Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Intentions and Outcomes

Back in March and April of this year, Immanuel Can and I had a two-part discussion of the validity of Tim Keller’s accusations of systemic racism in evangelical support for Christian workers. You can find those posts here and here.

But in working through the issues raised by Mr. Keller, what struck me most forcibly was the apparent ease with which an otherwise-discerning Christian accepts “equity” (as the social justice crowd defines it) as a valid metric for assessing race- and culture-related issues.

I’ve been giving that a little more thought. Because Mr. Keller is not the only one in the evangelical community assuming “systemic” injustices can be uncovered by examining statistics.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: What Doesn’t Kell You...

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Modern attention spans are what they are. We try to keep these posts to roughly 2,000 words; conventional internet wisdom has it the average person begins to tune out around then. But there were at least three points we didn’t get around to last week in our discussion of the accusation raised by Tim Keller that the traditional evangelical fundraising model is systemically racist.

Tom: IC, I wanted to start out with this thought: Tim Keller is using woke language and making typical social justice assumptions about his fellow believers, but I don’t want to leave the subject without pointing out the there is nothing wrong with self-examination on the part of Christians, churches, and parachurch organizations.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: A Time to Kell

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tim Keller has been under fire around here lately. In mid-February we fisked a Daily Wire column by Megan Basham that listed Keller among thought leaders credibly accused of enabling Francis Collins to flog COVID propaganda to evangelicals by introducing him as a “friend” during a joint interview for BioLogos.

Collins is a man of the Left, a self-described ally and advocate of the gay and trans lobbies, has facilitated and funded experimental transgender research on minors, and has publicly defended experimentation on fetuses obtained from abortion. It’s one thing to engage personally and privately with such an individual in the name of Christ. It’s quite another to represent him to believers as fellow member of the flock and a trustworthy expert on science.

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Sticky Situations

I have used the expression “tar baby” in a couple of posts here over the years.

A tar baby is a wonderful old metaphor for a sticky situation, and particularly a sticky situation that never needed to happen. But its age and origin make it an obscure figure of speech — so obscure I later discovered even my own mother had never heard of it.

Well, that’s a situation that cannot go uncorrected!

Thursday, February 03, 2022

The Language of the Debate (5)

[Editor’s note: Nobody ever wants to be called racist, and yet the word is everywhere these days. It also doesn’t mean what it used to mean, which means it was one of those words I planned to get to in this series eventually. All too conveniently, Immanuel Can sent me an email this week analyzing the current usage of the term (and the logic behind the change in meaning) better than I might. I have reproduced it below.

Trust you enjoy it. — Tom]

Monday, November 01, 2021

Anonymous Asks (169)

“Why do so many white supremacists claim to be Christians?”

Interesting question. I’m not actually aware that this is common. I’ve encountered few genuine white supremacists online, but the ones I have run into all reject Christianity, primarily because of its close association with Jews. If they call themselves religious at all, white supremacists generally appropriate Norse mythology as their starting point; for example, a Finnish movement called Soldiers of Odin is currently gaining popularity in Canada’s western provinces.

Well, that’s assuming it is reasonable to refer to an organization with a mere 600 members across the entire globe as “popular”.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Unhinged Racism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Jonathan Merritt contributes to The Atlantic and has been named one of “30 young influencers reshaping Christian leadership” by Outreach Magazine. All good so far, provided you don’t mind your “Christian leadership” flavored with a big honkin’ tablespoon of social justice.

Tom: He also just called Doug Wilson an “unhinged racist”, and Doug has sensibly called foul right here in one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a long time.

IC, these accusations of “racism” are getting so common today as to be almost meaningless.

Immanuel Can: Yes, along with the words, “sexist”, “homophobic” and “Islamophobic”, they comprise today’s “Four Horsemen of the Horse Manure”.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Anonymous Asks (138)

“Was Jesus black?”

Great. Thanks a lot. This is almost guaranteed to get controversial …

A little history: the traditional way of classifying the various nations that make up the human race, which was based primarily on biological commonalities (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, Australoid), has recently fallen out of favor, mostly for political reasons. It is politely referred to as outdated and impolitely referred to as racist.

Nevertheless, because the old system was biology-based rather than ideology-based, it remains in use among anthropologists and in learning disciplines where observing distinctions between people groups is a meaningful exercise. If you are going to try to answer the question “Was Jesus black?” at all, it remains the only sane way of framing the issue for discussion.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Colorblindness, Privilege and Inspiration

Dependability is a great thing.

Whenever I find myself with nothing obvious to write about, it’s a huge relief to know that in a pinch I can always rely on Rachel Held Evans to have written something worthy of polite dissection. Today is no exception.

The inimitable Ms Evans holds forth here on the subject of her own “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” after an unfortunate non-PC slip of the tongue at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Inbox: ‘Systemic’ Racism

Israel had the greatest system in the history of our planet.

