By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
I am a Southern man and proud of it. However, the KKK is not something I am proud of. The blatant racism and violent means of expressing it, is contrary to God’s revealed will from Genesis to Revelation.
In the 1920’s the KKK was 5 million strong, but over time its influence began to wane. Post WWII there was a concerted effort to resurrect it to its former glory….which included thousands of lynchings. However, in the midst of this membership drive, secrecy was of utmost importance because its influence reached far and wide amongst Atlanta politics and police.
In 1946 a writer named Stetson Kennedy felt called or compelled to do all he could to expose its true, racist, cruel nature and corrupt leadership. He wanted to expose its rituals and the motives of the leaders to mainstream America. But he faced a daunting challenge: to accomplish his mission Kennedy needed to get close…really close.
So, he waged a one-man war by infiltrating the ranks of the KKK to learn about it from the inside out, and then write about it. It was a dangerous mission for various reasons…one of which is that in Atlanta many of the police and politicians were supportive of the KKK. He was risking his life, especially if he was discovered.
Kennedy observed all the ins and outs of the organization but felt impotent to do much by himself. So, he got an inspiration from one of the most popular radio shows of the time…Superman!
The writers of this show had already used the caped crusader to fight against the evil Nazis and other foes. When Kennedy communicated his vision to the leaders of this show they realized they were at a watershed moment. The KKK was not only bigoted but un-patriotic. America had changed as a result of WWII and it was impossible for the KKK to robe itself in Americanism anymore.
The show agreed with Kennedy’s vision and began a lengthy series of how the caped crusader saved minorities… who were being bullied, beaten, and murdered by people outfitted in robes and hiding behind masks. It touched the heartstrings of millions of Americans and was hugely successful.
The antiquated hand-shakes were mocked as well as other childish gestures they had used. The result was phenomenal! Millions of people heard this show week by week and Superman actually helped shape the fabric of America. Here you have an American hero heralding civil rights well before the Civil Rights movement….all because of one man following his calling to fight injustice.
The hate and hypocrisy was exposed as well as the greed of the corrupt leadership. As a result, membership plummeted and the average persons’ view of the KKK was altered. The courage and dogged determination of one man’s calling to stamp out the KKK by exposing it was largely successful thanks to the Superman radio show.
To me, that story is inspirational because it shows that any person can have an impact on changing their sphere of influence, if they are courageous and steadfast. However, according to the Word of God, what Kennedy did was in line with God’s passion for justice, especially for the marginalized in society. It also showed how much pop culture (radio) affected the formation of people’s worldviews. Our love for God should affect our emotions—we must not merely agree with God that certain things are right or wrong—but we must viscerally embrace the good and hate with a passion that which God hates….while displaying the love of Christ to those caught up in sin.
Many Christians avoid reading the Old Testament, but it (especially the prophets) reveals the deep emotions of our God against injustice.
But what concerns me is that not a few people—including many Christians-- are claiming that God has called them to ministries which are questionable at best, and absolutely repugnant to God, at worst…like the KKK. One of the causes of this misplaced sense of call is due to an ignorance of the bible, especially the Old Testament. This was the case with many folks who were involved in the KKK. Some may ask how any body who professed Christ could have joined a group whose values were so opposed to the bible? Mis-interpretation of Scripture was one cause, as well as a longing to be part of a movement bigger than themselves….to give their life some meaning.
I have no idea what Kennedy’s religious commitments were, but his fight was a just one because it was consistent with biblical values..
Stetson Kennedy via Superman took on a calling that was pleasing to God because God makes it crystal clear that we are to do all we can to fight against injustice….man’s inhumanity against man. May we also devote ourselves to living a life worthy of our calling.
Part Two [January 8, 2016] will be one of my most difficult and controversial blogs to date. I will take this information and apply it to paranormal investigators, many of whom I care for deeply. Yet, with a few wonderful exceptions, I have found them to be very resistant to self-examination as to whether their calling is truly from God. Please pray….
Read part 2 here: An Appeal to Christian Paranormal Investigators
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.