Monday, February 16, 2009

Requiem for the Word "Racism"?

In my church, the paper on which we print our weekly bulletins for worship service comes from the UCC with preprinted messages on the back. For the week of Feb. 15, the message was on race. Apparently, last April, the UCC called for a "sacred conversation on race---'a dialogue that is neded in our pews, our homes and the hallways of power across our country.'" Personally, I'm a bit bored with the subject as I don't suffer from racist tendencies and have little patience for those who do, and, I don't understand how a "sacred" conversation would be manifestly any different from the standard conversation.

But I digress.

It goes on to speak of quotes by such famous people as Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois (I wonder if his friends called him "Web".) and then some mention of "Racial Justice Sunday", without mentioning which Sunday that would be. Was it the 15th? I have no idea.

Anyway, the whole idea, as I said, bores me. I don't really care about race. I don't know very many people who are truly racist, and I'm fairly certain that no one I consider a close friend is racist, either. Yet, the word still gets thrown around, as it was during the last presidential campaign, mostly by the half-black guy. In any case, it was quite a coincidence to come across this Jack Kerwick article in Intellectual Conservative Politics and Philosophy (www.intellectualconservative.com).

As a side note, I have two small oval "Nobama" stickers on my bumper from the campaign. I had intended on getting a "Vote McCain--He's Less Crappy" sticker to paste inbetween them. But as I came up to an intersection the other day when our Chicago area weather was unseasonably warm, and my car window was down, I heard a woman's voice sing out "OH--BAMA!" as a car pulled up next to me in the left lane. Not being in a great mood, I turned a relatively surly look at the source and the black couple next to me were glaring back. I sensed some racial tension from these two who didn't appear to be anymore cheerful than I was feeling. Had the light not changed and had they not driven off so quickly, I would have liked to enquire as to their reasons for supporting the guy. Oh well. An opportunity for racial harmony lost.

145 comments:

Ron said...

I am thrilled that your world doesn't include any racists. I have lived in may place in the country and hopefully will be going to another one soon. I can promise you that it racism exists. It exists in white people, black people, hispanics and just about every other group. I don't usually include these people in my circle of friends, black, white or whatever. Racism is another example of very old thinking, on all sides. I am happy to hear you have evolved past that relic.

Craig said...

Marshall,

I've spent some time over the last week or so with Dr. John Perkins who is heavily involved in racial reconciliation here in the US. One of the many interesting things he is saying is, that to base your church on race (AME, and Black Liberation Theology spring to mind) is heresy. While I agree with you that I don't consider myself racist, and know of no one in my circle of friends who is, the problem is real and the church should be in the forefront of the conversation. The problem, which you may have stumbled upon, is how that conversation looks. Too much of the conversation (sacred or otherwise) is focused on groups and group identity rather than individuals. I would recommend a look at what Dr. Perkins is doing/has done. It is a shame that people like this are off on the sidelines of the discussion, while the "black leadership" Jackson, Sharpton, Wright et. al. are allowed to pollute things with their own brand of racism.

Edwin Drood said...

What if I just don't care, does that make me more or less racist?

Marshall Art said...

Edwin,

I have the same question in the back of my mind.

Craig,

We're on the same page here. But I think the article I posted shows what the problem is when dealing with "racism". Is it really a valid charge anymore?

Ron,

I don't deny racism exists. Not in the least. I'm just bored with the concept. When I encounter it, I get pissed just for the stupidity of it in the person being racist and let that person know that henceforth I discriminate against him/her for their abject stupidity.



I think in this society, racism is too often perceived where it doesn't exist, the charge is too often leveled for reasons other than actual racism, and the fear of the charge leads to actions that should then not be taken. I also think that racism will take longer to go away, if it ever does, which I doubt, if those who see themselves as victims of it blow it off and carry on. The racists in our society are in the minority, and a small minority at that.

DJ Black Adam said...

Marshall you from the Chi? So am I.

4simpsons said...

DJBA and Marshall - if I ever get to Chicago we need to get together. Dinner will be on me. We'd have some great conversations! (or at least you two would and I could listen in!)

hashfanatic said...

