Racism and Bigotry
When you pray, “Thy Kingdom Come,” ever stop to think about what that might look like?
One thing I believe is that the Kingdom of Heaven will not have racism or bigotry. Look at how Jesus treated Samaritans. Repeatedly we are told that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles.
Firstly then, a note about racism. Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. So if we show prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism toward someone of a different race based on the belief that our own race’s characteristics and qualities are superior, we are racist.
Please also understand that race and religion are different. For example several millions of Christians are Chinese. Several millions of other Christians are Latino. The first Christians were Jews. Of course racial characteristics exist. As somebody with Scottish and Jewish ancestry, I really don’t like giving away money unless there is no doubt of the investment potential in it. Somebody with Korean ancestry may more than likely be hard working and diligent. A lot of these abilities though, are to do with the culture and the environment of one’s upbringing. As a society though, we tend to promote such stereotypes through the Arts, including film and television, over the course of generations.
Our understanding of these racial profiles deteriorates to racism when we do two things:
1. When we automatically assume if somebody is from that race, that they will behave in a certain manner with no exceptions.
2. When we automatically assume that our race is superior and therefore justify the ill treatment of another race.
I don’t imagine that many civilised people would argue for racism. The issue at hand now seems to be that if you make observations of fact regarding an ideology such as Islam, you are often branded as being racist.
The irony in this is that the people labeling you as racist are doing so based on a racial stereotype such as maybe, “All Arabs are aggressive Muslims.” In so doing, they have actually proven themselves as racist. As the playground taunt goes: takes one to know one.
A quick note then also about bigotry. A bigot is a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, sexuality etc. A bigoted person may, for example, especially hate or refuse to accept the members of a particular group such as a racial or religious group. Please note that this is an ‘unfair’ dislike. If a religious group practices beheading, the severe oppression of woman, death penalties for adultery, rape of children and death to all who refuse subjugation as a path to world domination, such is taught in the Koran and practiced currently and enthusiastically by the Islamic State, then I would say that this is not bigotry. This is discernment. I have Islamic friends that I truly love, but I distrust their religion based on the fruit it bears and its stated objectives.
From the reading that I’ve been doing, it would seem that Christians are one group very likely to experience being attacked by bigots. Groups such as the militant homosexual lobby and pro-abortionists hate that Christians have different ideas to them and are continually on the attack. So how do we respond to bigotry directed against us?
If we are to be ushering in the Kingdom, then, we need to be using our creative talents to confront and even attack racism and bigotry. Having said that, we must also not be fearful to attack wrong wherever we see it. If it happens to be a particular race or religion that is committing the wrong, the injustice against society or the attack against the Kingdom of Heaven, then we need to call it as we see it.
When we do this, we could run out with guns blazing and hurt a lot of people and turn many away from truth and life. We have been sent out like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent and harmless as doves. Firstly examine yourself to make certain you’re innocent of these two sins. Then, we need to be creating, constantly in tune with the Holy Spirit. The creative ideas that God gives you will be the ones that bear good fruit.
Ever changing: Thy Kingdom come