This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Religious Racism: Are ‘Good’ Christians More Racist Than Others?
My perspective is that of one who worked in the church for 40+ years, and is now on the outside, looking (occasionally) in. From that point of view, I honestly don’t believe church folk are more racist than their secular cousins. Sadly, they aren’t any less racist, either.
The difference is the way racism gets expressed.
From most pulpits, there is strong condemnation of racism in all its forms. The message that sends to the pews is that, officially, racism won’t be accepted here. I’m sure that, in the sealed rooms where search committees reject your leadership, no one actually says “we don’t want a bloody Paki (your words) for a minister”. Such overt racism would be shocking to other members; after all, whatever else they may be, church folks strive to be “nice”. But when it’s time to actually raise their hands and vote between you and a pretty, thirty-something woman with blond hair and blue eyes, well, you know how it goes. Within the church, “talking racist” is not acceptable — so the practice goes underground, surfacing only covertly.