From those early days when colonizers first landed on the shores of the North American continent, the Bible has been used to enslave and oppress Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. With such a long history of interpretation justifying oppression, too many white American Christians have ignored calls for justice and dignity for all people, especially people of color.
While some have sought to renew or reform from within, others have advocated for tearing down what exists to rebuild a new. One path towards transformation has been Abolitionist Theology, a way of understanding and interpreting Christianity and the Scriptures to deconstruct the social order rather than reform what is already in place.
Part of the deconstructing means acknowledging the ways that Christianity and the Bible has been used to subjugate native and indigenous religions and persons. Yet, despite its misuse to oppress, the Bible became a source of literal and spiritual freedom for slaves.
In our conversation, Reegie talks more about Abolitionist Theology, how his passion for freedom and abolition drives his work, and what he is working on right now to bring about Black liberation. Reegie is the Amos Project Organizer for the northeast area of Ohio where he builds power with faith leaders across Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, and Erie Counties. He came home to Ohio in 2020 after years of organizing in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.
Rev. Reegie Bunch has a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt and a BA in Theology and Bible from American Baptist College. A military veteran, Reegie is committed to the liberation of Black folks and Black communities. Reegie recently launched Dignity & Divinity with the help of the National Benevolent Association, an abolitionist movement rooted in community power towards the goal of achieving transformative justice and healing justice for all incarcerated people, their families, and communities.