God gave a plethora of laws to Moses on Sinai, yet they did not make for a perfect society because people are not perfect. Individuals observed those laws from time to time, and in doing so, benefited from them. But on a national level, Israel would not — nay, could not — follow those laws, notwithstanding the fact that they were morally excellent, decent, orderly, and taught lessons humanity absolutely needed to learn, not to mention they pointed to Christ. So God gave them, man received them, and the result was systemic failure.

Or was it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Of Meth Heads and Christ Figures

People are complicated, Christians included. They are not all one thing, either good or bad.

Friends of whom I once thought very highly have later shown the world sides of themselves I never knew existed, betraying and deceiving loved ones, harboring unimagined secrets and bad habits, or getting involved in situations that seem incomprehensible to those who thought they knew them. Equally, people who lived quite openly and despicably in sin have on occasion shown evidence of tenderness, affection or intelligence I never thought possible for them.

People are complicated, and they will surprise you.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Unhelpful Friends and Uneasy Times

When Job’s three friends came to show him sympathy in his time of distress, they wept, tore their robes and sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very great.

The week of silence was a genuine gesture of solidarity and goodwill, but everything Job’s friends did from that point on was a bit of a bust. Why? Because they opened their mouths and started talking — and arguing at great length — about something they weren’t going through and clearly didn’t understand.

We Christians may be at risk of doing much the same thing with respect to the current racial tensions in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Wagging the Dog

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

Trudy Smith of the Huffington Post asks, “Was Jesus racist?” Her answer, of course, is yes.

That’s hardly surprising. The HuffPost is the online poster-rag for the New American Left. In their exceedingly well-defined and ideologically-pristine PC world, even the Son of God takes the knee before the official progressive racial narrative.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: No Way to Hide Your Lyin’ Eyes

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: I had never heard the name Jussie Smollett before last week, IC. Had you?

Immanuel Can: No. To be blunt, his activities were of absolutely no interest to me, or to anyone I knew, before a couple of weeks ago. But he’s got my attention now.

Tom: I suppose we should briefly summarize the unraveling Smollett fiasco for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention … do you want to do the honors?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Calling a Spade a Spade

Popular science fiction author China Miéville is troubled by how the media refers to the … er … troubled.

When asked about the 2011 riots in London, England, his primary concern seems to be the language used to describe those who assaulted pensioners, burned people out of their homes and threw bricks at responding firefighters:

“For a long time I’ve been struck and horrified by the incredible cultural spite we’ve got in the UK towards young people. The constant use, for example, of the term ‘feral’ to describe troubled children should be a matter of utter shame: that our culture has normalised that adjective is an expression of our culture’s moral degradation, far more than children’s.”

In Miéville’s view, the moral degradation of modern British culture is epitomized in its failure to speak kindly of its most debased element.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Unhinged Racism

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Race Card

It’s on, ladies and gentlemen. The bell has rung, and the Gospel Coalition smackdown is underway.

In one corner we have respected theologian Wayne Grudem telling American Christians they should vote for Donald Trump. In the other, respected theologian Thabiti Anyabwile insists they should vote for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, out on the ring apron, respected theologian Douglas Wilson is explaining the rules of engagement to both parties while recommending Americans vote for neither candidate.

He’s also being called a racist on Twitter for the crime of daring to disagree with a black man, but we should be used to that by now.

Wow. This part is almost more fun than the actual election.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Christianity Without Christ

If you missed the goings-on in the streets of San Jose last week outside a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump, you might have been the only one. Protesters waved Mexican flags and were caught on camera burning Trump hats, egging, punching and kicking Trump supporters and calling them “racists” and “fascists”. One police officer was assaulted. Video clips on YouTube show victims almost uniformly white and attackers almost uniformly Hispanic.

A minor skirmish, really, but we’re only in June. It’s a long way to November, and there’s no guarantee the election of a new president — no matter who he or she may be — will do anything to substantially ease racial tensions.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Moving the Goalposts

I was speaking with a Christian father a while back whose teenage son had criticized others for using racist language. But when his father asked him to explain exactly what he meant by ‘racist’, his certainty began to evaporate. The closest he could come to any sort of definition was that racism has to do with mentioning somebody’s race, and maybe being critical of them. Beyond that, it seemed like he was simply parroting what had been drilled into him at school.

But really, what is racism? Does anyone know anymore?

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Colorblindness, Privilege and Inspiration

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Is the Holy Spirit ‘Racist’?

Forgive the scare quotes, but they’re employed in the title with good reason, as will hopefully become clear.

We have been discussing the modern, leftist redefinition of the word ‘racism’ to include any and all generalizations about race, speaking out against sinful behaviour (or even identifying it) and even gently humorous references to obvious differences between racial groups.

This is not ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’, as racism has historically been defined, but an evanescent, constantly morphing definition of what is acceptable that functions largely as a means of disqualifying and marginalizing opponents of progressive social engineering.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Christianity and Racism

A more current version of this post is available here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Calling a Spade a Spade

The most recent version of this post is available here.