I've thought about this for a long time. I venture to suggest that ALL people are "racist" (in the way the word is frequently used these days) to a greater or lesser degree.
I'm serious. Either positively racist, or anti those who they think are racist because of some misunderstandings, some bias, or because they believe their nation - or they - have been ill-treated because of racial motivation.
Those who also fall into the "Christian" bloc may very well be racist - without actually realising it - because they have a problem with what scripture says. Now that sounds odd, so as we are approaching this point from a Christian perspective, we need look at racism from that viewpoint.
Did you - whether you are a Christian or not - realise that the Bible in only one place (in its earliest major English translation) uses the term "race" when discussing groups of people? You may be interested to know that the proponent of "different races" of human beings as seperately developed human species was none other than the aetheist Charles Darwin, in his writings entitled "The Origin of the Species".
This was taken on board by many scientists, none the least was a certain Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel, a German zoologist and evolutionist, who falsified pictorial evidence to show that evolution had actually occurred. We should accept the fact rhat falsification of many things is done continually by those with no conscience, and no inner understanding that fraud is wrong, because their outlook seems to be defined as "the end justifies the means". Importantly, we should understand that just because someone has multiple degrees awarded from several universities does not mean they are immune from desires to "make a name for themselves, and Herr Professor Haeckel was no exception. The era does not make anyone less likely to juggle detail to make an answer appear "kosher", either.
Would it surprise you to know that Herr Haeckel was a major hero of the German Chancellor, later Reichsfuhrer Adolf Hitler, who used Haeckel's concept of some races being inferior to others, to develop much of his thinking and promoting of the German "Aryan Race" and the "Jewish Problem"?
The bible in its earlier English translations mostly uses the word "Nations", which it states were created at the time of the confounding of the languages, and all the people previuously being gathered in one place, went of babbling in different languages, in different directions. As they spread out, the intensity of the sun quite likely caused changes in skin pigment.
The earlier translations took place in eras where words not only had slightly different meanings from their current ones, but translators were more disciplined in not allowing modern secular thought to intervene in their re-translation of earlier codices (plural of codex, meaning parchment book).
Strongs Concordance of course deals more with the Hebrew word meanings, and we can find an abbreviated explanation under 1085 for the word Genos in the LXX (Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament in Ptolemy's era).
However, one discovers from Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words that the Greek word Genos which appears in Rev 22:16 ("races" in the AV) is actually translated in a number of other different ways in a number of other places, as we can see here:
Perhaps the translators assembled at Hampton Court in the days leading up to 1611 used the word "race" in just one place for a change? We shall never know. However...
If we look in the English Oxford Dictionary (1924), we can see the following points about the usage of the word "race"...
So even back nearly a hundred years ago when this edition of the Oxford Dictionary from which I am quoting was compiled, there was little to suggest that the editors gave much attention to Professors Darwin and Haeckel and their theories.
Have you actually read of any biblical account where the idea of skin pigment is blamed for lousy behaviour is suggested, discussed or even rumoured? Or that they should be ridiculed, spat on, or beaten, because of being sub-human, or "to blame" for something? Actually, if you are a Mormon you will find the Latter-Day Saints church, which started at a time when scripture was being questioned by science, is where the idea that the curse which God placed on Cain was a black skin colour.
That is almost laughable, actually. So is their statement in 1980-something that God had apparently told his current prophet that he had changed his mind and that people of negro origin were now allowed full membership in their church.
Think to where in the Book of Acts Philip suddenly encounters the Nubian eunuch who was trying hard to understand one of the prophetic books in the Old Testament. That guy's skin colour was as black as the "Ace of Spades" after all. Did Philip reject him? Of course not. He explained, and taught, and when the guy understood, the opportunity was there for Philip to accept his request for baptism, and perform it.
Bible or Science?.
We need to be very careful here, because it was the freedom of thought that Christianity allowed, which gave birth to the renaiscence of knowledge that allowed science to appear, and to be discussed. Science comes from the Latin word "sciens" which means "I know". There are many theories in science that are just that. They are not proveable, so one cannot say about them "I know they are fact'. Nobody does.
If you are a Christian, you by definition accept a bunch of things that are explained to a greater or lesser extent in the Bible. Not in extra books. Some will say that it is absolutely necessary to genuinely believe them all, or else you cannot consider yourself saved by Jesus' gift of salvation. I would carefully suggest that if you don't accept most of them, then you are unlikely to have much more than an emotive "yeah that sounds right" feeling about Christianity.
Is that salvation? I suspect that it isn't. And I doubt that you are in a position to debate your understanding (if it isn't solidly based) against anyone else's, actually. Think about that.
I was trained for many years, first learning how to fly a military aircraft. Then later in doing some Engineering Diploma courses, and on-the-job featured all the way through; even in my retirement, I'm still learning. I have used those skills to make decisions most of my adult life, and some were rule-of-thumb stuff because I didn't appreciate all the detail at the time - but it was necessary to take it on board because I could always ask if it was necessary. One of the things engineering science has taught me is that you need a solid foundation you can't shake, or else your opinions are worthless.
