CALIFORNIA July 27, 2013 — President Obama’s desire for a conversation on race relations brings to mind a scriptural warning: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (Proverbs 18:17). With Obama’s record so far, an objective treatment of race seems questionable given the political benefit that comes from stoking racial hatreds, whether they’re real or imaginary.
Racial relations in our nation reflect some of the worst of human nature. Beginning in Colonial days, slavery degraded people in defiance of our nation’s founding principles; it ended with a Civil War that cost over 600,000 lives and led to three constitutional amendments. In the 20th century, the Civil Rights movement finally overturned the farce of “separate but equal” and the ungodly legal protection of racial discrimination.
But what is race?
For the most part, it’s an artificial classification of people groups based on trivial genetic differences and physical appearance. In reality, there are no distinct, unrelated races of beings but only one large family: the human race. In fact, both evolutionists and Biblical creationists agree that everyone is descended from a common parentage. But where an evolutionary, survival of the fittest, secular worldview has been used to defend genocide and racial superiority, the Bible cannot justifiably be used that way.
Scripture is the great leveler. It says every human being is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and man (Genesis 5:1-3); all have inherited a fallen nature (Romans 5:12); and all will face the judgment seat of God (Hebrews 9:26). The Bible does refer to different tribes (mostly family clans), nations (as seen in Acts 17:26), tongues (languages) and people groups. But these distinctions have nothing to do with relative worth.
Biblically, “race” is not the issue, but sin is. For instance, Christians are to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39) and even our enemies (Matthew 5:44); but Christians should not knowingly enable continuing sin patterns of irresponsibility either by individuals or the government (Ephesians 5:11).
So, if we’re all related, have intrinsic value, and even inter-marry, why is racial strife increasing?
Partly it’s due to a legacy of national guilt for treating blacks as property or as inferior. Some people still have irrational animus towards anyone of a different skin color, even though it’s just the amount of melanin present. Many have a natural distrust towards anyone who looks or acts differently than what they’re used to. And yes, some are taught to hate other races.
But there are other factors.
Consider how the inordinately influential news media deal with race issues. Are only whites racist, or are there black racists also; how would we ever know from the nightly news? Are racist remarks against whites publically condemned, or is it only when whites denigrate blacks? With the vast majority of murders being intra-racial, what’s more likely to grab national attention: a white killing a black, or a black killing a white?
How are measures of societal health handled? What happens when black abortion, out of wedlock births, absentee fathers, crimes, murders, school dropouts, poverty, drug abuse, and unemployment rates are compared to those of whites? Do the results prove pervasive racism, or could political expediency and trivializing of personal responsibility be major factors?
How about other groups? Why is it that Asians are amazingly successful in this country, yet they suffered severe persecution at one time? How can Jews, who have faced incredible persecution throughout history, be some of the most successful people in our nation?
The answer for success isn’t reliance on a political party that plays to hatred, victimhood, and the creation of dependency. It’s not relying on public schools to teach respect when so many are breeding grounds for gangs, ethnic hatred, disrespect, foul language, drugs and the promotion of moral confusion. Their success is a result of initiative and taking personal responsibility for one’s own life and family.
For blacks to have such lopsided dependence and family disintegration after so many government assistance and entitlement programs shows they’ve been willfully manipulated by a political ideology that seeks followers, not success stories.
An open, objective conversation about race relations in America is long overdue. But is Obama serious about having one?
If he is, the role of decades of liberal policies creating family destroying dependence should be open for debate.
If he is, the tactic of constantly creating an atmosphere of victimhood by blaming others must be repudiated.
If he is, both white and black race baiters that see everything through the lens of racial bigotry and discrimination must be publically shamed.
If he is, government handouts that destroy personal initiative and breed a lack of contentment must be stopped (1 Timothy 6:10a).
Our half-black, half-white President has a unique opportunity to provide clarity on racial issues. But instead, his legacy may end up only showing how easily race hatred can be rekindled for political gain.
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