Presentation on theme: "Christian Views on. What is racism? A good definition: Prejudice + power Discrimination due to prejudice about race, ethnicity, colour."— Presentation transcript:
Christian Views on
What is racism? A good definition: Prejudice + power Discrimination due to prejudice about race, ethnicity, colour.
Who is racist? qIjQ qIjQ
Christians and Racism Christianity, despite the teachings of Jesus which will be examined later, has not always had a spotless record when it comes to equality. Many Christians supported the slave trade in the 16 th, 17 th,18 th and 19 th centuries In the 1950s and 60s in England, a time of mass immigration, the reception from the church was often cool and minority groups would feel unwelcome leading them to set up their own churches (this led to the development of diverse Christian traditions such as the predominantly black Pentecostal movement.) The Dutch Reform Church in South Africa initially supported the policy of Apartheid.
South Africa: Apartheid An Act was introduced in South Africa in 1948 that decreed that from then on, blacks would be 'separated' from whites. The Act, in fact, gave favour and supremacy to whites. As a result, strict segregation orders were enforced; forbidding blacks access to the same rights, social and educational provision and public places as whites. Many homes of blacks were confiscated and given to whites; blacks were forced to live in extremely poor conditions. They had no voice and if they did protest, they were dealt with very violently.
Apartheid: The Dutch Reform Church The white dominated 'Dutch Reformed Church' supported apartheid, arguing from the Bible that: The Bible says 'There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians--you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 They said that this means people are only spiritually equal, not physically equal. That South Africa’s Apartheid laws were God’s will. Races should be kept apart. Whites should have better opportunities as they heed God’s 'favour'. Mixed marriages and relationships are discouraged so races remained 'pure'. God is the 'Great Divider'. Genesis 1 supports this, in that, God divides everything into separate categories - white is divided from black and meant to be separate.
In the 1960s the breadth of apartheid laws and the power of the police made it impossible to legally protest against the system. Opposition groups were banned and many leaders exiled or jailed. Nelson Mandela, the leader of the ANC (an anti-apartheid political party) was sentenced to life in prison and sent to Robben Island. The ANC and PAC turned to armed resistance, but the police successfully suppressed their activities.
By 1989 a mass movement for democracy had developed that included people from all backgrounds, including church leaders. Multi-racial beach parties were held on 'white only' beaches and staged marches to celebrate District 6. Police used violence against peaceful protests and 30,000 people marched through Cape Town led by the Mayor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others to remember those who had been hurt and call for an end to segregation. In 1994, released ANC leader Nelson Mandela was elected as President of South Africa.
RACISM = PREJUDICE +POWER Background – Slavery It was only 150 years ago that Charles Kingsley, a famous Victorian Christian clergyman and author of the ‘Water Babies’ wrote that black people were from degenerate races and not as good as pink people. In the 17 th century, after they had convinced themselves that black people were ‘savages’, British and other European businessmen became slave traders. They were driven by greed. They saw in Africa property not people. African were shipped back like cattle into a world of terror. All the ignorant rumours about black people became INSTITUTIONALSED. This is a SYSTEM which justified slavery and the building of empires. White supremacy was necessary for human progress. This is the background and the INFLUENCE of this is inescapable and has influenced societies around the world. It led to the near extermination of the Native Indians and the Aborigines in Australia.
Racism > link with economic inequalities A row erupted in 2001 between Britain and South Africa. SA called the slave trade a “crime against humanity”. Do you agree? SA argued that the country should receive financial compensation from countries which grew wealthy from raping the resources of Africa and building an economic structure of trade on slavery. Do you think this is a valid claim?
What happened? Britain maintained that the slave trade was a tragedy but NOT a crime because international law did not exist at that time to define slavery as a crime. Britain refused to see a link between the question of development aid to African countries to past history and institutionalized attitudes. Many African countries still suffer the economic effects of a WORLD economic structure founded on slavery.
Built in racism Institutionalized racism is not something which can be eradicated overnight because it has been built into British culture. One of the problems is that we tend to identify racism in terms of extreme stories or think strong personal prejudice exists only in neo nazi organizations. However this is not the case. The influence of the past is DEEPLY ingrained in institutions including the media, schools, religion and the immigration service.
Is Society racist? Prejudice and discrimination melt away when people are educated. Society has now increased awareness of cultural diversity. However this has taken time and legislation was introduced in order to prevent discrimination. What is it ? What does it do?
The Race Relations Act & CRE It is illegal to: Use threatening or insulting behaviour which is likely to stir up hatred To practice discrimination in employment, education, housing To restrict freedom of movement, or access to provisions, services, transport etc.. The CRE This was set up by the government as a watchdog and to promote good relations in the community. Its members have backgrounds in education, law, medicine,politics and trade unions. Investigates breaches of the race relations act.
Alarming Facts Europe is seeing an alarming resurgence of xenophobia = hatred of foreigners. There is rising support for populist anti immigration parties. Britain has one of the highest rates of racial violence. In 2001 the BNP secured over votes in Oldham and Burnley. There have been terrible racial murders. S Lawrence and Shiblu Rahman, father of 2 daughters. They were both killed by white racists. Australia > re-emergence of far right policies in a country which did not recognise aborigines as human in law until North/ America > attacks on innocent Muslims rose dramatically after Sept 11 th. Despite civil rights victories racial prejudice is reflected in the criminal justice system
The Institutions The Christian Church has been guilty of institutionalized racism. Alongside the slave traders came the missionaries determined to convert millions of savages to their way of thinking. E.g.. Apartheid, KKK, Church of Jesus Christ Christian Aryan Nations
Racism: The Church’s Views Despite initial support from the Dutch Reform Church for the Apartheid movement, many of those who helped bring it to an end were Christian leaders. Indeed, based on the teachings of Jesus, many of those who have worked to overcome racism were Christians and today, despite some of the past actions of the Church, all denominations of the Christian Church stand firmly against racism.
George Carey Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican) 'Racism has no part in the Christian Gospel. It contradicts our Lord’s command to love our neighbours as ourselves. It offends the fundamental Christian belief that every person is made in the image of God and is equally precious. It solves no problems and creates nothing but fear and hatred.‘
The Second Vatican Council (Roman Catholic) 'Discrimination on grounds of sex, race, colour, social conditions, language or religion is incompatible with God’s design.'
Declaration on Racism (United Reform Church) 'There is a cause for celebration in Church and Society when black and white people learn to co-operate, share power and make decisions together and where new forms of community life are thus discovered.'
Methodist Conference (1987) 'We affirm that racism is a direct contradiction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.'
The Good Samaritan There are a number of teachings against inequality in the Bible which Christian leaders and groups, such as those just looked at have been inspired by. One of the most famous in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 In it Jesus tells a Jewish teacher of the Torah that he must love his neighbour and expands upon who that neighbour is...
Secular Views Liberal secular – J.S.Mill – Harm principle – all people should be free to do as they wish as long as they are not harming others. Would, however, allow freedom of speech on race issues. This would have the benefit of allowing racist views to be challenged rather than just ignored (e.g. the Big Brother debates with Jade Goody). It also means that people actively understand why they should campaign against racism Utilitarianism (Bentham) – makes no race differentiation – therefore the happiness of all people is equal. Can, however, allow the persecution of minority groups if the greater number of individuals vote for this. This is known as the tyranny of the majority.
Are you racist? HpY HpY
PREP! Look into how one Christian leader has worked against Racism – Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Martin Luther King – Trevor Huddleston Make a fact file including biographical details and their work against racism – make sure you explain how their Christian belief influence their actions Include pictures!