My solid foundation for life is simply the Bible. Mans' translations are fallible, and there have been many, some better than others, and some worse. The originals would have had to have been perfect - if God-inspired - so I subscribe to them by default, and understand perfectly that there are many parts that I don't understand at all.
I haven't come across any that require my understanding perfectly RIGHT NOW. I believe when the time comes to need to know, then that knowledge will be provided.
When I worked in the Defence industry, much of the time aspects of my job - and those of others - were shrouded in the "need-to-know" concept of security. I waited then, and often never found things out, because I didn't need to know. I'm sure the same applies to Biblical understanding. There is so much I'm not doing right, when I look, that it would be stupid to saddle myself with even more, wouldn't it?
Christianity is a belief system that should teach relational skills. Jesus related to His Father, and His Father to Him. Bi-directional relationship. That is immensely important. Read scripture about mens' problems, and it is almost always a relational thing. Likewise so in history. No, not "social studies", it is history. A big difference. Social studies are shrouded with philosophies of educators. Histories have been recorded, often in stone (like the Rosetta Stone) and have stood the test of time.
If we are to relate to one another, it has to be to everybody, right? That's the only way it can possibly work. Jesus said to "Love your enemies, because even unbelievers love their friends" (my paraphrase).
If what you are exposed to in Christianity allows verbal (or even physical) attacks on someone because they disagree with you, and you find your anger level rising, may I suggest you ask yourself if this is what it's all about? And how valid is your conversion to Jesus Christ. Was it the real Jesus you decided to follow? Or what some commentators have described as a "God of your own imagination"?
You see, some denominations are built on a political platform of social justice, et cetera, and we need remember that Jesus actually never said to his disciples He sent out to evangelise, "Go out and undo all the bad things past and present governments, and colonialists from last century, did to our brothers".
In many cases those "brothers" wouldn't have a clue who Jesus is, and even if you fixed the worldly problems around them, they wouldn't likely even say "Thank You".
I'm serious. Scripture records that Jesus made this point when He healed ten lepers - and of the ten, only one came back and said "Thanks". Jesus pointedly asked where the other nine were.
They were off doing their own thing and probably hoped next time they had a problem, some other itinerant guru would "zap" their problem. I'm serious. I've talked to people of the street. Most have an angle, and few will actually listen to any degree. And few - if any - would ever concede that THEY would need to effect any changes in THEIR lives, to resolve their ongoing hear-rending and hand-wringing plethora of disasters!
They don't even have to be street people, either. One was an educated guy in my house in the mid 1960s, who I invited to demonstrate a fridge, and hours were spent talking about the gospel. I met him 20 years later in another town, and from what he said, he stayed and listened purely to clinch a sale! Sad. But the world is like that.
Think about this... the activists involved in social justice mostly have very short tempers and will get very angry, very quickly, if you dare disagree with them. They will usually pour ridicule on their opponent, who they regard as a fool.
The Christian, on the other hand, follows Jesus' more laid-back approach, of making the decision to walk away from the conflict over issues, knowing arguments like these are never resolved, dusting their shoes off from the dirt of the road, and finding someone else to talk with.
This is why the same allegations of racism - or whatever "-ism" the activist is currently attacking - directed at the Christian, this time, seldom are able to actually be discussed to any great degree. Actually, the considerable anger inflicted by activists upon those who disagree with them can be very disturbing, even frightening. Yes, it has happened to me, coming from unbelieving activists, which is to be expected. But much more of a concern, is that coming from activists claiming to be "Born Again (Born from Above), and deliberately vented on others known to the activists as being Christians. And when those attacks come from someone you had up to that moment regarded as a brother in Christ, with all the heated foul language such attacks brings, then it can be much more than just disturbing. At least that is my experience.
Have we strayed far from the racism topic? Actually we haven't really looked at it yet, but I've been setting a scene, so you can view it in context with the world in which we live.
Don't lose sight of there only being one race as far as a Christian recognises. If the Christian disagrees, then he doesn't accept God as being our creator, and His design unfolding, and he accepts the idea that we are all accidents of nature, science, and cell division, and therefore likely couldn't by definition have a soul. Think about that.
With accidents, then there will be better and worse products, I agree, which is a good reason to reject a Godless creation. But a Godly creation featured no accidents and mistakes resolving themselves. And a Godly creation also allowed for sin, and as a result of sin, death occurring, which is an impossibility with the the scientific concept.
The Bible teaches the need for Christians to act relationally as Jesus demonstrates in John's gospel, worth reading the whole of chapter 17, which perfectly describes the relationship He expects us to have with not just Him and His Father, but one another.
Can Racism be equated to British Colonialism?
Yes! Actually I've heard this from educated Christians and unbelievers alike, who should know better. I suspect there is this enormous mountain of propoganda that is able to be called on to furnish their "evidence" for name-calling.
