Nice sentiment, but not quite true

This is a nice idea, but it isn’t really quite true. We need something stronger than nice sentiment.

Before we are born we are already learning the sounds of our mother’s tongue, and we are already developing preference for her voice, her music and the voice likely of the father if he is around in her life.

The tweet implies that hatred is a function of some sort of informal education, that people are taught to hate. That isn’t really true either. Fear is natural, the biproduct of realized vulnerability.

The new-found courage by white-supremacists should force us to re-examine our naive assumptions about racism and how it is countered and contested. Shaming racists into silence doesn’t destroy racism, it just sends it underground. Killing racists doesn’t eliminate racism. You’d have to make sure you kill everyone who loved them, knew them, or even knew of them. The story of the flood (where God saves only the best man on earth and his family) should remind us that humanity can’t be fixed by “killing” or “segregating” the “bad people”.

If a root of racism is fear (it is not the only one, there are more) what does it take to address the fear? Anger certainly won’t do it.

If you look back at Dr. King and his tactics his protests weren’t designed to raise the fear. “You cannot make me hate you.” is a far better answer than “I’ll shame you into the closet.”

We must address what is in all of us. The first person to deal with when it comes to racism is yourself. The Heidelberg Catechism says “I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.”

How can you find the radical kind of security that allows someone to look beyond their fears, even the reasonable ones? I’d suggest looking at the resurrection of Jesus. Why would I say that? Wasn’t it he that told his disciples to love their enemies? Wasn’t it he that prayed that God forgive his killers and mockers? How does the resurrection fit into this story? Ponder that.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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