The Church Needs to Be at the Front of the Conversation on Race, Advocating for Redemption and Reconciliation

Uriel Sinai, Getty Images
Uriel Sinai, Getty Images

We’ve been uncomfortably reminded over the last few years—and the last few days—that the United States still has a long way to go when it comes to race relations. Simmering racial anger and division came out with renewed force during the Trayvon Martin case, and most recently in the racist comments of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling.

Bundy, a cattle rancher locked in a dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, wondered aloud whether blacks would be better off picking cotton as slaves.

And eighty-year-old Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, said despicable things about black men to his racially mixed girlfriend. Sterling deserved every bit of the lifetime ban from the NBA.

Christians should see racism in any form as sin, an assault on the fundamental dignity of people who are made in God’s image. But I’m sad to say, I don’t think it is going away anytime soon.

Many will say that this rancher and rich sports franchise owner don’t accurately reflect the rest of America. After all, most of us just get along, don’t we? Well, certainly most of us do, but not all racism is as blatant as Sterling’s was. And dehumanization comes in various shapes and sizes.

Take Shaquille O’Neal for example. Despite his very harsh and public words for Donald Sterling, Shaq recently took to Twitter to mock the appearance of Jahmel Binion, who suffers from a rare disorder called ectodermal dysplasia. Thousands called out his obvious hypocrisy in condemning Sterling’s racism while mocking a disability. Shaq personally called Jahmel to apologize, so good for him!

But his story reveals just what is behind the hatred, hypocrisy, and discrimination of all kinds. We are. As G.K. Chesterton reportedly wrote in response to a newspaper editorial question: “Dear Sir, In response to your question what’s wrong with the world, I am. Yours Truly, G.K. Chesterton.”

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SOURCE: Christian Headlines
John Stonestreet, BreakPoint

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