Is racism a sin?


#1

And how would you define racism?


#2

Hatred.


#3

To define another human being solely based on the race, color of the skin, etc. and discriminate against goes against all that Jesus taught us.

We are supposed to Love each other.

So yes racism IS a sin. Definitevily.

Peace :thumbsup:


#4

We are all made in the likeness and image of God, so yes, racism is a sin.


#5

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:1, topic:335312"]
And how would you define racism?

[/quote]

IMO racism is not always intentional, so I'm not sure it's always a sin. A bit like how deliberately objectifying someone sexually is sinful, but it's not sinful until you consent to viewing them that way. If a thought pops into your head, that in itself is not a sin; it's just something you need to stop thinking about now, before you fall into sin.

Likewise, if someone were afraid of a certain race of people, if they immediately assumed that a person of a certain race was a criminal or dangerous person just based on that, I would say that they have a lot of subconscious racism. But if they recognize that the thought is racist and try to correct it, I don't think that they have sinned in that instance. If they acted on their racist ideas and called someone a racial slur or did something else, that would definitely be a sin.

I don't think that racism is limited to just hatred. I think it's closer to what Jerry said- defining a human solely based on race. If you insist that Asian people are automatically smarter than others and don't have to work for good grades, then you're not guilty of hatred, but you're still being racist.


#6

[quote="JerryZ, post:3, topic:335312"]
To define another human being solely based on the race, color of the skin, etc. and discriminate against goes against all that Jesus taught us.

We are supposed to Love each other.

So yes racism IS a sin. Definitevily.

Peace :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Merriam Webster: : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Interestingly, neither the word "racism" nor "racist" appear anywhere in the Catechism. Discrimination according to race is denounced in Art. 1935, but that is, according to the definition given above, distinctly different than racism ("racism" refers to thoughts and attitudes, while "discrimination" refers to behaviors / actions)

The only Magisterial document where I see a reference is in Populorum Progressio:

  1. Racism is not the exclusive attribute of young nations, where sometimes it hides beneath the rivalries of clans and political parties, with heavy losses for justice and at the risk of civil war. During the colonial period it often flared up between the colonists and the indigenous population, and stood in the way of mutually profitable understanding, often giving rise to bitterness in the wake of genuine injustices. It is still an obstacle to collaboration among disadvantaged nations and a cause of division and hatred within countries whenever individuals and families see the inviolable rights of the human person held in scorn, as they themselves are unjustly subjected to a regime of discrimination because of their race or their color.

There are a couple of other places where the term is used, but they do not appear to rise to the level of the Ordinary Magisterium (things like speeches and the like)


#7

If it isn’t, it certainly leads people to sin enough.


#8

Racism is not usually a clearly defined term, I think a lot of times it just gets used to shut up someone with whom you disagree. I liked Ron Paul´s definition from the chapter on racism from his book "Liberty Defined":

I think the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, written in protest against Nazi Germany, contained good discussion on the immorality of racism. I´d recommend reading it, it´s pretty short.

And of course Galatians 3:28 is a verse used a lot in rebutting racism:
[BIBLEDRB]Galatians 3:28[/BIBLEDRB]

I would say that racism so defined is a sin, and paragraphs 1934-5 of the Catechism I think would support my claim. However IMO certain preferences people have that often get called racist are not necessarily so, like desiring to live in communities that contain mostly people of the same race as you, or desiring to marry a spouse of the same race. These are often portrayed as racist but I don´t agree, as they don´t fit into the definition I´d give to racism.

I think preferences such as these can put people at risk for forming racist beliefs however, especially if people holding them are influenced by the media or the internet where racism is prevalent, instead of being influenced by interactions with humans of other races.

I do believe that Benedict XVI made several statements on how we must work to overcome racism. Here is just one

catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_benedict_exhorts_faithful_to_overcome_racism/

Hope that helps.


#9

And let us also bear in mind that not everything that today's media, or news reports, claims is "racist," in fact is. A memorable incident last year was when a teacher in the Portland OR school system was accused of racism when she referred to "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches" in a lesson. This got her branded as racist because such sandwiches were allegedly outside the experience of certain minorities. It doesn't take much go trigger such an accusation in today's race-obsessed political environment.


#10

Racism or any other form of discrimination toward another person because s/he has a certain skin color or shape of the eyes, etc. is a sin. If we take the skin off, we all look the same way underneath, and nowhere in the Bible have I found that God approves such a thought toward another person as being inferior because of skin color.

This is a HUGE pet peave of mine. I always say that the only people that I discriminate against are the bigots and racists in the world. When asked on a form what race I am, I check “Other” and write in “Heinz 57” because I have so many different nationalities and “races” in my blood, it would be too long a list. I’m American with English background, but that in itself does not make me “white.” Actually, my skin is more of a tannish pink ~ ha! ha!

If you are a Christian, then you love ALL of your brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter where the live, who their parents were, or what they look like. I do not know a single soul past or present (other than Christ) who had the choice of who their parents were, where they were born, what religion the were born into, etc. You are also supposed to love non-Christians and your enemies. Racism is not love, it’s pure evil and a sin. Period!

Love thy neighbor as thyself… and that does not mean only if they are the same race as us!


#11

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:1, topic:335312"]
And how would you define racism?

[/quote]

Yes it's a sin, it is a horrible sin.
Racism is hatred, discrimination, etc towards people of another race, simple.

Among other reasons why Mormonism is so abominable
is it's racist doctrine, which is in part the ideology of 19th
Century Christianity in America.

If one is actively being racist in the sight of God, don't you suppose God would mind?
Think about that now.


#12

Yes, true racism is a sin.

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:1, topic:335312"]
And how would you define racism?