"Personally, I'm a bit bored with the subject as I don't suffer from racist tendencies and have little patience for those who do..."

marshall, check back with us in a year or two, and see if you feel the same way, LOL!

dj black adam?

oh, no, it isn't, not from the old rrmb?? ROFLMAO!!

"carmenjonze" had my "racist" ass booted off...:)

"get it right!", LOL!

hashfanatic said...

folks, the words and actions of black folk are ENTIRELY responsible for the attitudes of whites toward them...

this is the top, the middle, and the bottom line

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. Particularly your last comment. I reject it entirely. Explain yourself.

Marshall Art said...

Neil,

I would love such an encounter.

Marshall Art said...

DJ,

Actually, I'm in the NW suburbs, but for convenience sake, when dealing with out-of-towners, it's just easier to say I'm from the Chicago area.

I do have peeps in the city and visit often. Great place to play.

hashfanatic said...

marshall, dj black adam is a member of a message board i once participated on...i was referencing a particularly obnoxious vulture of a member there (sigh...)

now, what do you reject TODAY, LOL??

that blacks are responsible for the attitudes of whites toward them?

what part of that equation don't you agree with?

perhaps you believe that there is absolutely NO reason for the races to mistrust each other?

perhaps you believe long-past historical events like slavery, jim crow, etc. are to blame for current crime statistics, social breakdown, the generalized coarsening of america's dominant culture, etc., and that i, as a white male, feels any obligation whatsoever to carry the cross for it all?

sorry! no guilt here....

i repeat, blacks are entirely responsible for the attitudes of whites, towards them, it is not a difficult concept to grasp

hashfanatic said...

"Peeps?" LOL...

Anonymous said...

Marshall:

Random thoughts on the topic from a Christian, conservative (in life and politics), man of color(feel free to read that as black):

You articulated my position in your response to Ron.
I am always amused when white liberals trip over themselves to demonstrate that they are either more enlightened about racism and how they themselves are not.
I'm still shaking my head over the fact that occasional commenter Geoffrey Kruse-Safford could flat out tell me how "wrong" I am on the matter of race and racism, yet he gives a pass to the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Go figure!

Being a Chicago boy myself (now residing elsewhere in the midwest), I would love to break bread with you, Neil, and DJBA. Whoever said to avoid discussing religion and politics with others, obviously did not have you fine gentlemen in mind!

Best,
Joseph

Marshall Art said...

Joseph,

Thanks for the kind words. I have no doubt that I would receive honest and reasoned assessments from either you or DJ regarding race issues, since I feel both attributes fit you both.

Reviewing my comments earlier, I would make the correction that I don't think racism will go away if victims DON'T blow it off and carry on. There are enough reasonable people in the world that minorities no longer have to waste time with idiots.

4simpsons said...

Joseph, I forgot you were in the area as well (I was thinking you were in Missouri for some reason). Yes, it'll be a foursome . . . now I just need to find a reason for my boss to send me there!

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

My concern is that your comment seems to overlook the fact that there are still those who think like the stereotypical racist and hate for skin color alone. Your statement is too much of a blanket statement, the very kind that suggests a degree of racism in yourself.

I, too, feel no guilt for that which has been perpetrated by whites in the past, especially since I'm only second generation American. I also don't think that anyone can blame any of that past injustice for their own current plight, as too many people from other countries have come here and made good after starting poor and/or looked down upon.

But to say that blacks alone are responsible for all negativity from whites? Nonsense.

hashfanatic said...

"My concern is that your comment seems to overlook the fact that there are still those who think like the stereotypical racist and hate for skin color alone..."

marshall, who CARES? It shouldn't be your objective to unravel what are very complicated issues in people's hearts and minds! That aspect of it is none of your business, or at least, shouldn't be!

what you need to be concerned about is, what do people DO? how do they actually TREAT the people they come into contact with?

enough with the accusations of thought crimes! I don't care what you THINK it implies! i have survived a long life, having had to pay an inordinate amount of attention to race issues, how they affected me, how they affected the environment around me, and the lives of my loved ones

I know the truth, there IS only one truth, and I assure you, in my shoes, you'd come to exactly the same conclusion I have

i'm obviously not advocating folks go around lynching people and the like, LOL!

