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The Critical Connection: Faith, Race, and Political Engagement

John Amanchukwu headshot

Two of the biggest cultural topics over the last few years have been critical race theory and abortion, sparking strong reactions and opinions from almost everyone. While at face value they may appear to be separate issues, a closer look reveals that they are closely linked and that they have significant implications for people of faith. This begs the question about how Christians should understand, approach, and engage these topics in our society.

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes John Amanchukwu, a pastor at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, to discuss his book Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion.

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Transcript: The Critical Connection: Faith, Race, and Political Engagement

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Thanks for joining us this week for Family Policy Matters. This month is an important one in our nation regarding our ongoing pursuit of biblical justice. In the month of January each year, we recognize the continuing battle over the lives of our children in the womb by celebrating Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and we pause to remember the incredible legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ongoing struggle for racial justice. While many of us might not see the connection between these two things, today’s guest thinks they are intimately linked. John Amanchukwu is a pastor at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh. He’s a graduate of NC State and Liberty University and has made a name for himself as a fearless defender of biblical justice, especially the unborn. He joins us today to discuss his new book, Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion. Pastor John Amanchukwu, welcome to Family Policy Matters.

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: Thank you so much for having me on your show.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: All right, well, start off by telling us a little bit about yourself. So you married into a family that many of our listeners will recognize, and you’ve become very outspoken on a lot of the issues that we hold dear. Where did you get this passion that you have?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: Well, first and foremost, I joined the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in 2004. At the time, I was a student at NC State University playing football. And I went there, and I saw a young lady who at the time, she was playing the drums, my wife, Crystal, and we’ve now been married for 16 years, we have three wonderful children. And I saw her on that Sunday and watched her from the back of the church. And I said, “Man, there’s something about that young lady that has really caught my eye.” And so the rest is history. And so she became my wonderful bride, but she also happened to be the daughter of Bishop Patrick Wooden Sr.. And so I really say that a lot of the teaching and the training that I have today as relates to being an activist and being engaged in the culture has come from sitting at the feet of Bishop Wooden and watching him as he compelled the church to be a cause-driven church. Not to be silent, not to be quiet about the issues that are going on. But to engage the culture and to have a biblical worldview.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: And your most recent effort, the school board meeting campaign, I guess you would call it. Tell us about that. And why did you feel like that was the place you wanted to pour your energy for now?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: In the early 2000s, Bishop Wooden rallied the local church, Upper Room, to go to the Wake County School Board meeting there. I wasn’t a member of that church then, I was still in high school. But he campaigned to go to that school board meeting. And the focus was around books and material that was discussed as relates to children having two parents of the same sex, and so that that was a thing back then. And slowly but surely, people were gaining understanding about that in the public school system. And so I say much of what I’m doing today is really just picking up the mantle of what he did in the early 2000s. And so I went to a school board meeting and Chatham County and spoke there. And I didn’t know that that message would go viral, but it did. And then I went to Loudoun County, an area where Merrick Garland has labeled parents who speak out at school board meetings as domestic terrorists. I spoke there, and that message went viral. And then I came to Wake County, I spoke at that school board meeting and that message went viral and landed me on the Tucker Carlson show. And so from there, I was able to see that God had given me something, the ability to address these issues in a winsome manner, but also bring attention to the nightmarish and horrific things that are taking place in public schools around the country. I’ve now spoken at 10 school boards around the US, I’ve amassed over 300 million views doing so. I’ve even been able to assist local individuals in different states in flipping their school boards and turning the tide, and making sure that they have individuals on the school board who are going to vote with we the people in mind. I’ve been able to remove numerous pornographic books from school boards around the country. And so that’s just an area where the Lord has used me greatly over the past two years. I’m doing a twenty-stop tour this year, going around the country doing the same thing addressing issues pertaining to critical race theory, gender theory, and queer theory.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: So are you surprised? Were you surprised to find that that was such a great opportunity to get a very important word out?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: Yes, very much. So I was surprised; who knew that three minutes could translate into 20 million views of a speech? I just didn’t think that it could happen. But, you know, I went to Asheville, North Carolina, and spoke there. I talked about a book entitled It’s Perfectly Normal, which is a book that’s made available to kids ages 10 and up. And the book is soft porn, you know, and it details things explicitly that children shouldn’t hear about. You know, I believe that we shouldn’t talk about heterosexual sex nor homosexual sex in the public school system. We shouldn’t be teaching our children certain things that go against the belief systems of their parents, you know, but we do need to get back to reading, writing, and arithmetic and stay away from the intentional indoctrination of the left.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Is there a lesson in here, do you think for parents, that these local platforms are important and that we need to be engaged there?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: Yes, oftentimes, people overlook the grassroots efforts in the campaigns that are necessary to turn the tide in America. I’ve heard from countless people who have seen my videos and who are now aware, you know, they are, for the lack of better words washed, they have a clear understanding of what’s going on. And in many cases, they didn’t before. You know, I believe that we don’t co parent with the state or with the government or with public schools. I believe that there’s two parents who should be engaged and involved at all times, and parents know what’s best for their children, or at least they should. And the platform of speaking out at the school board meeting is one that’s necessary towards making sure that we keep our children safe, to make sure that they’re not being steeped into things that are awful, and to make sure that people are not grooming our kids.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Well, let’s talk about this book. You have a new book called Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion. Why did you write that book? And why do you feel like it’s an important contribution to what we’re talking about out in the public square?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: I’m going to ask everyone to go to Amazon and everywhere that books are sold and get a copy of this wonderful book. It’s my first book, I have a new book that will come out in May, May 28, I believe it is, and we can come back later and talk about it. It’s entitled Hoodwinked: 10 Lies Americans Believe and the Truth That Will Set Them Free.

