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Monday, July 29, 2019

God is NOT a racist, but you might be!

Like the society that produced them, some Christians are blind to the racial prejudice that exists among them. I am reminded of a devout aunt who once proudly proclaimed that she was "not prejudiced against n-----s" as long as they "stayed in their place."

These folks fool themselves by supporting their prejudices with various distortions of the Bible's portrayal of God's racial attitudes. I'm thinking of things like pointing to the "Table of Nations" in Genesis and concluding that since God created the races that "He" must have intended for them to remain separated from each other. Others point out that God favored the Jews - that "He" blessed "His" chosen people over all of the other nations which surrounded them (even helping them to defeat, despoil and oppress them). And, once they have settled on an interpretation that favors their group and its beliefs, they conclude that they can't be considered racists because God isn't a racist. Talk about circular reasoning!

The delusion that they are immune to charges of racism also stems from the way in which they perceive themselves. Many of these folks point to interracial situations within their own families, their own love and kindness toward others or the fact that they don't use racially derogatory terms as evidence that they are not racists. In other words, racists are bad people - they can't be kind and good. As a consequence of these "facts," they reason that no one could ever fairly paint them with that brush. Satan truly has deceived the whole world!

Unfortunately, our darkest sins are often hidden from our eyes by the stubbornness of our own ego and vanity. I'm reminded here of the old Jeff Foxworthy line "You might be a redneck if..." The truth is that if you tend to make generalizations about whole groups of people (e.g. those folks are dirty, lazy, violent, etc.) there is a good chance that you're a racist. If you believe that your tribe is spiritually, physically or intellectually superior to other groups, there is a high probability that you are a racist. Likewise, if you truly believe that God has favored your tribe above all others, it is very likely that you are a racist. If you believe that other folks are responsible for what's wrong in your life or society (e.g. it's the Jews, it's those illegal immigrants, etc.), then you might be a racist!

The good news is that we all have the ability to learn new things, repent and adopt different viewpoints. As with all sins, however, the first step is being willing to acknowledge that we have a problem. Like Satan before us, if we can't do that, then we will continue to believe that we are in the right and others have wronged us with false accusations of racism. And, finally, if this post makes you angry, that might indicate that you need to take another look at yourself vis-a-vis this issue! 

3 comments:

  1. Bless you Miller.

    Israeli visitors or people who live there for awhile often relate or experience the true pressure they live under once they are out of the pressure cooker on holiday or business trip.

    I sincerely wish you can experience a visit outside the usa once and truly experience for awhile what you are talking about.

    That around midnight you take a metro or a tram back to the hotel and a dark man enters and you feel your hand subconsciously moving to the pocket containing your wallet while you feel cold shivers because your body decided to start sweating.

    Then the next stop a blonde friend joins the man and kisses him on the cheek and they hug and you are left wanting to slam your head against the chair for being such a fool.

    My point! Might this be a lame attempt on my part to prove superiority of one nation over the poor old USA.

    No. Of course not.

    I'm talking about deer and elephant avoiding man because of previous experiences of previous generations. While on Galapagos wild animals might approach man beause they never experienced sonething bad from man.

    It seems some nations or generations are beyond repair. Their subconscious contains "lessons" that are ingrained.

    Only a shock can fix their problem like a grandchild falling in the water and a dark man rescueing it or witnessing injustice in person might do the trick for basically good people too.

    Thats why I proposed a couple of my travels. See how in communities around the world different ways of co existing have developed from our local experience.

    I have experienced however that the past 25 years much is changing in the world and ancient mixed communities suddenly started to fear one another.

    Much of this has political background and older people lament the demise of their former peaceful coexistence in syria, yemen, even european nations are contaminated with new fears about "the other."

    We are turning into fearful deer instead of proud wild animals at the peak of our dominion not being conditioned by previous experiences.

    The news us bringing them on our doorsteps.

    My conclusion.

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    If by the end of august I will not be contributing your blog anymore it is highly possible that I have fallen victim of my naive musings that the ONLY thing to fear is fear itself. Otherwise I might just continue sharing my twisted take on a twisted humanity as filtered through my experiences donestic and abroad.

    Nck

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  2. nck, thank you for your graphic explanation of what motivates a great deal of this prejudice. Understanding how this fear works, and how it has evolved over time, makes us more empathetic and equips us to better confront and deal with it.
    I have never traveled to the Middle East and have no desire to do so in the context of the world in which we live. However, I have had the opportunity to visit Europe and Asia and have witnessed first hand that prejudice and racism are phenomena that are not confined to American Fundamentalist Christians. It is my hope that circumstances will never prevent you from contributing to any future topics that may appear in posts on this blog.
    I do not exempt myself from these considerations. Indeed, my former association with the WCG (and all that that entails relative to Anglo-Israelism, German-Assyrianism, racial segregation, etc.) is indicative of my own problems with this topic in times past. Likewise, my paternal ancestry derives from the American South and contributes a significant amount of baggage to my own interest in this subject. And, finally, my own genealogical research and DNA testing has conclusively demonstrated to me that I have significant incentives to better understand this subject. In addition to my white European ancestry, I also carry the blood of African, Native American and Jewish ancestors.
    As your remarks indicate, this is not a simple subject. It is, however, one that we must get a handle on if we are going to survive and thrive. Ignoring the problem is not an option.

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  3. Yes. My comments were meant to be graphical, physical and subconscious.
    I do admit to the possibility of dramatic change im a person though. I have seen transformation in former Westboro baptists or the acccountant of the fascists who fought in charlottesville after making a documentary on the group with a bbc reporter of indian descent.

    Mixed ancestry is not a guarantee. Often people from the former colonial empires are very race conscious since the colonizers used race as a qualifier for administrative positions and economic power. Also I studied that for the million of hutsis or tutsis that died none of them was aware that the distinction was entirely constructed by the former colonial power and not some ancient tribal lineage.

    My comment regarding the USA was not meant to claim that "Europeans are better." It was a remark along the lines that when changing a seat in the office the butt of the person sitting there before you had exactly the same temperature, yet it feels distinctively different and warmer.

    So I meant, different history, different approach different feel. Perhaps distinctively easier felt for persons of color so I hear from film makers.

    I have travelled many corners of the world and therefore seen many atrocities. As we focus on positive learnings I have seen how muslims, hindi, christians have lived together from sri lanka, to egypt caraibian islands or how in central asia turkish and asian tribes have mingled over time.

    But for different reasons like population growth and politics I see profound changes for the worse on the local level, while other factors lead to more globalized contacts.

    I applaud you for adressing this topic. To me it felt distinctively regional and I felt free to add "outside" perspective without academic claims.

    It is true that by choice I will shortly enter a country where the state department felt necessary to distinghuish between different "zones" and "color codes". Nothing to be worried about and leisure as compared to previous experience. Yet I felt to make a statement against hatred today might just alter my kharma for the good since the people are suddenly set for election and politics appears to arouse latent subconscious emotions. (Political morivations often get mistaken or abused as "ancient racial differences" nowadays.

    Nck

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