why bother blogging on an issue, if you're not prepared to deal with it honestly? i think you expect the usual limp-wristed liberals to come around bawling over your insensitivity, and make it a barky thing, but it's really not...it touches you, whether you are conscious of it, or not

if you truly believe blacks are justified in their manner of treatment of whites, present how, and in what way, say so, so we might be so enlightened

but, the truth is, the behavior and attitudes of blacks will have to change, long before the behavior of whites will, of that, i have no doubt...

if that is "racist", so be it...

as far as you claiming you have not a "racist" bone in your body, i don't believe it for a second...

Ron said...

"I know the truth, there IS only one truth, and I assure you, in my shoes, you'd come to exactly the same conclusion I have"

This is precisely the problem that I have been trying to communicate for several months now. Everybody knows the truth and everybody who doesn't agree is wrong, wrong, wrong. This is why the us vs them way of discussing problems and solutions will NEVER EVER EVER work. Many of us have exchanged on blogs for years now and I would be willing to bet nobody's mind has been changed even a whit. I call that wasted time and effort.

Could it be the truth is relative to each persons experience, what they have been taught in schools etc and the values of their parents. When people tell me they know they are right and I am wrong and you have PROOF and everything, I just laugh with sadness. Sorry but truth can be relative to each individual. Personally hash, I gotta say. Your basic comment sounds racist to me too, especially when you use it as an end all be all. But hey that's just me and ask anybody, I'm always wrong.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hashfanatic said...

feodor, there is no such thing, as a "sacred conversation on race", because "sacred" infers that which is of God, which is is not

the "race issue" is of the physical realm, not the spiritual, and must be dealt with, in wordly terms, as much as we may choose not to

i don't believe any church should take it upon itself to try to define what are essentially street corner aspects of life, as if it were a happy, joyful place, out of which unity and good Christian fellowship can only germinate...it will not, again, no matter how much we wish it will

it is between each man, and God

ron, you're not always wrong :)

i do disagree, however, that truth is relative, that's not part of my chosen belief system, and is antithetical to it

for instance, you have oodles of interesting posts on your blog, ron, but when i see "zeitgeist" featured there, i know it is not for me to comment there, anymore

again, it's easy to call someone "racist" from a respectable distance...

i've had "racist" hurled at me from hardcore obama supporters the whole primary, as well as when i grew up in a brooklyn ghetto, as one of the few whites...it's not like the term has any power or effect on me anymore, particularly when i see it has no merit, and is a nonexistent concept

"end all and be all"??

i don't know, we haven't reached a point in society where a majority of blacks accept it as reality, and are willing to modify their behavior, and insist their children follow suit, in order to prove it

i don't need proof, i believe there is nothing more whites can do, to resolve the current state of race relations, in america

Anonymous said...

Marshall:

Neil:

You are correct, I do live in Missouri, but I was raised in Chicago. The funny this that most people around here believe that I'm from Nebraska as I am such a huge Husker fan and alum (NUMED).
My passions in life are God, family, and Husker football!

Best,
Joseph

Marshall Art said...

Neil and Joseph (and DJ if he is so inclined),

I know Columbia is a seven hour drive from where I'm at as my daughter is a Mizzou alum. St. Louis an hour or so less. That Houston thing really throws a wrench in it, Neil.

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

Look who's doing the thought police thing by assuming that I'm not sincere about my position on race!! Color means nothing when it comes to race. There are those of every race that need to cut the crap, and you are one of them. I've been friends of people of every race. It ain't hard to tell who's an asshole and who's a nice guy. That's all I have ever looked for.

What people think drives what they do. Thus, what people do or say is a pretty freakin' good indicator of whether or not they harbor racist opinions. Is this some kinda freakin' surprise news flash for you? Who the hell needs to read minds? Some will hide their racism. Fine. They'll expose themselves at some point, or perhaps their exposure to good people will alter their opinion to a more reasonable approach to their fellow man.

