As a result of one of our elder's initiative, creativity, and drive, we will be continuing our Food For Thought Series this Fall. While last Spring we tackled the issue of work, we're trying to take on an even bigger, and far more monstrous foe this year: Racism.
Due to our area of study this year, Randy advised me to familiarize myself somewhat with what our denomination (PCA) says about this issue. Of course nothing written, spoken, or done by a Presbyterian has ever been short; the paper is about 30 pages long.
But in the brief time I've had with the position paper, I've already been exposed to the fact that racism is certainly far worse than I originally thought. How many of the 10 commandments would you say that racism breaks? Interestingly enough, the writers, often borrowing from the Westminster Confessions, argue that racism actually breaks 3 of the biblical "Top Ten." So here they are in their own words; they write gooder than me.
Commandment #1 Racism is idolatry-You shall have no other gods before me.
"Racism grounds the identity and security of human life not in God who alone is our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, but in self-a creature-and therefore an idol."
Commandment #6 Racism is murder-You shall not kill
"Hating your brother is a violation of the commandment, as is vile mockery of another and unexpressed hateful heart attitudes....The 6th commandment is not only violated in the extremes of anger, hatred, envy, desire for revenge, but also violated in the omission of charitable thoughts, love, compassion, the unwillingness to be reconciled and the failure to forgive injuries-to any or all of which we may easily succumb to based on how we view persons of another race."
Commandment #9 Racism is lying. The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own neighbor's good name, especially in witness bearing. The ninth commandment forbids whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor's good name.
I guess I never really thought of Racism as lying. But I really do think it is. Even if I don't tell, or speak that falsehood to anyone. If I harbor racial biases that just aren't true, than I'm guilty of harboring that lie. Kind of like harboring a guilty fugitive. And that's not good or safe for anyone. Everyone has his/her own prejudices that he/she hold on to. Since we've been preparing for this lunch series, I've been made more aware of my own.