Tag Archives: Christian Values

Why my “whiteness” is so shameful to me

Contributed by Carol Benedict.

Six students at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee — a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona — took a picture proudly wearing shirts spelling out a racial slur that swept through social media this Friday. Image via Facebook.

Six students at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee — a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona — took a picture proudly wearing shirts spelling out a racial slur that swept through social media this Friday. Image via Facebook.

(Opinion) So America wants to claim that we are a post-racial Christian nation. Yet, on our social media platform, we see everyday images like these that bombard our nation with the underlying message of being white – it is better than all other races and deserves its own privilege.

The above photo was taken in Arizona.  The expressions on the faces of these teens says it all. They are proud to make fun of a race they have been taught to view as inferior to them. They see this act as a way of making a statement on “senior picture day” at the school. The school’s Black Student Union defiantly responded by tweeting a picture with a group of white and black students smiling together under the banner #thunderstrong.

Facebook meme demonstrating the baseless arguments of "whiteness" in the US. Image via Facebook.

Facebook meme demonstrating the baseless arguments of “whiteness” in the US. Image via Facebook.

I saw the above post on the page of a family member – one who is thought of by most everyone in the family to be a “Christian.” I wanted to ask what verse in her Christian Bible could she point to that encourages this attitude toward other children of God. What example from Christ’s life is there that would demonstrate to Christians that intolerance of other races or faith is bettering the kingdom of God? Do her prayers include a plea for white supremacy in her society?

Armed white terrorists take over a federal building in Oregon. Official response is to "monitor the situation." Pleas for the siege to stop from local residents of the nearby community go ignored. Image screenshot via USA Today.

Armed white terrorists take over a federal building in Oregon. Official response is to “monitor the situation.” Pleas for the siege to stop from local residents of the nearby community go ignored. Image screenshot via USA Today.

In the case of the Oregon standoff, the disconnect is exceptional. The land these ranchers are demanding be turned over to them for the grazing of their cattle was originally sacred burial and ceremonial ground of the Paiute Indians. By using the “tyranny” they accuse the government of, they are trying to force non-whites to allow cemeteries to be grazed by livestock. How many WHITE CHRISTIAN cemeteries would allow this? How many white people would be outraged if non-whites brought their livestock to graze on the cemetery lawns next to their churches?

And yes, I have comments about the Native Americans as well. The treatment of indigenous peoples in the United States has become the nation’s oldest ongoing crime, with no significant indication that it will change anytime soon. From Wounded Knee to the man-camps in North Dakota Indian country surrounding the oil business there, the human rights violations against this entire group of people is enough to bring about international intervention.

The examples of the reprehensible behavior and rhetoric goes on and on. There is no shortage of hate in America.

Photo via Facebook

This is how law enforcement responds to protestors that want to exercise their right to freedom of expression in what has been considered “public space” since malls have become privately owned enterprises welcoming the public on a daily basis. Image via Facebook

And then there is the Black Lives Matter movement. I completely understand and appreciate what this movement is about. The racial policing of communities across America has proven, without question, that law enforcement overall views black Americans differently than white Americans.

My white friends will comment about how they are “inconvenienced” by stopped traffic, marches and protests at shopping malls. Not one of these white people ever want to discuss how the black community is “inconvenienced” by racial profiling, income and employment inequalities, discrimination from creditors, substandard education compared to their white peers, reductions in budgets designed to assist these communities, and speeches by politicians saying we need to stop these blacks from disrupting our daily lives.

When Donald Trump said that he thought all Muslims in America should be required to register, and that all Muslims trying to enter the United States need to be stopped at the borders, many white Americans cheered. It shows how quickly a nation that calls itself “Christian” will abandon those values taught in the Bible they cling to in order to protect the “whiteness” of their country.

If we all see other faiths, ethnicity and races as “those” people, how will we ever find a path toward peace, tolerance and understanding? How can we expect the guns of war to fall silent if we can’t hear that silence through the noise of our prejudices?

I am sick of the intolerance, double standards and privilege my race affords me. I no longer want to be identified with people that can hate like this.

About the Author:
Carol Benedict is an independent researcher studying Kurdish history, culture and politics. She is also a human rights activist and advocate.

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New Poll Reveals Americans’ Double Standard About Religious Violence

By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee. Published 12-10-2015 at ThinkProgress

Muslim girls at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta posing in front of the camera. Photo by Henrik Hansson - Globaljuggler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Muslim girls at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta posing in front of the camera. Photo by Henrik Hansson – Globaljuggler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Many Americans have a double standard when it comes to judging whether self-identified Christians and Muslims are committing violence in the name of their religion, according to new data released just a week after two Muslims were accused of shooting and killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

A Public Religion Research Institute poll released Thursday finds that 75 percent of Americans believe that self-identified Christians “who commit acts of violence in the name of Christianity are not really Christian.” Only about 19 percent of respondents said they believe these types of perpetrators are authentic Christians. Continue reading

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By Their Deeds Shall Ye Know Them

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Discrimination takes many forms. Perhaps its most dangerous form is when the person or group discriminating does it in the name of religion or national security. Populism and social identity have a tendency to be the loudest voices in the room, and few others can get a word in edgewise.

By now, you are completely aware of the border crisis taking place in Texas and Arizona. While I watch the news reports, see the people with their home made signs, and hear the vitriol spewing from the mouths of “Americans”, there are a few questions that come to my mind.

Did you notice this was not a crisis until the extreme right wing began protesting the policy they claim is Obama’s, when in fact Bush was the one that signed the bill that started all of this in the first place?

When did we abandon the motto that rests on Ellis Island in New York, at the universal symbol of freedom and democracy known the world over as the Statue of Liberty; ““Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”? When did we decide as a nation to no longer be a melting pot?

How many of our ancestors came here generations ago for the very same reasons that people seek to come here today; to escape starvation, persecution, social inequality, discrimination, freedom from and for religion, education opportunity and the chance to work hard enough to have a good life?

When did we decide to treat children as criminals and animals, where they are hunted, herded, transported and fed with less respect than a Texan rancher gives his cattle herd? And when did we decide that children running for their lives should not deserve protection?

When did we become concerned with ONLY our southern border, considering that significant numbers of illegal drugs and immigrants pour over the northern border on a daily basis? And the only terrorists arrested for entering the US illegally crossed the northern border. Oh – is that because those immigrants have white skin, the drugs are cocaine and opium instead of marijuana, and since it covers such a larger area, we just can’t deal with it?

And my last question is the one that I think is the most important of them all. Before I ask the question, let me share a little back story. Last June, leading Republicans insisted that America’s leaders must do more to defend Christian values at home and abroad. “Those of us inspired by Judeo-Christian values…have an obligation to our country and to our fellow man to use our positions of influence to highlight those values,” Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio said at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by long-time Christian political activist Ralph Reed. And his pal, Ted Cruz, is no better. “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher, is rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.”

When I was a little girl growing up in rural America, I went to church on Sundays, where we sang a children’s song that stayed with me all my life. “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” One of my favorite biblical passages tells us how to live: “And whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)

After hearing the language that is contained in proposed bills and acts to resolve the border crisis, it is clear that these children are thought of as despised freeloaders, terror babies, criminals and filthy animals. How then, does this support the agenda stated last June calling for “defending Christian values at home and abroad?” Would Jesus be on the line stopping buses and demanding children be sent back where their return would mean certain death? Would He be asking for ankle bracelets and deportation within 72 hours? Or maybe if He came back today and walked across the southern US border, would you treat Jesus the same way these children are being treated?

Children’s Rights are Human Rights.

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