[/quote]

That's the question - racism, along with many other "-isms" is defined today however people choose to define it. IMO, the Church's condemnation of racism requires one to examine his own conscience, not to be subject to another's opinion of that conscience.


#13

Obviously discriminating against someone because of their race (i.e. their appearance) is wrong. Therefore it must be a sin. I would say even harboring racial hatred without acting on it (that is not actually "discriminating") is also sinful although the one most harmed might be oneself.

However, I do believe there are people who are racist in the sense that they believe in the discredited theory of scientific racism who are simply misguided and not motivated by racial hatred per se. That is, because they believe in a hierarchy of discrete and differently gifted races of humanity they are "racists" in a merely intellectual sense. If they are not motivated by any feelings of hatred, I don't see how these people are committing a sin by believing in a discredited intellectual theory. That would be like saying that people who persist in believing that the sun revolves around the earth are guilty of sin.


#14

Today is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. This scene on Mount Tabor fills today’s believers with wonder, as it did Peter, James and John, when they, “fell on their faces and were filled with awe,” (Mt.17:6). Pope Benedict XVI, in his Sunday Angelus, describes the Transfiguration of Jesus as revealing ‘the splendor of Truth and Love.’ In this splendor was the mystery of light, as Jesus’ face shone like the sun. Jesus confirmed His divinity and expressed an essential aspect of God, light, which appears throughout salvation history when God is near. In the Transfiguration, we are invited to meditate on the ‘mystery of God’s light,’ Jesus’ divinity and our role as children of God and therefore, children of the light.
divineoffice.org

Peace


#15

Yes, bc remember Jesus said love one another just like I love you. So if one is fascist it's obvious we don't like a certain group of ppl.


#16

I dont want to be hatred racist. I just sometimes think how black people are faster without hate or how white people are better swimmers or that
white people have different hair that black men. Is this sinful?


#17

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:16, topic:335312"]
I dont want to be hatred racist. I just sometimes think how black people are faster without hate or how white people are better swimmers or that
white people have different hair that black men. Is this sinful?

[/quote]

Ah, you seem to be talking about making observations on the strengths and weaknesses within different races, that isn't really racism.

If I may, as an example, pull from evolution accounting for different races (NOT species/breeds)
of human, lighter skinned people are more abundant further North from the Equator because darker
skin does not absorb as as much sunlight (which is not as abundant away from the Equator) leading
to less production of Vitamin D, thus causing rickets (softening in bone), so lighter skin is beneficial in that
respect. And of course seeing how humans began in Africa, particularly near the Equator, where SUNBURN
is a big threat, darker skin is a plus. :thumbsup:
[RIGHT] Of course that is more describing a
long time ago, with all our advance-
ments we have a much easier time
being anywhere on Earth.
[/RIGHT]

What I did there was not racist, but simply explained how/why there are
lighter/darker skinned people, in light of environmental adaptation, which
is NOT sinful. Saying someone is black because he is the descendent of
Cain, THAT IS BOTH RACIST AND LIKELY A SIN (not to mention that it
may %iss God off to no end).:shrug:

[RIGHT]
[/RIGHT]


#18

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:16, topic:335312"]
I dont want to be hatred racist. I just sometimes think how black people are faster without hate or how white people are better swimmers or that
white people have different hair that black men. Is this sinful?

[/quote]

I think one can say, in general, without being racist, that, say, black people tend to have darker skin than white people. In general, anyway: there are people who are Mediterranean in complexion who have darker skin than some people who are considered Black. Some race-labeling I see seems to have a political undertone. I saw a self-identified black woman say on TV that Pres Obama was not black per se, but African-American -- she, on the other hand, was black. There also seems to be pressure on biracial people to self-identify as "one or the other" -- e.g. you're either with us or against us, whoever the "us" may be. OTOH, some biracial people are not given the opportunity, and are immediately and irrevocably labeled by other people as being of a particular race, and in those cases, the labellers usually see that race as being a particular "taint": think of the Nuremberg laws. E.R. Braithwaite, in his book* To Sir, With Love, *mentioned how the British always considered him a West Indian with an English mother -- never an Englishman with a West Indian father.

I believe thinking about race at all is counter-productive for those and many other reasons. What makes a person white? Black? Mixed? Are we going by mere appearances? What race is Tiger Woods? Rae Dawn Chong? Paula Abdul?

Sorry if I got off on a bit of a rant there. It's just that trying to find ways to categorize people just irks me. I just recently found out that there is a community within the Church which practices endogamy -- if you marry outside the ethnic community, you and your mate must find a new parish. And this apparently is condoned by Rome. And apparently there are churches in India that still pretty much practice the caste system, to the point of having separate chalices for different caste people. :eek:

Bottom line is this: Unless you are of "pure" Sub-Saharan African stock, you're biracial. Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon mix. Europeans, Asians, and North Africans apparently all have Neanderthal DNA in them -- only the sub-Saharan Africans are pure Cro-Mag. :shrug:

And as a friend of mine once put it: Bigotry and prejudice are intellectually lazy. There is usually sufficient reason to dislike people on an individual basis.


#19

[quote="Timi_Celcer, post:16, topic:335312"]
I dont want to be hatred racist. I just sometimes think how black people are faster without hate or how white people are better swimmers or that
white people have different hair that black men. Is this sinful?

[/quote]

It's not racist to acknowledge that there is human diversity. But it's not so evident that this diversity adds up to discrete "races" equivalent to sub-species with one race at the top of the ladder. It's really just one gene pool.

Race is a social category, not a biological one.


#20

I think racism also involves what is often practiced by the political left in the west, i.e. affirmative action, diversity worship, complaining when groups and communities are "too white" as if that were a danger to civil society, shaming straight white men to "check their privilege", etc. We should keep that in mind those great words of Martin Luther King and judge people not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.


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