YOU, however, have chosen to paint an entire race by experiences you've had with a limited number of black people. So along with anti-semite, it seems you are at the least, a bigoted person towards the black race. I don't care if the accusation bothers you anymore or not, so long as you wear that shoe that fits so well.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"How does a "sacred conversation about race" get unthinkingly equated with the sole issue of "racism"?"

I can't wait to hear you explain how one doesn't include the other. What other possible reason would there be for a discussion about race except to reduce or eliminate racism?

(I know, people. I need to be careful for what I ask.)

Marshall Art said...

Ron,

Your last gives me a bit of info regarding what it is that concerns you. However, I hope you aren't one of those who thinks that truth is always relative. I am one who believes otherwise and the problem is not so much people not listening to each other, but that some ignore what is so plain to see. I would say that is one's duty to support their opinion of what they believe truth to be. I seek truth and hope that I convince or am enlightened. I only stand firmly behind that which hasn't been refuted. We certainly seem to agree on racism.

Ron said...

What is plain to see is pure fantasy to others Marshall. That's why we will never get anywhere with this us vs them stuff. And yes I am saying that truth is pretty much always relative cuz ...well I won't stink up your blog but I pray you will go to mine and see what I am trying to say.

Here

hashfanatic said...

"YOU, however, have chosen to paint an entire race by experiences you've had with a limited number of black people. So along with anti-semite, it seems you are at the least, a bigoted person towards the black race. I don't care if the accusation bothers you anymore or not, so long as you wear that shoe that fits so well."

you are so utterly full of shit

you misrepresent what I say, rewrite history, attempt to control and dominate the opinions of others, and judge others regarding situations you know nothing whatsoever about

you speak of your deep and abiding faith, and go "to other towns" and post absolutely perverted, filthy comments to manifest your own common self-hatred on other peoples' blogs!

you are so busy sucking up to every special interest you can try to find to convince yourself you're really some kind of tough-talking egalitarian hero, yet your sum total of a political reference base consists of three freakjob wingnut message boards, with zero credibility whatsoever!

oddly enough, most of your conservatard posters seem pleasant and well-grounded to an extent that seems to evade you entirely, and your "lib" victims seem, for the most part, totally repellent, yet you bait them, taunt them, harass them on their own blogs, curse them out, and then wonder why they "delink" you, LOL!

you seriously think "walid shoebat" is a real person, LOL!

if you ever found yourself vortexed out of your sterile little suburb (which would seem quite likely, given your evident dislike for gainful employment, and obvious indulgence in recreational drugs), THEN, and only then, you'd be qualified to speak on issues concerning race in america with authority, and judge others based on a less compromised level of discernment...you don't even rate

you hate your own people far more than whoever it is you want to imagine yourself as this week, you despise your own country to a level, where you endorse ever action custom-designed to destroy it

so, marshall, take your overstuffed, ignorant, un-informed self-righteousness, pull your own head out of your ass, and make the rest at home, because, frankly, you are one of the most self-oblivious, critically compromised, fundamentally immoral, and deeply closeted freak bloggers i have EVER come across, utterly capable of bloviating, never considering the value of LISTENING

pathetic

Ron said...

I think I may be confusing you marshall and you may be asking if not this then what? That is it. We should be asking each other more questions and offering fewer answers. You think we know what we have in common. I think we haven't even scratched the surface on that. I am happy to see that you hope to convince or be enlightened. That is the same reason I want to do this. The problem is we are not convincing anybody of anything and I doubt there is much enlightenment going on either. So if we aren't achieving our goals maybe we should, after years of trying this way, to try another way. Once we communicate with more questions we open the door to understanding.

Ron said...

(which would seem quite likely, given your evident dislike for gainful employment, and obvious indulgence in recreational drugs),

Hash, getting a job that pays a living wage aint easy these days. I have been ungainfully employed with no unemployment and mounting child support...and no spouse to help, so even I take umbriagie at this statement. I LOVE my work,ask anyone who knows me. I'd do it for nothing if it was possible. I also enjoy a recreational weed now and then. Some people drink, some must shop, some eat. I don't do any of those much so I don't feel like a sinner no matter how much intimidation may be laid my way. You'd think a guy that calls himself Hash would get it.:-)

Believe me I understand your frustration with some of this stuff. That is why I have been visiting blogs trying to convince people to find a better way. I ain't perfect or unsnarky myself all the time so I try to forgive it when I can. I'm not worried about the rest of your post but this part kind of hit a nerve in me too.

hashfanatic said...

