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Switch to Forum Live View Christianity and racism
6 years ago  ::  Feb 29, 2008 - 5:39PM #1
sci-objectivist
Posts: 102
Since I grew up in the Bible Belt Deep South during the infamous Jim Crow era, I feel that I can comment on racism in Christianity with some credibility since I lived with it.
The year I was born,1960,was the year of the infamous "axehandle riots" in Jacksonville,Florida.Basically it was over some black folks who wanted to be served lunch at the Woolworth's diner downtown,which was too small to have a "colored section".They staged a sit in,and some redneck "good ole' boys" showed up with axehandles and some people got hurt.It was a huge mess and the event stands as a testimony to the attitude of that time.

During this time,you had black ministers leading much of the civil rights causes with Bible scriptures to back up their point of view as well as white ministers who would pull out scriptures to back up why they believed desegregation was the work of the devil.Here is what I heard in Sunday School when I was a kid as to why people are different colors.Believe me,I could never make this up.I was taught that black people were the result of a curse God put on the descendants of Ham,one of Noah's three sons.After the ark came to rest and the waters receded,Noah celebrated in his tent by getting drunk and naked.He passed out and according to Genesis,Ham "made fun of his father's nakedness"(some "scholars" interpret this to mean some sort of homosexual act).Shem and Japeth then entered backwards so as not to look upon their naked dad and covered Noah up.Ham was subsequently cursed by God and was told that he and his descendants would be a "servant of servants" from that time on.Believe it or not,I heard that preached from the pulpits as late as 1976.Fortunately,I had pretty much dismissed the Bible as fantasy long before then.
Is it any wonder then,that racism flourished for so long and is still a problem today?With racism being given the OK by the authority figures (the church) redneck bigots can feel like they're doing the will of God with their hatred.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2008 - 10:31PM #2
Moth
Posts: 20
The problem with the Bible, I find, is that the wording is confusing, misleading and can be read by seperate individuals in completely different ways, as your story, proves.

I think if you use a story (whether biblical or not) as justification for your actions, you're an idiot. If your own thought process cannot justify an action, it shouldnt be taken.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2008 - 8:35AM #3
Marcyy
Posts: 723
Moth, you are so right. I would never base my actions on how things were done thousands of years ago by a small group of people. The God I worship would never condone o many of the things reported in the bible.

I w born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1931, so my memories go back a long way. At that time I saw both sides of christianity, those who used it with
compassion and those who used it wrongly.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2008 - 6:43PM #4
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,152
There is no, I repeat NO, place in Christianity for racism at all. I too grew up in the South, and although I am young enough to have always had desegregated everything, my parents did not. They were both raised in the South during segregation-in fact, I think my home state (NC) didn't have completely desegregated schools until around 1970. However, they were also raised Christian. But they were taught the way Jesus really behaved, what He really said about what makes a person good or bad, and what value all humans have to God. Everyone around my parents was racist, but they were not because they knew it was wrong, and they taught us better than that. I really don't see how someone can claim to follow Jesus' basic commandment of 'loving your neighbor as yourself' and still be racist. Somehow I don't think discriminating against people falls in the 'love' category.



And even people who don't listen to Jesus (kind of hard to call yourself a Christian and not listen to Jesus, but okay) have no excuse because Paul said, quite plainly, that there is 'no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; all are one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28). And anyone who has been to Sunday School more than once knows that Paul started out as *quite* the persecutor-he only realized the wrong in what he was doing after actually *talking to Jesus*, which is something a lot of racists I grew up around claim to do all the time. Somehow, I smell a rat.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2008 - 9:08PM #5
Marcyy
Posts: 723
After I left the South asnd moved to New York City, I began to notice things I would hear when I would return to the South for a visit. There was a lot of what I call "benign" racism, which was not meant to be hurtful. Such as casually referring to someone they hired as "my n----r washer woman, or "my n----r yard man. It was like haring fingernail scraping a blackboard when I would hear this, and if I said anything I was told "you have been away from the South too long, you just don't understand us". I would answer "I do understand you, I just don't condone what you say."
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 09, 2008 - 8:42PM #6
sci-objectivist
Posts: 102
There's much more to the southern "attitude" than racism,and it's not really all that much of a bad thing to have about you.It's a fierce independence and bullheaded stubborness to do things your way.Unfortunately for the south,they were wrong.When you mix racism with a fierce since of independence,a superiority attitude of elitism,it can be a lethal mix.It's a similar attitude that has been the crux of many of the world's problems all over the globe.When it's justified by religious dogma,it can spell disaster.A person's evil deed becomes a holy act in the eyes of the deluded.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 09, 2008 - 8:53PM #7
sci-objectivist
Posts: 102
[QUOTE=Beautiful_Dreamer;337648]There is no, I repeat NO, place in Christianity for racism at all. I too grew up in the South, and although I am young enough to have always had desegregated everything, my parents did not. They were both raised in the South during segregation-in fact, I think my home state (NC) didn't have completely desegregated schools until around 1970. However, they were also raised Christian. But they were taught the way Jesus really behaved, what He really said about what makes a person good or bad, and what value all humans have to God. Everyone around my parents was racist, but they were not because they knew it was wrong, and they taught us better than that. I really don't see how someone can claim to follow Jesus' basic commandment of 'loving your neighbor as yourself' and still be racist. Somehow I don't think discriminating against people falls in the 'love' category.



And even people who don't listen to Jesus (kind of hard to call yourself a Christian and not listen to Jesus, but okay) have no excuse because Paul said, quite plainly, that there is 'no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; all are one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28). And anyone who has been to Sunday School more than once knows that Paul started out as *quite* the persecutor-he only realized the wrong in what he was doing after actually *talking to Jesus*, which is something a lot of racists I grew up around claim to do all the time. Somehow, I smell a rat.[/QUOTE]

Awesome! Awesome post!I'm very proud to say my parents weren't racist either and they were raised in the Depression era.They were local celebrities in Charleston,SC back in the 50's and 60's,TV gospel singers.They broke the color barrier and performed in African American churches back when that was a no no.Their announcer on TV was Jewish(had to change his last name for on air) and the grocery store my dad owned was open to customers of all colors on a first come first serve basis.My dad was a businessman and ALL money was green to him.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 3:30AM #8
koolpoi
Posts: 6,258
Beautiful,What do you think of the Bible passages that tell slaves to be totally obedient to their masters?These allowed slave owners to think that slavery was condoned by the Bible.Remember the US Bible Belt once fought a very bloody war largely for the right to keep slaves.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2008 - 10:24PM #9
Weeping_Willow1526
Posts: 127
Christianity does not support racism. Just because some so-called Christians are racist (which goes against Jesus' teachings of loving everyone as yourself) does not make Christianity a racist religion. Personally, I think racism is more of an individual or cultural thing (ie. most places in North America, it seems to be an individual thing. Back in the day down South, it was probably more cultural; it's just what people were exposed to on a wide-scale, and it was passed down. Same with here in Eastern Canada, back in the day.) There are racists in every religion but most religions do not teach that.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2008 - 1:09AM #10
koolpoi
Posts: 6,258
Weeping,Yes the Bible says to love others as yourself but that can cover almost all morality vis-a-vis  other people.There are still many other moral instructions about behavior towards others BUT in all this verbiage there there no simple statement that slavery is wrong.There are,however, several specific instructions on the devotion slaves should to their masters.Why include these if the Golden Rule de facto banned slavery?
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