Monday, May 31, 2010

"WHITE BOY!" (What the Bible has to say about the concept of "Race.")

I've been asked a couple of times if I would ever date a gal from a different "Race." I always say "NO...I could never date a Klingon or a Vulcan. Klingons tend to be way too temperamental, and Vulcans have no sense of humor at all!!!"

So why do I start with that personal joke of mine? Well, it's because the very idea/concept of "Race" itself is a joke...and a bad one at that.

There is a fellow I know, that I am trying to be a witness to, who is a "White Supremacist." I don't know exactly how far he is into the whole Neo-Nazi thing. But I know that he hangs out with a bunch of them. None of these guys are into the whole "Christian Identity Movement." (Which is also a racist movement that perverts the Bible for their own ends.) Instead, this whole bunch actually claims to worship Odin & Thor, the Norse pagan gods of the Vikings & Germans.

(Ya know, say what you will about other religious traditions. At least we have historical evidence of people like Moses, Mohammed, Buddha,...and a TON on Jesus, actually having existed in an actual historical time & place. Who has an ounce of evidence that Thor & Odin, or for that matter Zeus, Apollo, Annubis, Molech, Ba'al or any other of that lot ever having walked the Earth?)

ANYWAY, I will avoid making any jokes about racists...yet...because generally, when it comes to neo-nazis, the jokes just write themselves. I would rather be serious for the time being. I have known more than a few guys who are in to all of this, and they all seem to have some commonalities to them.

#1. First and foremost, every single one of them is lonely and in search of a "Family"/group to belong to. #2. They tend to be failures at most of life...High School drop outs, poorly educated, menial jobs, etc., and so seek to find a belief system that will justify (Make an excuse for) why they are in the state they are in. (I suppose it doesn't help that often a good deal of alcohol & drugs tend to be involved.) Like the bully on the playground who picks on others to make himself feel strong. #3. In the case of one guy I know, he will openly tell you that he wanted a strong male roll model to follow, since his biker dad got his mom knocked up and then split, so he picked Hitler...go figure.

Honestly, if you are looking for mass-murderers to model your life after, can't you pick one that that actually WON a war? I mean, Stalin killed twice as many people as Hitler did. Or for that matter, pick Chairman Mao. He is the greatest mass-murder in he never brushed his teeth and had a thing for little girls. (Those last two facts are based on the testimony of Mao's personal physician.)

The point being that the majority of these folks embrace this world view because they are unhappy, lonely people who seem to seek the lowest common denominator in life and others so as to find some type of meaning & purpose for their existence. And it's incredibly sad. Yes, it is really easy to joke about. Like I said, the jokes simply write themselves. But in the end, it is a sad, sad situation. Especially when you have a biblical world view.

Scientifically, there is no basis for the concept of "Race." In fact, the entire idea didn't come in to much use until Europeans began their colonial expansion around the world. The idea that an Englishman or Frenchman were superior was obvious to them, because they were conquering and dominating people in other lands. Needless to say, it gave them a healthy sense of self-satisfaction while they were doing so.

The Biblical view of "Race."

So what does Scripture have to say about different races? Actually, NOTHING!!!! You simply won't find the concept in the Bible. There is no verse, passage or text that speaks of human beings being broken up into different species. (Yes, I know that the Bible has been used for racist ends...and often still is. But this can only occur when people take passages out of context, either willingly or through laziness & ignorance.)

What the Bible does speak of are various tribes, tongues & nations. In fact, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew term is Goy or Goyim (גויים). It can be translated as either "Nations" or "Non-Jew." In the New Testament, the Greek term is Ethnos (εθνος). Again, it means "Nations," and it's where we get the word "Ethnic" from. I'll explore the concept of ethnicity and such in a bit. But for now, let's take a look at the Big Picture concept of ALL PEOPLE as spoken of in the Bible.

* For those of us who follow Jesus, the Bible says this: "You are ALL sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:26-29

(Wow! So apparently if you follow Jesus, you are now also part Jewish. No wonder neo-nazis have a hard time with Christianity.)

* "There is ONE BODY and one Spirit - one Lord, one faith, one baptism: one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Eph. 4:4 & 5

* "...God has shown me that I must not call any person common or unclean." Acts 10:28

Even if you are not a Believer, the Bible still has plenty to say:

* "Don't all of us have one Father? Didn't one God create us?" Malachi 2:10

* "From one man he made every nation of men...For in him we live and move and have our being. As one some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring."" Acts 17:26 - 28

* "So God created man in his own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female." Gen. 1:27

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. ALL human beings bare the image of God, wether they know it or not, or choose to acknowledge it. If you claim to follow Jesus, then there is no place what so ever for the silly, non-sensical idea that humans are divided into separate species. Furthermore, I am convinced that those who use the Bible to further any type of racist ideology will incur a massive, heaping helping of judgement when they stand before God on judgement day.