"I'd do it for nothing if it was possible. I also enjoy a recreational weed now and then. Some people drink, some must shop, some eat..."

why?

when you ARE called for a job interview, and you land the job, what will you do, when they direct you to a lab and hand you that little cup? is it worth it?

ask yourself why, in (presumed) middle age, you'd want to play jeff spicoli, in a world that demands your total attention and alertness at all times?

geeez....

also, my moniker is based not on any drug references, but "hashkafah", the hebrew word for "perspective"

what is it about this society that doesn't understand any one, but just simply presumes they do, LOL?

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4simpsons said...

"also, my moniker is based not on any drug references, but "hashkafah", the hebrew word for "perspective""

I've been wondering about your moniker! I figured it wasn't cannabis related but with my limited (Read: Non-existent) Hebrew I didn't know what it meant.

So now when I see "hashfanatic" I'll think persepective instead of "pass the bong."

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

A little testy today? Maybe hashish is what you need. Why the bitterness? Your "perspective" on so many things sounds like crap to me. You think as much of mine. Boo-freakin'-hoo. I've shown plenty that supports my position and you just ignore, proving Ron's point perfectly. Yet, at the same time, what you've presented to me, I've countered with more support. Seems to me that at least I've got a handle on the debate thing, even if I'm wrong in my perspective, which, you haven't come close to showing is the case.

I would also insist that I have never tried to portray myself as being more pious or sanctimonious than the next guy, but only that I have a clear understanding of the world, my fellow man, and my God as described in the Bible. I don't even own a pair of rose colored glasses and I don't have time for fantasy versions of the world at large.

I will continue, in the meantime, to label, accuse, judge or draw conclusions of those who post here based on their own written words. If that is a problem for you, feel free to take the coward's way out and "delink". Don't cry to me after setting yourself up as an anti-semite and racist. I know nothing of you but what you print here in your lazy e.e. cummings style, so I am judging you on the content of your comments, if not the character it suggests. Deal with it like a man, ya big cry baby.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"Tell me, Marshal, whether thinking people can have a conversation about race that covers the influence of any or all of the bottom seven of the above without having to include the first."

No.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

When I see blacks doing or saying stereotypical things, I can't dispregard all the racist stereotypes I grew up with. In the 50's racism was accepted. Not necessarily bad or good. Simply accepted. By all races.

We whites didn't see it the way the blacks did. We were free to draw whatever conclusions we wanted, and the blacks were free to grin and bear it.

I can honestly say I never met a black person I didn't like personally. I can also say I didn't like the back race as a whole. The way it played out for me was this:

If I didn't know a black person, I didn't make the effort to try to get to know him, and as long as I didn't know him personally, he was simply one of the race and I could include him along with the entire race with the attitude that they were all the same. Once I got to know individual blacks, I found them to be likable and not at all stereotypical.

Hurricane Katrina made a huge difference in my attitude towards blacks. Before I found out more white people were adversely affected by Katrina than blacks, I realized our black brothers and sisters had the same hopes, dreams, and fears as whites. They have the same goals, the same widely diverse ideologies. They love, laugh, cry, and die. Same as whites.

It was an eye-opening experience for me.

I don't look at blacks the same way as I did before now. Now, they are neither black or white to me. They are people, which is why I get so angry when I am accused of not liking Obama because he is black. I don't like him because he's a Marxist. Marxists can be any race or color.

I am still a work in progress, I admit. Recently, my job had me working in a predominately black neighborhood for several weeks. I had to personally interact with blacks, Hispanics, and whites of the same income class. I came to know the people of that neighborhood much better than I had ever dreamed, and they are the same, black, white, hispanic.

The similarities between them was startling. Close your eyes while talking to them, and except for the obvious accents, one cannot tell what color they are simply by the things they talk about.

Really, the only stereotypes that exist, exist only in one's mind.