Okay, first let me say that whether true or not, name-calling is actually very, very, unrelational. I would suggest that if a Christian participates in that, they should really take a long look at themselves. Have you heard of a so-called Baptist church who has as a slogan "God Hates Fags"?
I would stick my neck out on a long limb and suggest I would prefer to not associate with people like that, because I don't regard them as "brethren" - those who share the same beliefs and ideals as I do. I have no choice but to accept them as human beings, and not bad-mouth them. They are fallible human beings like I am.
I happen to think they are wrong in that view, maybe because of generations of bad teaching from those who have "heaped unto themselves teachers, having itching ears".
But that is as far as I would go. Like the angel sent by God, who scripture records as saying to a malevolent angel while en route "The Lord rebuke thee", anything more than that being unrelational.
So, let us look at some of the nations who have practiced "racism" towards other nation groupings, either within their own country, or when they have gone out and conquered.
Yes, we will start with Britain because that is who everyone blames. But look at how many others there are. Don't deny them their place in the list.
So let's put that red herring about Britain to rest, shall we?
You may notice I didn't include Israel. Actually they don't "hate" the Arabs or the Palestinians. Disliking the activities and aims of a group of people because of what they do and say, and their being a major security threat is not by definition racism.
They have been at war for decades with their neighbouring states, for military security reasons, the leadership of whom have made it clear they wish to dispossess them of the land they occupy that - whether we like it or not, or agree or not - was granted to them by the world government (UN) in 1947.
Those attempting to remove them have all stated they would like to kill them all. The governments of Iran, Syria, Palestine, the para-military groups Hizbollah, Hamas, and so on.
Is not that racism? But we never hear about that view, do we?
Okay... What about the smart, clever, remarks educated light-coloured skinned people use to attack all people from the United States? And all things and practices one finds among them? Is that not "racist" by their own definitions? I would have thought so.
What about the remarks attacking some people from the UK who left their homeland to settle in Australia and New Zealand? Yes, the words "pom" and "pommie" have been used viciously by some Australians towards them, often by those who are only two or three generations removed from their own ancestors' migration.
Why? From listening to nice respectable people describing their upbringing, it seems frequently Because "they were different". "Different" in ways that regardless of social, cultural, or geographic reasons for the differences, were laughed and sneered at, and deliberately made to feel inferior. And their children, for whatever reasons, seem to have inherited the same attitude, so we never learn, regardless of what laws against "hate crimes": are enacted, and aren't all the "western" countries enacting such legislation continuously?
And people attending churches have been on the attacking side, too.
Colonisers and invaders don't always regard the occupants of countries they conquer as being inferior, except perhaps in a military sense, because of spears being a small threat against cannons. They are usually regarded as people to be kept under supervision.
Where colonisers realise problems caused by their regarding the colonised as being inferior do exist, usually a reasonable amount of relational communication can resolve the situation. However nowadays there is an opportunity for an inverted form of racism because of the "politically correct" views of those who have loud voices and good lobbying ability.
This usually gets so entrenched, it ensures enmity between both sides in perpetuity, even when the current generation was never involved in the original situation. Bigotry often remains, with a new class of activist showing the bigotry, but because they are "officially the "under-dog", nothing can be said for fear of being called "racist".
If we are honest, we know that happens to excess in countries where they have already paid millions out to fix the problem, and it never gets any better. Why not? Because those suit-wearing activists holding the whip hand make sure their ongoing jobs and status in the community are preserved, unfortunately.
A good humotous example was the 1970s's BBC television Sit-Com series called "Love Thy Neighbour" where two families living next oor to each other were at each others' throats. The guy with the dark coloured skin was allowed to call the whitefella "honky". But the guy with the light coloured skin wasn't allowed to call the dark guy a "spade". The series was written to illustrate the stupidity of this form of political correctness. The show was popular for this very reason.
There was another which ran for years, from the same stable, called the "Black and White Minstrel Show" where magnificently competant singers would portray the other skin colour. "White" singers would have black makeup applied. "Black" singers would have white makeup. The show was cancelled once political correctness arrived. The performers - of both skin pigments - enjoyed participating, did not feel down-trodden, and had big fanclubs.
This does not excuse the original problem, of course. But I'm trying to show the problem in a more realistic light. If the previously aggreived parties - often generations ago - are allowed to go on for decades (or longer) with continual pity-parties and guilt complexes (on both sides), life will never move on. As an example, look in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Finally, look at it from the Christian perspective, Jesus is the fix-it man.
When He returns you will either be on his side, and old problems will be irrelevant because of joy,
or if you aren't on his side, the rest of eternity will be rather different, and it's unlikely you'll be concerned about the past either... except wishing we hadn't been stiff-necked and rejected our "Lord and Christ" as Paul and Peter both described him.
But, you see, there's this big problem, folks. The activists have removed Jesus from the equation. So there is no understanding - or accepting - on either side of the table, about the Second Coming and His return. Just this awful belief that mankind has all the answers. A concept that has actually insidiously worked its way into a bunch of pulpits.