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So Much Racism: How Many Ways Can We Hurt Our Neighbor?

Are you a racist? Just answer “no” unless you are. The great sin of our modern world is called racism. We don’t use the word “sin” anymore, and this new name for hatred is a serious thing. Some governments have threatened to cancel the rights of citizens who are openly racist.

In politics, people on the political left believe that they are free from racism, and they like to assign the sin of racism to “right wing extremists.” That means, the other side can’t even speak because they have a label that makes them unworthy. This explains a lot of the political bickering in the news. We don’t argue about what we believe, we argue that some people should never speak, and our side should always get the microphone.

In these modern times, we have something called “new racism.” This can be many things; systemic, personal, micro-aggressive, environmental, legal and there are many other definitions. Apparently, talk about the Coronavirus is racist against people in China. This complicated and poorly defined racism is popular in modern politics. Almost everyone has said something that can be called racist, and the Internet never forgets.

We also have racism against religions, even though religion is usually a belief that we choose, and not skin color that we were born with.

I used to work as an English teacher and I would never accept an essay from a student if it looked like a modern political speech. I would get out my red pen and tell them to clearly define the topic, before they criticized other people. I think we have made racism so complicated that it is losing all meaning, and becoming irrelevant. That’s the opinion of an English teacher who cares about how we use words.

When I was a young student, at a university, I got bored with my life, and someone offered me something exciting. They gave me a chance to travel to Africa and teach in a village school. I said yes, and a few month later, I flew off to my adventure; and it really was an adventure. If you ever have the chance, try living with people who are completely different from you. The experience will change you.

I was assigned to a school, with another light-skinned foreigner, and then I was told to move. I lived in the same house, but every day I had to travel about two miles to another school. When I walked to my new school, I met an African teacher who was walking to my old school; two miles in the other direction. We passed each other every day, and we became friends, and we complained to each other.

We both knew that we were victims of racism. My new school was jealous because they also wanted a token white teacher. My presence was good for the school’s reputation. My African friend was a much better teacher than me, and it was wrong to move him because of the color of his skin. The African people who made the decisions would be called progressive and woke today. They worked for human progress and against racism, but us two teachers knew that our skin color was all that mattered.

I came home after a few months.

So, what should we do? We are all guilty of the thing we pin on other people.

The only place where I have seen real racial harmony, is in Christian churches; especially in Pentecostal groups. One reason that Elvis Presley was successful was his participation in Pentecostal churches as a child where he crossed cultures. His childhood was interracial. He learned to move around a lot on the stage, Pentecostal style, and he translated the music of American blacks. Did you know?

These Christian groups are filled with immigrants and natives mixed together, and they focus on spiritual things. They don’t get attention, but they have the racial harmony that no one else can find; that thing we all fight about. These simple Christians have a lesson for us all.

Jesus didn’t talk about racism; He talked about sin in each one of us. He told us: “… love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Our assignment is simple; one person must be kind to one other person. Multiply that by seven billion, and we will have a new world. Jesus did not give us an accusation that we could fling at a politician, to bring them down in the pols. He told us to be brothers and sisters in our new faith.

The important difference is that some of us are remade and we know God, and others are still searching. There is no privilege or advantage in the Jesus economy.

Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Colossians 3: 8 to 11

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