At this time, the only true racists I know of are the so-called black leaders, like Jesse Jackson. Al Sharpton, Lewis Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright, among others. They are the ones that continue to exploit the so-called differences between the races. By their ever divisive rhetoric, they seek to widen the gap between races. they are the ones that keep the fires of racial hatred burning. They are the ones that create animosity between races and keep our relationships strained. America has emerged from that era. They have not.

The rest of us just want the problem to go away. We can live together in peace. We don't need help from those who wish to elevate one race above another, no matter what color.

The good news is, they are becoming increasingly irrelevant as people of all races begin to recognize the fact that we are all equal.

Mark said...

One more thing about working in that middle income predominately black neighborhood.

The first week or so, I approached each new working day with the attitude that dealing with black people would be different than working with white people. I expected them to be more suspicious of me and what I was doing. I expected them to treat me with some level of contempt.

They didn't. They were, to my pleasant surprise, wonderful, good, God fearing, or at least law abiding people. Just what I might expect in a wealthier, predominately white community.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"Simpleton. Willfully so, so there's no excuse."

Coming from a simpleton, the above has no power. But here's what's worse: YOU only THINK you're sophisticated. Those are the worst kinds of simpletons. In addition, you confuse one who makes things simple as being a simpleton. You confuse one who cuts through the crap to see the simple truth as a simpleton. Only a simpleton would do that.

"You've checked out of any reasonable talk."

Have always been and will always continue to be ready to engage. As far as YOU'RE concerned, I'm still waiting for some reasonable talk. You'd prefer to play silly word games, riddles and waste time with psuedo-sophisticated flowery talk that in the end is only senseless drivel and then pretend to condescend for having not been deciphered. You bore me. Try talking for a change.

"Which is pretty dishonorable for one who blogs."

See above.

"With prayers for your sense of integrity."

I question your understanding of the word.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"Apparently, you are a whole nation of coward unto yourself."

And why, pray tell, would you say something like that? Are you competing with yourself for stupidest statement of the world? From which of my many comments and posts have you divined that possibility?

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Now I'm convinced. You're an idiot. Racism is EXACTLY what he was talking about.

But what is he, and by extension you, talking about? That we aren't honest and courageous unless we go out of our way to form friendships with people of other races? Is THAT it? You don't find that a bit creepy? If I'm truly color blind regarding race, why would I do anything differently just because the other guy isn't white? Should I uproot my family and move into a black neighborhood just to demonstrate to jokers like you and the AG that I'm serious about being tolerant of other races? What crap! Sounds to me like you and the AG are feeling a bit guilty.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hashfanatic said...

is that race?

or is that resentment between the races?

think about it...

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Thanks for the quote. Now I know without a doubt that the AG is an idiot. Of course your agreement solidifies my opinion that you are, too.

People who have moved beyond questions of race need not have a conversation regarding race. This call by this buffoon to have such a conversation is in itself an admission that racism still exists. But where does it exist? Not within me. I look at people as people and I judge them, if I judge them at all, on their performance, their actions, and how that matches their own rhetoric. Such conversations keep racism alive, they don't do anything to reduce or eliminate it because by it's very nature, it draws attention to differences of race. So yes, even though you're too stupid to see it (you think you're as sophisticated as Holder, which proves your stupidity), Holder was indeed talking about racism and he freakin' can't help doing it with his call for "a conversation about race". What a simp.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

"The coward is the one who refuses to judge himself."

I'm sure you know this from first hand knowledge. Give it up. You've lost another one.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Give it up. You've lost another one.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Yeah, you've said that. Give it up. You've lost another one.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Sweatin' you? That's funny.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "to base your church on race (AME, and Black Liberation Theology spring to mind) is heresy ..."

Most churches in this country, in practice, are based on race: white.


Also, tell it to all the Iglesias Baptistas, Chinese Baptist churches and other self-defined churches.


Also: To whoever up there said, "I don't think any church should ..." That's a nonstarter. What you think any church not your own should do isn't really your coincern, is it? I mean, you don't see me jumpin' ugly on Marshall for bein' the way he is and being in the leadership (or formerly) of his church: I just wouldn't go there or encourage others to. Same with Neil and some of the others of y'all I don't see eye-to-eye with.

