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Christianity and Racism

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Christianity and Racism a)i) What is Racism? Racism can be found in many forms. It is defined as a prejudice or discrimination that race is the primary factor determining human traits and abilities. A prejudice is literally when somebody pre-judges somebody or something, whereas discrimination is when you act upon your prejudice. So, prejudice is a thought but discrimination is an action. There are many people who have discriminated against other races over time. One way of discriminating against others is by ethnic cleansing. This is the term given when somebody tries to protect his or her race from so called "contamination". This is what happened in Nazi Germany when Hitler believed that Jews were inferior to his Aryan race. There is a type of racism that is institutional racism. This is when an authority is used to the advantage of one race over another. A good example of this is when the police was taken to court over a charge of institutional racism because of Stephen Lawrence's death. The police were accused of not doing enough to find Stephen's killer because of the colour of his skin. There are many reasons for racism. The first could be Xenophobia. This is the fear of foreigners. People who suffer from this phobia are scared so they feel that they have top do something about it. ...read more.


A part of the creation story states that "All human beings are made in the image of God". In Genesis 2:19-20 it says that "Human beings are made for each other; to live in community and to have corporate responsibility for the whole of creation". This tells Christians that all humans need to live together, not to argue but to work together. Possibly the biggest and most important section of the Bible that can be used in a discussion on racism is found in Genesis 3:20. This passage says "unlike the rest of creation there are no separate species within humanity. There is only one human race. What we call 'races' are nothing more significant than slight variations of the basic human stock". This section of the Bible is a very definite statement that there is no real difference between anybody on this earth. For this reason the Bible teaches that there should be no racism. b) Explain how Christians might put their beliefs about racism into action. There are many things that Christians can do to put their beliefs about racism into action. There are also many examples that they have to follow. There are many ways in which Christians can put their beliefs into action. The first person whose example they could follow is Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu was born in 1931 and by 1986 he had become South Africa's first black archbishop. ...read more.


He organised many non-violent protests or sit-ins. These involved sitting in a segregated shop or caf´┐Ż and refusing to move until they agreed to stop the segregation. This was a man who believed in none violent protest, yet he still managed to do so much for the black people of America. There is also many different ways in which you can get back at somebody, other than violence, if you are being discriminated against. There are laws in place that forbid people to use racist language. This means that if somebody does use this language you are able to report it to the police, and the person with be dealt with by the courts. Violence is also not an appropriate response to racism because of Jesus' teachings. Jesus taught his disciples to turn the other cheek in Matthew chapter 5. However some people could argue that it is not always possible to turn the other cheek to people who are insulting you and/or your family. People may also argue that violence is an appropriate response to racism because everybody has the right to stand up for who they are. If they did not then the racists may offend somebody else. Therefore they need to be stood up against. I feel that violence is not an appropriate response to racism. I feel this because there is so much more that can be done to combat racism far more effectively, for example sit-ins and non-violent protests. ...read more.

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