Racism and Xenophobia

Are racist and/or xenophobic thoughts mortally sinful? For example, thinking you’d rather spend time with people from your own culture because you can better relate to them or thinking your own nation is superior to other nations.

What do you mean? Keep in mind, not everyone that supports limited immigration is a bigot (although someone could hold that position for bigoted reasons).

I didn’t have illegal immigration in mind. I meant thinking you’d rather spend time with people from your own culture because you can better relate to them or thinking your own culture is superior to other cultures.

Racism & xenophobia are obviously sins yes.

As for racist thoughts - an involuntary thought that pops into you head is something that you have limited control over. But sitting having nasty racist thoughts is sinful. To believe that one race is superior to another is clearly wrong.

I personally would sooner everyone sprint to the confessional everytime they have a racist thought than when they have a lustful thought.


In defence, he specifically asked about racism.

You edited this whilst I was replying

I’m not convinced your first example is racism.

The second clearly is.

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It depends on the content of the thoughts. Mortal sin would require malicious thoughts. For example, thoughts of harming someone because of their race. Thinking your race is superior would be sin but only venial sin, again unless you are wanting to seriously harm others. You can think of it as a character flaw to be worked on. Anytime you have thoughts like this, pray for those people instead. Put yourself in their shoes. I find this builds solidarity in the heart, so you can see them as God sees them. God loves all people very much. Also confess these sins to Jesus every night, so he can make you holy.


I’m not sure I’d call them “mortal sins”, but they are definitely something you want to bring up next time you go to confession.

There is a difference between preferring to hang with your own because your shared culture allows them to understand you easily and your exchanges with them are therefore more relaxed, and refusing to associate with people from other cultures because you think they are backwards or inferior solely due to their ethnicity.

As an expat I can relate to the former, but I also mingle with the locals, whom I respect and admire even if our interaction is sometimes awkward. The latter is clearly wrong.

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It’s normal to prefer people from your own culture and race, don’t let anybody lie to you and make you feel bad about preferring the company of your own.
And just a quick point: Clearly there’s something superior about European countries since so many non-Europeans want to come live here.

Can you cite sources for viewing your own race as superior being a sin?

No that’s not true and anti catholic as well

I’d be careful about such comparisons, especially basing them on just one evil. How many people did Spain kill or enslave for money, or because they didn’t really think of them as people? That their conquest ended the Aztec sacrificial system is a nice side effect, but I’m not sure we can call it objectively the lesser evil.


In light of the fact that Spain not just ended the sacrificial system, but brought the Light of Christ to the Americas, I would say it is most certainly and objectively the lesser evil.

Nothing wrong with preferring to spend time with like minded individuals, though if you never spend time with people from other cultures, that would be a terrible loss for yourself, and your understanding of the richness and grandeur of life.

Considering yourself or your culture as superior OTOH, may be the sin of pride.

I could accept that distinction. Even use of a word like “superior” can be relative.

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I don’t think you understand what the word “objective” means because you keep saying that certain cultures are objectively better then you point to subjective reasons

It’s not true and it’s anti-catholic. Catholicism embraces all cultures


They technically did bring the Light of Christ, yes, but it wasn’t in many of their actions. To this day they are one of the many examples that brings Christianity into ill repute among indigenous peoples around the world. If we count the souls their words won, we also have to count the souls their example lost, even long after they were dead. “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” is not the status we’re going for.

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Every culture is compatible with Catholicism. What are you talking about? Christ didn’t say, oh yeah, let’s not evangelize the Mayans because Spain is better

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