Erudite Redneck said...

(Forgot to click the e-mail follow-ups box ... )

Marshall Art said...

Hi ER,

"Most churches in this country, in practice, are based on race: white."

I don't think you can truly make this claim, because I don't think race ever factors into their teachings. That is, BLT MUST have race as part of their teachings in order to differentiate itself from standard forms of theology. Not so with "most" churches in this country.

As to Iglesias Baptistas, Chinese Baptist churches and the like, though I don't know anything about them. Are they really based on race or are they merely formed by the language they speak in their services?

Regarding "Also: To whoever up there said, "I don't think any church should ..." That's a nonstarter."

I would say that it would depend on the issue. I don't think any church should involve itself with child sacrifice. I can certainly make a Biblically based argument for that. Plus, it's not so much that one is trying to dictate to another church, but that one is seeking to persuaded them to rethink their thought processes.

Craig said...

ER,

Yes, most churches are predominantly white in this country, but very few of those actively exclude those of other races. However, to reiterate what Dr. Perkins is saying, (I'm paraphrasing with added emphasis) to base any and/or all churches on race is heresy. That includes everyone. If I could have thought of a white church that is explicitly based on race I would have included it in my examples. I guess the Mormons come to mind as a "church" that explicitly excluded people based on race.

Having said that, your issue on race based churches is not with me but with Dr. Perkins. But why would we pay any attention to the son of a sharecropper, who was tortured by the police for his involvement in the civil rights movement, and who has spent the last 40 years or so working for racial reconciliation and christian community development. We've got our resident redneck to enlighten us. Have you actually read the new testament? The whole no Jew or Greek, slave or free, one in Christ thing ring any bells. So feel free to be happy with the status quo, some of us aren't.

Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

Yeah, but I can make a biblically based argument for slavery, and for chauvinism, and for lots of things, which may be an aside but points up why saying something is "biblically based" is saying much without further explanation.

Erudite Redneck said...

Feodor heard me correctly.

Erudite Redneck said...

and sorry, make that "is not saying much ..."

Craig said...

Who would have thought that putting forth the argument that a church based on racial division would have brought forth such venom. Feo, feel free to try to justify dividing the kingdom of God based on race. ER, keep redneckin' as long as you can feel superior, I guess it's all good.

1 Corinthians 12:13

13For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Galatians 3:28

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:11

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Personally I'll try to shoot for Paul's ideal.

Feodor said...
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Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

Craig, what in the world are you talking about, where do you dsee venom in anything I said, and what is your problem in general? Holy crap.

Marshall Art said...

Without race or racism, there IS no "Black Liberation Theology". Therefor, BLT is based on race. Churches comprised of only white members are not "based" on whiteness, but simply are comprised of white people. I'm unaware of Christian denominations that might segregate in this day and age. If they exist, they are in error as much as BLT.

That some are not seen a reaching out to the satisfaction of others means nothing. Need a white man make his home in a black neighborhood to prove he's not a racist? What does he then do about Latinos, Middle Easterners, Orientals? In the same way, a church comprised of whites need only be open to the possibility that any of another race be welcomed to worship with them. There's no need to bend over backwards to prove themselves to anyone.

"Paul, who wants women to be silent, slaves to obey their masters."

The above out-of-context references are irrelevant to the discussion.

Mark said...

I've never been in or a member of a church that wouldn't allow people of other races participate. The first church I can remember had a pastor who was, if not racist, certainly not race sensitive. Still, I'm quite sure he would have gladly allowed black people to visit, and join our church.

Just because a church has all white members it doesn't mean the church is based on race. It simply means other races don't attend there. Nor is Reverend Wrights church based on race. But his theology certainly is.

Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

I think one of the things Christ has called us to do -- and maybe it's the main thing -- is to bend over backwards to get people not like ourselves into our folds.

Pick your type of self: white, rich, educated, 2.3 kids per family? I think the main ministry of such a congregation could very well be nonwhite, poor, uneducated, mixed families.

Erudite Redneck said...

You know, the problem with ministering to the poor, which we will have with us always, is that they keep coming back for more.

