Stubbornness of racism, God notwithstanding
SUSAN K. SMITH | 2/12/2018, 7:57 a.m.
Crazy Faith Ministries
It would seem that with so many people – Black, White and Brown – claiming to be Christian and to follow the teaching of Jesus the Christ, there would be no racism. The power of Christianity rests in its belief in agape love, and we are all commanded follow what is known as “the Great Commandment” and “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
But unless we all hate ourselves, making it biblical to hate others, something is terribly wrong, for while so many of us of different hues claim to be Christian, what we do and how we do it is decidedly in violation of what we are supposed to do.
In spite of the Bible’s lofty and powerful words, and in spite of the U.S. Constitution, which establishes the precept that “all men are created equal,” we have failed and are failing to beat racism.
In an article, which appeared in The Washington Post, Yale University social psychologist Jennifer Richeson said, “unless parents specifically teach their children not to be racist, they will be.” She said, “racism is in the air around us.”
It is safe to say that we all carry implicit biases; such biases are present not only in the area of race but in sex, age, and even the perception of beauty.
But many of those who study the Bible and who tout the central theme of Christianity are some of the most rabid racists. They have, over the years, been more interested in preserving the white supremacist way of life, and have been unable to accept that their actions – spoken and behavioral – are puzzling and seem contradictory to the way the God of the Christian Bible tells us to live.
Theologian James Cone wrote in his book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, acknowledges the difficulty, which religious Black people have in reconciling racism in the presence of a so-called loving and good God. He said, “white supremacy tears faith to pieces and turns the heart away from God. The more I believed n God, the harder it became to sustain any faith.”
Scientists believe that the cause of persisting and stubborn racism is because humans have a natural “us vs them” mentality that is a part of our biological make up. The only way to change bias – which scientists state is in our blood – is to change culture.
There are a lot of troubling realities, which are hard to understand when studying the history of White violence against Black people. Violent racists have carried out their acts of hatred with no fear of retribution or punishment from God. Violent racists have had no problem with lynching innocent Blacks, for example, on a Saturday night and heading to their church on a Sunday morning. They have been taught that God is against the seeking of justice for all people; some were taught in the 60s, for example, that working with Blacks and Liberals for the civil rights of Black people was against the will of God. To work for civil rights – many were taught – meant that one could put one’s salvation at risk.