Essay On Faith And Critical Reason
If someone asked me the kind of world I would like to live in I would reply a world that does not condone racism. Some people may say a world without problems or poverty, but they forget the damage created by racism. However, racism remains critical in America. Feagin argues that racism makes one ethnicity feel superior to others (156). America began racism after merchants brought slaves from Africa to work in plantations. African Americans have been fighting for equal treatment since then. The issue of racism in the country escalated following the deaths of several young men in the hands of white police officers. Such brutal acts led to protests in several streets in the United States. People condemned the system that claimed to protect everyone regardless of their race. Mathew 22: 39 say “love your neighbor as yourself.” This verse does not resonate with some people in the United States. The Bible requires people to treat each other with dignity, but most people in the United States have failed to uphold the teaching. It is quite difficult to come into terms with the idea that someone could choke another even after pleas to save him. It is very shocking for fellow human beings to come into terms with the fact that police officers given the responsibility to protect people could turn into killers. However, another institution has failed in this fight against racial discrimination in America. The church has failed to fully condemn racial discrimination in the country.
The church is the first place that people go to when faced with problems. However, most Caucasian pastors and reverends shy aware from preaching the issue of race in the country due to fear of losing white congregants. I think that the church should encourage people to talk about racism rather than shun it. Genesis 1: 26-27 say “God then gave the information that, let us form man in who will take after us both in terms of our image and our likeness. Moreover, we will allow him to rule over the animals, both wild and tame including the birds of the air, fish of the sea and the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the tiny organisms that live and move along the ground.” Verse 27 states “God created man in His own image, in the image of God, and He created him; male and female He creates.” Reading the two verses makes me feel sad for people who cannot understand the fact that God had his own important reasons when He created us differently.
Some faith leaders, seminarians, and pastors have realized its effects in the society notwithstanding the fact that the church has remained mum for a long time on the issue of racism in the United States. The recent death of Trayvon Martin became a revelation for most of them, and they understood the magnitude racism had in the society. The religious leaders carried placards reading “Black Lives Matter,” “Don’t Shoot,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Hands Up.’ I agree with Rodriguez when he says that doing theology means disrupting the system by protesting, marching, tweeting, and organizing (2). Technology changed the world into a universal village. The killings at Ferguson, Missouri ignited rage across the country because of technology. It is good that people have learnt to use the technological gadgets to fight injustices. I also agree with Rodriguez (1) that Christians should disrupt the white-supremacist system, especially after seeing the deaths of Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, Tarika Wilson, Mike Brown, Jesus Christ, as well as other brown and black lives. However, people can only enforce theology in this context by giving their bodies in unity with the subjugated. I opine that people will die as fools if they fail to protect each other.
It is time for every follower of Jesus to participate in ending racism. Christians believe that they love God’s creation. Hearing that creates a question in my mind; “do we love God if we cannot even protect His creation?” I support McBride (1) post that every follower of Jesus must turn up in Ferguson. Churches located in Ferguson should lead in the fight against racial discrimination rather than keep quiet. Sometimes their efforts may go unnoticed, but even Jesus knew that prophets were not acknowledged in the hometown. Mark 4:4 says that Jesus said to them “Only in his hometown, amongst his relatives, and his own homestead is a seer without dignity among people.” The church should not expect acknowledgement in doing the right thing.
The church’s failure to fight racism since the beginning is a great injustice to humanity. Shannon (1) says that love prompts people to say sorry to those they have wrong. The church should apologize to those people who have endured racism for a long time. Churches from all races should fight against racism since it sometimes goes both ways. Even black people or the Hispanic may insult people from other races. Therefore, the church should acknowledge racism from all sides in order to move forward. Pastors should be ready to preach the vice in the churches and condemn its existence. They should guide their congregants into loving each other as Christ loved the church. Some churches have acknowledged their mistakes and have started correcting them. The Wellspring United Methodist Church has repented for lagging behind in the fight against racism in American (Shannon 2). Spiritual leaders like Cornel West, Reverend Alvin Herring, Rabbi Susan Talve, Reverend Rebecca Ragland, and Reverend Traci Blackmon amongst others have paved way for religious leaders who want to acknowledge their mistakes and rectify them (Shannon 3). Additionally, the church is an important institution in the society and engaging in the fight against means that the journey of ending racism has just started.
In conclusion, racism is a vice that subjects a group of people to pain and torture. Racism creates enmity and bitterness amongst people. The United States struggles with racial discrimination that began following the introduction of slavery by merchants and plantation owners. However, racism escalated in the U.S. following the recent killings of African-American young men, such as Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown amongst others. The deaths of these black men caused a stir in most cities. Unfortunately, the church is still lagging behind in the fight against racism and a corrupt justice system. Most spiritual leaders have not made their stance regarding the issue, but some have joined protests and marches in different cities. Hence, it is quite crucial for the church executive team to join other Americans in the fight against racism. This way, people will feel safe knowing that one of the greatest institutions protects its people from rogue police officers and the corrupt justice system. People should also learn to protect rather than hurt one another.
Feagin, Joe. Systemic Racism: A Theory of Oppression. London, UK: Taylor & Francis
McBride, Michael. Why Every Jesus Follower Must Show Up in Ferguson! 2014. Huffington Post. Web. Accessed April 3, 2015.
Shannon, Crago-Snell, Love Means Getting to Say You're Sorry -- Why I Was Arrested in Ferguson. Huffington Post. Web. April 3, 2015.
Rodriguez, Huan. “This is What Theology Looks Like”: Disrupting a Crucifying System. Web. Accessed April 3, 2015.
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