Consider This…

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2 (NIV)

Recently I was invited to a Facebook group called “Consider This…” I joined quite quickly and soon realized it was a group that consisted of theologians and theological educators priests and pastors as well as lay people such as myself, to be honest I think  I am the only lay person there, regardless I felt a little overwhelmed with the company I had joined apologies dear reader for my digression.

Consider this over the last few decade’s prejudice and racism has and will be a behavior in our society and until recently has now become more visible to all those that see it. In my opinion and observation prejudice and racism is an opinion formed from whatever loosely connected emotions and rationale at the time of their formations. However, there have been observations of these behaviors and opinions that are considered normal in localized geographical and cultural areas and could be considered as a learned behavior/opinion because of maternal influences as well as influencing environmental variables and factors.  Below is the Merriam-Webster definition of racism.

a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

also behavior or attitudes that reflect and foster this belief racial discrimination or prejudice

And here below is the definition of prejudice from Merriam-Webster dictionary.

injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one’s rights especially detriment to one’s legal rights or claims

2a(1)preconceived judgment or opinion

(2)an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge

ban instance of such judgment or opinion

can irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

I used the dictionary to express the definition of both racism and prejudice because it is by far the simplest tool in education and nearly without reproach. I say nearly because someone will invariably argue that the definitions are wrong and voice that their interpretation is accurate, because that is what we do in the 21st century, even though numerous scholars have labored thousands of hours to ensure the accuracy of numerous words and ensuring the clear and concise definitions of these words. Again, I digress…my apologies dear reader.

In the above definitions of prejudice and racism, it becomes apparent there is no fundamental reasoning or benefit for these behaviors/opinions other than the obvious that it makes the holder of that behavior/opinion feel more superior or a supremacist if you will.

a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Let me digress for a moment. Every person on this world is made up of organs, systems, has a large and complex brain and nearly everyone is bipedal ,except for those that have suffered injuries, essentially everyone is the same anatomically and physiologically the only difference common to people is their outward appearance. Hence, everyone is of the same species…Homo sapiens. There is no scientific evidence to support that there is more than one species on this planet.

So then, the process of racism and prejudice is based on outward appearances and or lack of understanding of a person and or their culture then, as a loosely fabricated rationale as it is, an opinion is formed followed by a response, behavior, to a stimulus such as a person. Such a weak or flawed rationale would need a considerably strong defensive personality structure to maintain this behavior/opinion. Such a personality structure coupled with racism and prejudice would require a significant amount of energy and thought to maintain these opinions/behaviors. Racism and prejudice is inherently flawed and as a result, the holder of these opinions must constantly seek information to create and build the foundation to support this opinion/behavior. On the other hand, just following scripture is much easier.

24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

and

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 1John 2:9

See? It’s simple and the bible is filled with these kinds of scriptures of love, wisdom, and in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior all throughout the Holy Bible.

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8

And

A new commandment I give you, Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. John 13:34 (NRSV)

And always remember

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

God bless all that read this with His love, light, grace, mercy, and wisdom. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21 (KJV)