The Bible and The Nations.

Let's explore the concept of Ethnicity for a while. The Bible does use this term, and it's interesting because it tends to be rather fluid. Ethnicity has a lot more involved in it than skin pigmentation or eye shape. Ethnicity has to do with the language you speak, the unconscious cultural values you hold to...AND your religious convictions.

Check this out: The book of Ruth in the Old Testament is the story of King David's great, great granny. Ruth was from the tribe of Moab. They were considered to be a very dirty people because they came about as a result of incest. Essentially, Lot's daughters got dad boozed up and then got pregnant by him. Hence the name, Moab. (It means "Son of my Father" in Hebrew.) ICK!

Long story short, Ruth decides to follow her mother-in-law back to Israel and makes the following statement to her. "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." Ruth 1:16 So essentially, Ruth changes ethnic groups simply by making this decision to follow YHWH instead of Molech. (Good choice there.)

One thing I love about God is how he embraces the lowest of the low as his family. Ruth, a woman from a reviled, incestous people is now a part of the lineage of King David, and also Jesus himself.

Years ago I lived in Jerusalem for a year. I made some friends in the Armenian quarter of the Old City. What I noticed pretty quick was that all the merchants making a living off the tourists could spot an American from a German from a Frenchman from an Englishman at over 100 yards. How the heck did they do that? Turns out, all of these White People had a "Tell."

There were subtle differences in the way they combed their hair, what they wore, AND the way they walked that would give them away. I'm not making this up!!!! Over time & observation, I learned how to do it myself a little bit. It really didn't matter if the Americans were Asian, black, latino or white, they all had the same loping walk...and THAT, folks, is ethnicity.

(A point of pride for myself was that after a while I was normally mistaken for someone from Germany or Finland. Don't ask me how I accomplished that, because I haven't a clue.)

The Humor of Racism: Funny thoughts just for you.

O.K., I've been relatively well-behaved up to this point. So now lets have some fun.

There is a movie titled "Blood in the Face." It's a documentary that takes place at a White Supremacist rally in Michigan. Among the topics discussed by the assorted morons gathered is exactly who is or is not white. Apparently, anyone who's ancestors came from above the European Alps are white. Italians, Spaniards & Greeks are not white. I find this amusing because a roommate in college by the name of Greg Rodriguez was blond haired and blue eyed, even though his folks came from Spain. While a guy at my store, who is 100% German, has dark brown hair, brown eyes and dark skin.

(What's a poor fellow from Switzerland supposed to do? He's actually IN the Alps, yet he might speak Italian. Dirty, little Dago grease-ball!)

Furthermore, the language of Finland (The whitest of white people) has Ugric roots. In other words, it's ASIAN!!!! Or what about sour kraut, the delight of all good germans? Sour kraut is directly related to Kimchee, which is Korea's national dish. (God bless the Mongol hordes and their road trips.)

Ooo, I almost forgot. Did you know that the Irish were not considered to be "White" until the election of JFK? It's true! Probably because so many of them were catholic. In fact, the earliest form of anti-immigrant discrimination in the U.S. took place in the 1840s by a organized group called the "Know Nothings." They wanted to keep the dirty, greasy, smelly, un-civilized, just plain vile Germans and Irish from polluting our Anglo-Saxon shores. Hence the following from the movie "Blazing Saddles."

I've often felt that most forms of racism could be cured in America if everyone was forced to sit down and watch both "Blazing Saddles" and "Undercover Brother" back to back for an entire weekend. So, in the interest of fairness...

Yes, I can stick it to Whitey too...

Last but not least, lets take a gander at the wisdom of Monty Python.

O.K., O.K., enough of that. All humor aside, there is no place for racist nonsense in the body of Christ. You wont find any grounds for it in the Bible. As the Holy Spirit transforms a person, he will point out just how vacuous those thoughts are. Besides, in the new heaven and earth we will all speak the same language that God does anyway...Swedish!

Peace, YO! Ya'll know am sayin?


P.S. I think my next post will be on anti-semitism. :)

P.S.S. Oh all more.