But this book, Eraced, it deals with abortion and critical race theory. And so these are two issues that’s dividing America, even the Christian church, I view them both as being diabolical. And also, I strongly believe that if you are pro-critical race theory, then you are pro-racism because critical race theory is racism. Oftentimes, academics try to find ways to define critical race theory, but the simplest way to define it is, it’s racism. Okay. And then also, if you support the abortion industry, if you’re a pro Planned Parenthood, and if you have a pro-choice disposition, as it relates to the abortion industry and the movement, then you’re also propagating racism because the abortion industry under Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and the Abortion League, she sought to destroy the black community. And she said that she would use preachers, the black preacher, to assist her in doing so. She was a racist, she hated blacks, she had a disdain for Jews, and she had a disdain for children who were born feeble. And so, she believed that the best thing to do for a large family is to kill its next child if one will come. And so she was an evil and hateful woman. And she had a plan to destroy the black community.

And so God gave me the vision to write this book during the summer of 2020, as we witnessed around the country, and even in our state, as Governor Roy Cooper stood back and did nothing, I might add, we witnessed activists and BLM and Antifa burn down many of our stores and grocery stores and people tore down statues. Downtown Raleigh, there’s a store there named Kimbrels, and it’s been there for ages, and it’s now gone; they burned it down. The CVS store, downtown Raleigh, was burned down as well. And so, looking at all of the race-baiting and the race hustling that took place as a result of the death of George Floyd, I had to come up with a way to combat these issues.

I can recall the summer of 2020 being at a local abortion clinic that our church adopt called A Woman’s Choice Clinic of Raleigh. I recall being out there one Saturday, and a dad walked up to me. And he said, “Why are you out here fighting a white man’s issue?” So in his mind, he believed that abortion was a white evangelical worldview. And that’s not true. Abortion is not a white evangelical worldview. It’s a godless worldview, and one that the church should speak about, and Christians should speak against, quite often. And so he asked me that question. And on that Saturday, 70% of the people outside of the abortion clinic prepared to help save those babies that were in the clinic, including his, were white, but nearly 80% of the moms in the abortion clinic on that Saturday were black, including his child. But he’s gonna ask me, why am I out here fighting a white man’s issue? And so from there, I could see clearly that he probably didn’t know the definition of critical race theory. But I’m sure I am sure that he was a walking poster child for all things CRT, because in critical race theory, they see racism in all things. And at all times, even when a black man is killing his baby at an abortion clinic and another black man seeks to save that same child.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Let’s talk about Isaiah 5:20, because you reference that Bible verse in your work. Why is that important?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: Yes, that scripture verse can be found on the back of my book Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion. And Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” Here God is saying that there’s going to be great danger that comes upon people who look at abortion and call it good. Who look at critical race theory and call it good. Who look at this transgenderism movement that’s moved around this nation, and even in our public schools. God looks at that as evil. But today, man calls it good. We’re calling things that are evil good, and we’re calling good evil, and God will judge us, all of us, based upon that.

And so I strongly believe that we’re living in a day where the Christian Church must speak up. The American church has become feeble and weak. We have pastors who won’t address the topics of abortion, or they say that they are pro-choice pastors like Raphael Warnock did, you know, he’s a pastor who ran for office in Georgia. Campaigned and won, I believe it’s a Senate race. And he campaigned on the fact that he was a pro-choice pastor. And let me be the first to tell you that there’s no such thing as a pro-choice Christian or a pro-choice pastor. The Bible is clear on what it says about abortion. It’s in the 10 Commandments, it talks about killing those who are innocent, Thou shalt not kill, you know, and it speaks about, you know, blood being on our hands as pastors if we fail to speak about these issues as well. That’s in Ezekial. And so we know what the Bible says about these issues. But today, people find it easy to forget what God has said and do what the culture desires. And if there’s anything that we need to get right before this next election, we need preachers to preach and we need the congregation to follow what thus saith the Lord, not what thus saith man.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Your message has resonated with a lot of people all over the country. So if our listeners want to know how they can either get involved with you or at least follow your good work, how can they do that?

JOHN AMANCHUKWU: You can go to You can go and support my efforts there. If you’d like to make a contribution towards my work as I travel around this country, as I launch a podcast to further dive into these issues, you can support me there on my website.

TRACI DEVETTE GRIGGS: Pastor John Amanchukwu, thank you so much for being with us today on Family Policy Matters.

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