The Cure For “Racial Tensions?”

Answers in Genesis emailed me ten days ago. They claimed to have found the cure for “racial tensions” (and yes, they used quotation marks).

“Racial tensions” manifested by the likes of street demonstrations in Ferguson, use-of-force inquires, the shooting of unarmed black men, and the less than equitable media coverage of these events.

Ferguson Police

Answers in Genesis’ answer to these problems? Make everyone believe in creationism.

aig "racial tensions"

..all need to build their thinking on God’s Word and judge all their cultural aspects accordingly; all need to be one in Christ and put an end to their rebellion against their Creator.

You heard that right. The cure for racism is to make everyone the same.

I don’t claim to have the perfect answer for the complex problems facing American society, but we can probably do better than the imposition of religious and cultural uniformity: how about, I don’t know, advocating for conversation? Listening to other voices?

And what about our common humanity? Before we’re Christians, Muslims, Jews, or Atheists, we’re human. We don’t need everyone to believe in creationism before we can address our problems.

Because they’re ours, regardless of our collective origin.

Answers gets one thing right, however – the Bible does have something to add to the conversation about race…

But it isn’t creationism, it’s Jesus.

The other-affirming, outsider-joining, marginalized-empowering, conversation-having Jesus.

Something (*cough* the crucifixion *cough*) tells me that Jesus didn’t wait until everyone believed uniformly before he addressed injustice.

And neither should we.

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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2 thoughts on “The Cure For “Racial Tensions?”

  1. That’s not at all what i got from that article… but okay, whatever you say they say 😉 Just some thoughts-
    1. my guess is that the reason they put racial tensions in quotation marks is because they’re saying that there there is only one human race, not different races (notice one of the article titles on the right side)… Which I guess is to get at the point that, even before Christ came, we were all created equal before God.
    2. (this should have been 1) When in the world did “be one in Christ” suddenly mean all being the same? When the other-affirming, outsider-joining, marginalized-empowering, conversation-having Jesus prayed it for his followers? But, I get that you may have taken issue not with that biblical phrase or the part about everyone being equal before God but with the part about “everyone” building their thinking on God’s word and put an end to their rebellion against God (wait a minute… did Jesus not value God’s word or preach repentance and need for salvation?)
    Also, I found the term conversation-having interesting… does this imply he ever changed his mind after a chat with someone? or went into a conversation fully open to what others thought was true regardless of if it contradicted what he thought? Or do you just mean, conversation-having as in getting to know people and meeting them where they were at? I suppose that’s probably what you meant. I asked the first questions because it seems like that is often what is inherently expected these days by such terms.
    anyway. I’m sure i already regret commenting. Whatevs. Love ya bro, I’m gonna go get on with my evening/week! 😛

    1. I’m glad you commented! I am always happy to hear other people’s perspectives on the things I write about.

      You could be right about #1 – perhaps AiG put “racial tensions” in quotation marks because they don’t believe race exists. If that’s the case, at the very least they should have seen that it could come off as dismissive to people who have real problems with racism in this country and, at the worst, AiG would be combating racism by denying race. Which is a whole lot like saying “I’m not racist, because I don’t see in color”… maybe not exactly, but pretty close.

      When your goal to combat racism boils down to everyone adopting the same religion, you’re asking everyone to become the same, on at least some level. That’s actually the main thing I take issue with. Instead of combating intolerance itself, it merely substitutes it for the religious realm.

      Their end-game doesn’t make sense anyway. I agree from the bottom of my heart that everyone should be one in Christ like you do, but it’s not like belief in creationism or Christianity is just going to fix the problems that we’re facing (if history is any predictor). Even if we “all built our thinking on God’s word and judged our cultural aspects accordingly,” we’d still have these problems. Suggesting that they’d be fixed by creationism, in a way, dismisses them.

      That’s a lot, but I can see where you’re coming from. Thank you for pushing back a little, even though you have your week to get on with 🙂

      Oh and (off the top of my head) as far as the conversation-having Jesus goes, I’d point to his discussion with the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 as an instance of changing his mind after talking with someone.

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