Interesting experience with your friend's mom, Jaime. I agree, it is the sort of thing that could drive one to fundamentalism. It can have other outcomes too, thank goodness! It also sounds like she was accepting of you in her own way.
Well, just an amateur synopsis of the book...Terrell looks at the violence done to African Americans and asks why they so readily accepted the white man's violent model of redemption in the crucifixion of Christ. They witnessed so many beatings as slaves, and the lynchings, it would seem to drive one away from any idea that 'lynching' includes any redemption. Malcom X and playwright August Wilson both asked these same questions of their people and came up with non-christian positions.
The notion she suggests is that African Americans identified with Christ on the cross and could easily see themeselves in his place. It was also easy to accept substitutionary atonement because many times they knew their innocent own had died for them, in their place, to keep the Negro in their socially assigned place.
There is a very moving scene in Amistad
where the leader of the kidnapped Africans is given a Bible and he turns to a page where there is a drawing of the crucifixion. He can't speak English, but he points to the picture and nods affirmatively and tears begin to flow from his eyes. He knew what it was without knowing Christianity because it was a regular part of his experience.
Of course there's a lot more. But my angle in this forum is to ask 1) how the violence (hatespeech, gaybashing, acting str8 to be acceptable to the majority, etc.) deforms us as a community? and
2) how does the crucifixion get interpreted by gay christians in ways that is contextually unique to our experience?
I know I sound like an academic egghead (and I am!) but I am fascinated by this subject and am happy to be in a forum where I meet others interested in it also.