Anthea Butler, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Religious Studies, said the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin last year, shows that God is an armed white racist stalking young black men, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
“God ain’t good all of the time,” she wrote at Religion Dispatches.
“In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in a nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men,” she added, falling just short of accusing the Almighty of serving in the Confederate Army.
Butler went on to bash religious conservatives, the Koch brothers, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and those who oppose abortion, saying Martin's killing was the result of racism rooted in Christianity.
Campus Reform reported that after penning her screed, Butler reiterated her thesis on Twitter.
“y'all take care of the KKKlan Twitter egg avi's till I return. I see my sheet they don't like me calling out their racist god #toobad,” she tweeted.
Butler holds a Ph.D. in religion from Vanderbilt and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is a regular contributor and guest on both MSNBC and CNN.
Despite the credentials, her comments were seen as anything but religious or “Christian” by many.
“No amount of heartbreak over the Zimmerman acquittal justifies these hateful posts,” said Josiah Ryan, editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, the site that first reported her comments. “Professor Butler's remarks were clearly designed to hurt when Americans needed healing and to divide when we needed unity.”
“In tumultuous times students must be able turn to their professors for calm and wisdom. In stoking the flames of hatred, Professor Butler has betrayed her students' trust. UPenn administrators ought not to allow her back in the classroom,” she added.
A post at the Independent Journal Review called her “the embodiment of modern academia” that sees nothing wrong with bashing people with conservative points of view.
The more religious calvinistview.com described her post with two words.
“What poppycock,” the blog said. “This professor questions the nature of God predicated upon a verdict with which she disagrees? Anthea Butler has the audacity to surmise what’s in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans of faith. What Bible is this woman reading — the Gospel according to Rev. Jeremiah Wright?”
Butler, however, claimed her post was simply misunderstood.
“First of all they don't understand it's between small 'g' god and big 'G' God,” she told the Huffington Post. “Big 'G' God is the deity. Little 'g' is different kinds of gods. Anyone who reads Religion Dispatches knows this.”
Even as she attempted to explain herself, Butler continued to bash conservatives.
“But this was especially touchy for [conservative Christians] because I hit on some things that are kind of true,” she said, without providing specifics.
Reaction at the Huffington Post was mixed.
“American God?! Wasn't Jesus a Jew….that does not make him White or Hispanic,” one person said.
“Does her god want people to not act properly and not respect laws? Her god sounds like a mess,” another reader added.
Since Zimmerman's acquittal on Saturday, Martin supporters have responded angrily, engaging in protests and violence. Some have issued death threats against Zimmerman, his wife, attorney and the jurors in the case. A number of Twitter users have even demanded Zimmerman be decapitated.
Butler says that despite the anger and calls for her dismissal from the University of Pennsylvania, she is called to “engage the public and the public's understanding of religion.”
At least from her point of view.