Race: Facing Reality and Confronting the Elephant in the Room
By J. Davila Ashcraft
Twice this week I found myself reading statements on race relations in the church that left me shaking my head at the approaches taken.
The first was by a well meaning pastor, who stated that the church had to be more inclusive, since “inclusion implies we are the same in the same place.” The absurdity being his definition of inclusion, which really only signifies participation, not sameness.
The second was an article written by an Answers in Genesis author who proposed that Christians simply embrace “oneness”, and then, since we are all part of the family of Adam and Eve, racial tensions will simply fade away. Both approaches are really different ways of saying the same thing: if we ignore ethnic and racial differences they will cease to exist. What is being proposed is not, as they might believe, a biblical approach to the issue, but one informed by Cultural Marxism, which also promotes the idea that all of humanity is the same. The fact of the matter is, racial, ethnic and cultural differences are social and biological realities, and we must deal with them on that level while being informed by Sacred Scripture, not humanistic or Cultural Marxist ideologies.
While I absolutely agree in principle that we are all part of a greater extended family, descending from Adam and Eve, I think it is absurd to then suggest that the differences in people groups are only social constructs and not objective and substantive differences. If we truly believe that God has been active in human history and human development, then we have to also accept the fact that God felt it good for humanity to express diversity. We see this diversity throughout creation. In the bird family we have many types of bird, all with varying colors and calls, as well as habitats. In the flower “family” we find varieties of flowers- again all with differing color schemes and shapes. God apparently approves of diversity. It would be absurd for us to suggest the Bluebird is the same as the Eagle, or that the rose is the same as a daisy. And yet we see attempts to do just this with the human family. While it is absolutely true that we are all humans, and that no race or ethnicity is superior to another, it is not objectively true that we are all the same. Our diversity is part of the beauty of God’s creation. British philosopher Roger Scruton writes that, “Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter.” Those who would seek to make us all the same, even if only as a matter of social or religious philosophy are asking us to live as though the beauty of the human family did not matter.
Our ethnic and racial differences exist as a matter of biology, and that is okay! Yes, it is okay to be different. It is even okay to celebrate our differences and seek to preserve our unique cultures.
“The multiplicity of cultures is metaphysically necessary, because each reflects some aspect of the divine. Suppress that multiplicity, and the result will be inter-ethnic chaos, which only force can control.”- John J. Reilly
The attempt to ignore our differences really only serves to create the very problem it seeks to eliminate. It is in itself a form of racism, albeit a pseudo-gnostic one that would deny the realities of the human body and the diversity that exists in the human family. While we can all agree that racial hatred and bigotry does indeed exist, and certainly should be addressed and condemned as a moral evil, it is not done effectively or honestly by pretending that differences do not exist.
We do have a moral obligation to condemn racial hatred. Currently ethno-nationalism is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Sadly, many Christians are being swayed to this line of thinking due to Leftist racial hatred directed at those of European ethnic heritage. Nationalism, including ethno-nationalism, are products of the French Revolution, which in turn is a product of the rejection of the traditionalist Christian worldview and the Christian faith. Thus, nationalism in all its forms can only produce more suffering, more social chaos, and move us further from a biblical society and culture. As one anonymous author put it:
“Ethno-nationalism was the brute battering ram used by revolutionaries throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries to break apart the great multi-ethnic Christian empires of Europe. It was the most insidious of Jacobin poisons, working its way slowly through Europa Mater, causing convulsions throughout the 19th century and culminating in her violent death during the First and Second World Wars. Nation-states beget national banks.”
A truly traditionalist Christian worldview rejects both the Cultural Marxist answers to racial issues, and the Nationalist answers. This is not to suggest that we ignore the obvious problems of mass immigration of foreign peoples into countries and cultures where they cannot or will not assimilate. It is to say that we must first recognize that while we are one human family, human diversity exists, is a good, but that oneness does not necessarily imply sameness. Nor should those with cultures or religions that violently clash, as is the case with Islamic immigrants, be forced by European Union or United Nations interference to coexist. Sanity and reason dictate otherwise.
Racial strife is not caused by a recognition of differences, but by a materialistic culture that denies metaphysical realities, and has rejected Christianity and the traditionalist Christian worldview in favor of a neo-Darwinian one. As such it will only be solved by a socio-religious revival of Western Christianity.
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