talked with Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy and rapper Lecrae. And in the course of their conversation, Giglio somehow ended up referring to "the curse of slavery" as "the blessing of slavery" when talking about how white people benefited from it. (This should go without saying, but if you ever find the words "the blessing of slavery," coming out of your mouth, you need to stop talking immediately.)

Giglio then went further and tried to reframe the concept of white privilege—the reality that white people have racial benefits in a society where white people have always held the power—as "white blessing."

Why? Because, he says, the phrase "white privilege" trips a lot of white people up. So calling it "white blessing" somehow...helps?

Needless to say, it didn't go over very well.


People rightly pointed out that using the word "blessing" in relation to slavery is, well, peak white supremacy.

"White privilege" makes people uncomfortable, so let's change the wording to something that will further entrench white people in denial and make them think that somehow the benefits of slavery were divinely ordained favors bestowed upon white people? Isn't that what "blessing" literally means?

Thinking you can rename a relatively benign phrase because it rubs some white people the wrong way is also, ironically, an example of white privilege in action.

Giglio has apologized for his word choice, stating that he was "not seeking to refer to slavery as blessing—but that we are privilege because of the curse of slavery...word choice wasn't great. Trying to help us see society is built on the dehumanization of others. My apology, I failed."

Indeed. Having the hard conversations about race and racism is good, and white folks are prone to stepping into an unconscious sense of superiority in those conversations. But a pastor with a huge platform—who is seen by congregants as a man sharing God's word—calling the benefits of slavery a "blessing" is over-the-top problematic. Even if his intention in the conversation was pure, even if his heart was in the right place, that message is worthy of condemnation.

Lacrae posted a video on Instagram responding to the controversial clip, which is important to hear:

Instead of trying to reframe reality to cater to white people's comfort, let's have a conversation about the audacity of white people losing their minds over a two-word phrase while people of color have to deal with the ongoing stress of subtle and blatant individual, systemic and institutional racism. The longer we try to keep white people comfortable, the longer it's going to take to deal with the issue of racism in our society.

You can watch the entirety of the June 14 conversation here:

The Beloved Community - Dan Cathy, Lecrae, Louie Giglio www.youtube.com

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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