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Racism and Religion

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Racism and Religion


A: Racism: -

1. The belief that races has distinctive cultural characteristics
determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with
an intrinsic superiority over others.

2. Abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on
the basis of such a belief.

[IMAGE][IMAGE]Racism can be caused by many things but often Racism can
be defined as 'a belief in the superiority of one race over all
others. In Christianity The Church Of England and Roman Catholic both
condemn racism of any form. Every Christian would have been brought up
believing that racism is wrong, nevertheless it still occurs today.
There are many teachings in the Bible which suggest that racism is
wrong, from the Bible we can see that "GOD" showed unconditional love
to all of his followers, no matter what race, this was written in the
bible: "…it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis…. no
matter what race they belong to" -Acts 10:34 and also this: "What you
do unto the least of my people you do unto me" -Matthew 25:31-45
although the second one is not an exact reference to racism it still
hold strong as a statement of equality, the first quote clearly
outlines that god loves all people weather they are black or white
this shows that [IMAGE]Christian teaching is anti-racist but they
don't hate racists they se them simply as misinformed as "Hate the Sin
Love the Sinner" Saint Augustine (354-430 C.E.) This shows that we
should not hate racists but more to hate the act of racism and try to
help these people by showing unconditional love with these ideals
Christians can challenge racism in a constructive manor. These
teachings are all very good for a Christian but hat do they mean to a
non-Christian? The first quote "…it is true that God treats everyone
on the same basis…. no matter what race they belong to" to a none
Christian at first looks is complete gobeldy gook as much of the bible
will seem but if it is read carefully and common sense is employed
than it can make sense. To a non-Christian that quote means that god
is not a racist as it says no matter what race etc but to a Christian
that's all fair and well as Christians aspire to be as god is however
to a none Christian this simply shows god isn't a racist but It
doesn't say anything about us being none-racist. The second quote
"What you do unto the least of my people you do unto me" is a bit less
exclusive to Christians as it is addressing us and clearly shows that
you cannot have double standards I.E. hate a coloured person because
they are pregnant, but love a white person for being pregnant. It is
more a statement of equality in general than specifically aimed at
racism however it is still relevant to the issue.

B: Christian views on racism and resultant action that may be taken: -

[IMAGE]There are mainly two different ways by which Christians respond
to racism. Violent and non-violent. There are a number of well-known
Christian pacifists 'A pacifist is a person who believes that all
forms of violence are wrong´, such as Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu
and Trevor Huddleston. They believe that anything, which causes
physical pain and suffering, is bad, and that there are always other
ways of solving the problem. Martin Luther King, the American Baptist
Minister, is very famous for his work opposing racism. In the Southern
states of America in the 1950´s and 1960´s [IMAGE]discrimination and
prejudice against black people was very common indeed. People in the
black community feared that the situation was going to escalate and
become like that of South Africa where black people's earnings were
only about half of those of whites. Many blacks did not have the right
to vote and certain public places were said to be for "whites only"
Martin Luther King was a Christian who campaigned endlessly for equal
treatments of blacks and whites. MLK taught that Christian love was
the way forward. "Love," he said, is the only force capable of
transforming an enemy into a friend.

[IMAGE][IMAGE]
'The Christian League´ was started to campaign against the South
African Council Of Churches and against Desmond Tutu, but he believed
that they had no chance over the prayers of millions of Christians who
wanted to end apartheid. When he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in
1984 he did so on behalf of all those who sought to end apartheid, and
when he was enthroned as Archbishop in 1986 he praised God: 'I pray
that Our Lord would open our eyes so that we would all see the real,
the true identity of each one of us; that this is not a so-called
"coloured" or white or black or Indian, but a brother, a sister-and
treat each other as such´.
Desmond Tutu's beliefs came from his Christian faith. Prayer and
worship were essential to him. He was a very comical spokesman, which
seemed to get the point across better to people. Also it is very hard
to be hostile towards someone who makes you laugh.

[IMAGE] Like Desmond Tutu, Trevor Huddleston also stated that
Christianity was totally opposed to the system in South Africa:
'Christians are not only commanded to love. We are commanded to hate
what is evil, and nothing is more evil than apartheid.´ Huddleston and
Tutu had a life long friendship ever since Tutu was a small child, and
was tremendously impressed by the way which Huddleston raised his hat
to Tutu's mother. It was almost unheard of for a white man to show
that much respect towards a black.

Not all Christians respond to racism non-violently. [IMAGE]Many people
use violence. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is an example of someone who used
violent protest in an attempt to defeat Hitler's racial policies
during the Second World War. He believed that 'it is better to do evil
than to be evil´. Malcom X assassinated 1965 was a large influence on
American culture, he used violence to confront racism and this to him
was felt as necessary to "free the black people of America from
oppression".

[IMAGE][IMAGE] These two great men but in stark contrast both fought
for the same ideals but why not both violent or non-violent it is
because we are a species of free-will and neither were wrong in what
they were doing in a sense just different way of tackling the same
issue but in the end both were assassinated which I find interesting
as neither of the methods are the same but the racist at the time
still saw both as a threat.

C: "Violence is appropriate to respond to racism" Do I agree?

[IMAGE]To start I personal do and don't believe that violence is an
appropriate response to racism as I think it is all dependant on the
situation at hand for example in the case where someone is being
abusive as a result of race and can not be reasoned with and is
causing a major problem then yes violence may be appropriate but ONLY
as a last resort as anything else would be inappropriate. In the
recent case of the war on Iraq I believe it was well justified to use
violence to resolve the situation at hand as sadam Hussain was highly
oppressive and dictatorial over his people to a state where it was
unacceptable also he twisted the words of his religion to justify a
Jihad (holy war) against westerners this is racism in a colossal form
that [IMAGE] should have never been allowed to gain such momentum so
the war was more than justified in my view even though it was to find
weapons of mass destruction hmm where are they I wonder However I can
se the side of racists and why sometimes they do what they do
sometimes there afraid of change afraid of something different or
maybe just they feel that they are being treat better than them selves
because they are of an different race for example racism against
asylum seekers so I can see the side of both racist and anti-racist
and understand why anti-racists sometimes respond to racism in a
violent way to resolve the issues at hand but personally I am not
dependant on adhering to wither violent or non-violent conscript as am
free to chose whichever method I chose to in relation to the situation
at hand, it is for this reason that I feel confident to address racism
in an appropriate manor at all times.

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