“We are thrilled to have Fredrika Newton and we have a brief video that really is a wonderful re-introduction to the Black Panther Party and an introduction for many of you to the work of the Frederika and Huey P. Newton Foundation.”
That was the Rev. Michael Kinman, Rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, on Sunday November 22. The video promoted the Black Panther Party (BPP) with its meal programs, medical clinics and Oakland Community School designed to “liberate” black students. The Black Panther Party, viewers learn, was “the vanguard of the revolution.”
The Rev. Kinman (pictured above) hands it off to Fredrika Newton, widow of BPP founder Huey Newton. After Huey was murdered, Fredrika partnered with Black Panther chief of staff David Hilliard to “dispel false narratives.” Fredrika told the congregation the Black Panthers “worked in coalition with organizations to fight oppression,” and as she explained, “the Black Panther Party was rooted in love.”
The Rev. Kinman urged the upscale congregation to support the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, and cited the “overlap between our values and those of the Panthers.” The All Saints Rector had already shown his overlap with the values of Black Lives Matter.
In the summer of 2020, the Rev. Kinman opened the church doors for BLM “protesters.” As the Rector told reporters, “This is the job of the church. If they’re not safe at City Hall, where are they safe? Well, you’re safe here.”
The Rev. Kinman was “grateful for the opportunity to put our values of radical inclusion, courageous justice, joyful spirituality and ethical stewardship into action,” and displayed a Black Lives Matter banner on the church lawn. The previous year, the Rev. Kinman learned that most members of his congregation have a serious problem.
“Whiteness and Christianity just don’t go together,” Canon Kelly Brown-Douglas of the Washington National Cathedral told the All Saints members on March 24, 2019. According to the Canon theologian, the nation was founded on “Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism,” now “embedded in the DNA of our nation.” This “whiteness” or “white supremacy,” Canon Brown-Douglas, explained, is “an oppositional construct” that only acts out against “that which is non-white.”
In other words, she said, “You can’t be white and Christian,” and “as long as you own your whiteness, you aren’t owning what you are as a sacred child of God. You are in fact betraying that.” That wasn’t from the Bible, Saint Augustine, or the Rev. Martin Luther King, but the Rev. Kinman was okay with it.
“What I love about that is following Jesus is this liberation, what is liberating me from is my whiteness.” The Episcopal clergyman was about “dismantling the structures of white supremacy,” and more.
“We need, really, a revolution, a dismantling of systems,” he said, and “we should be the people most positioned to do the dismantling in the revolution.” And of course, “we know that ‘make America great again’ means make America white again.” So no surprise that the election of Donald Trump caused quite a stir at the All Saints church.
“What happened this week is nothing new,” said the Rev. Kinman in a November 8, 2016 “post- election conversation.” What happened was “a scarier piece of something going on for a long time,” part of “a cosmic struggle between God and forces that would draw us away from God.”
The Rector canvassed the congregation for their “feeling words,” which ranged from “betrayal” and “nauseous” to “terrified,” with one woman feeling “emboldened, powerful and hopeful for revolution.” The Rev. Kinman had some words of his own, based on experience.
“One of the things I learned in Ferguson was that there is a difference between nonviolent and peaceful,” he said. “No one is being peaceful to us. It’s justice and peace in that order. Without justice there can be no peace,” and so on.
Born in 1968, Michael Kinman earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and put in a stint as a sportswriter. He received a Master’s of Divinity from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and founded Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation to “help eradicate global poverty.” From there it was on to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis where he served as dean from 2009-2106, showing an interest in “dismantling systemic misogyny and homophobia and promoting racial and economic reconciliation,” and more.
“Of all the things that have changed me and influenced my leadership here in St. Louis, at the top of the list is listening to the voices of the young, black, mostly queer leadership that came off the streets in Ferguson.” After the death of Michael Brown, Kinman proclaimed, “this is literally a matter of life and death. People are dying fast at the hands of the police, and people are dying slow at the hands of lack of education and economic opportunity.” A year later, Kinman ramped up the rhetoric.
“We are just beginning to wake from a decades-long slumber,” Kinman said. “Police violence was the presenting issue, and it must be dealt with, but as we look into the history of these issues we see they are incredibly complex. Our entire economy was first built on the backs of black bodies that were stolen from their homes.” And St. Louis, Kinman contended, “is fragmented by design and that’s been an effective strategy for keeping poor people and people of color from power.” The Dean also adopted a chant of BLM icon Assata Shakur, ending with “we have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Assata Shakur is Joanne Chesimard of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), a bank robber, murderer of a police officer, and a fugitive. The Rev. Kinman was okay with it. “The community rallied around a piece of her wisdom,” he told reporters, “and it is not my job to critique their choice.” For the All Saints job, Kinman was a fine choice.
Longtime rector Rev. George Regas was a pro-Soviet leftist in the style of the Rev. Hewlett Johnson, the “Red Dean” of Canterbury Cathedral, or the Rev. William Sloane Coffin of the Riverside Church in New York. Under Rev. Regas, All Saints maintained a “Friends of the Soviet Union” club, rechristened “Friends of the Former Soviet Union” after the fall of the Communist regime. A similar dynamic is playing out under Rector Kinman.
The Episcopal clergyman parrots the socialist economics that expanded poverty, misery and oppression everywhere they were imposed. The All Saints Rector has also immanentized the eschaton, viewing the election of Donald Trump as part of “a cosmic struggle between God and forces that would draw us away from God.”
What he thinks of white Democrat Joe Biden, who tells African Americans “you ain’t black” if they fail to support him, has yet to be revealed in a video. On the other hand, Rev. Kinman welcomes the critical racism that tells people “you can’t be white and Christian,” as Canon theologian Brown-Douglas explained.
Rector Kinman venerates the Black Panther Party, a group supposedly “rooted in love.” As the All Saints congregation should know, Fredrika Newton left out some key realities.
Huey Newton had engaged in gun battles with Oakland police but in 1989 he was shot dead by Tyrone Robinson of the Black Guerrilla Family, a longtime rival of the Panthers, as he emerged from a drug den. David Horowitz once worked with the Panthers and raised $100,000 for the Oakland Community School, which ran meal programs but also served as “a front for a criminal gang attempting to control the illegal traffic of the East Oakland ghetto.”
The Panthers kidnapped and murdered Betty Van Patter, the bookkeeper Horowitz hired, and that marked David’s departure from the left. For the full story, see Radical Son, but Van Patter was hardly the Panthers’ only victim.
In 1969 the Panthers tied 19-year-old Alex Rackley to a chair, poured pots of boiling water over him until he “confessed,” strapped him to a bed for three days, then drove Rackley to a swamp and shot him dead. Party enforcers even made a tape of Rackley’s “trial.” This is the group Fredrika Newton claims was “rooted in love.”
The Rev. Kinman finds “overlap between our values and those of the Panthers” and “we need, really, a revolution, a dismantling of systems,” and “we should be the people most positioned to do the dismantling in the revolution.” In effect, the long familiar First Church of Christ Socialist becomes the First Church of Christ Stalinist, or maybe nihilist.
Led by Rector Kinman, the All Saints progressives have made leftist doctrine and “woke” madness part of their faith. So they can’t change their minds, based on facts and reality, without becoming apostates. That is why they carry on the way they do, with no second thoughts.
And now abide bigotry, absurdity and ignorance. At the All Saints church in Pasadena, it’s hard to tell which is the greatest.