(Said facetiously, in that what we are supposed to do is keeping giving as long as there are needs.)

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

There are many reasons why a church like Hunter's has a leadership comprised as it is. People who truly follow the pleadings of MLK JR actually don't consider race in anything. If you know of any of his congregants who have proof of discrimination, that would be one thing. Merely pointing out a lack of color on a church council means nothing.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"I think one of the things Christ has called us to do -- and maybe it's the main thing -- is to bend over backwards to get people not like ourselves into our folds."

That could very well include putting forth your notions of right vs wrong, fleshing out your dogma, and doing much of what you have claimed isn't your business or concern as a Christian. Your comments suggest bending over backwards, which implies some effort, is not on your personal agenda at all.

In other words, your comment above seems to be 180 degrees the opposite of comments you've made in the past. You've said it is not your business to try to change anyone's beliefs or to point out when they're doing something you might consider contrary to Christian teaching. How would you then define bending over backwards?

I don't feel it's anyone's responsibility to recruit people of other races simply to prove one isn't racist. Should I, in the course of normal conversation, for example, find that a person of another race is looking for a place to worship, by all means, I would invite that person to try my church. What more should I be expected to do? Walk into Trinity UCC and implore them to visit my church out in the suburbs?

I see nothing wrong with people flocking to "their own kind" out of a sense of familiarity and comfort. It's quite natural. Doing so doesn't imply anything more in and of itself. But "my own kind" isn't necessarily based on race. My own kind are people who are simply nice, regular people and race has nothing to do with it.

When a new person is hired at work, I reach out to introduce myself and make the newby feel comfortable. I don't care what race or gender the newby is. At the same time, I'm not inviting him over for dinner right out of the gate, even if the guy's white with the same mix of ancestry as me or any other similarity. It's just too creepy.

Finally, for ER again, I don't understand where you're going with that bit about Pick your type of self:

Could you splain please?

Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

We must be totally talking past each other, MA.

Re, "That could very well include putting forth your notions of right vs wrong, fleshing out your dogma, and doing much of what you have claimed isn't your business or concern as a Christian. Your comments suggest bending over backwards, which implies some effort, is not on your personal agenda at all."

Huh? I said nothing about dogma, or right and wrong, because neither dogma nor right and wrong have anything to do with what I'm talking about, which is radical hospitality and going out of your way to bring others unlike yourself into fellowship, no matter what the differences are.

I'd flush dogma rather than flesh it. Egad.

As for what you don't get about the last part ...

If you are white and you are not actively seeking out nonwhite people in life, all aspects of it, not just the church, then you are failing to engage the different others around you.

If you are rich and you are not actively seeking out nonrich people in life, all aspects of it, not just the church, then you are failing to engage the different others around you.

If you are educated, and are not actively seeking out uneducated people in life, all aspects of it, not just the church, then you are failing to engage the different others around you.

If you have a traditional family, and are not actively seeking out people with untraditional families in life, all aspects of it, not just the church, then you are failing to engage the different others around you.

If there are different others around you, srsly, then I reckon yer off the hook.

Mark said...

I would like to respond to ER's comments, if I may.

ER, Believe me, I understand exactly what you are saying, and I concur. Truly I do.

However, (you knew there'd be a "but" didn't you?)when you say, "If you are white and you are not actively seeking out nonwhite people in life, all aspects of it, not just the church, then you are failing to engage the different others around you", you run the risk of being labeled a racist yourself, simply because you seek to "engage" nonwhite people solely because they are a different color.

It is possible to ignore the color of another person, and treat them equally. We don't need to make a point of embracing them simply because they are non white.

Why can't we embrace them simply as a fellow human being? Isn't that one important point of Christianity?

For the record, I know you don't mean to appear racist with your reasoning. I know you have the best intentions in mind. And it is indeed a sticky problem, isn't it?

Erudite Redneck said...

Hi Mark.

It's not nearly as sticky as you make it out to be.

No, to actively seek out friendship, fellowship and interaction with people not of one's own race is *not* racism. Not at all. What in the world do you think "racism" is?? Look up the word.

And I utterly disagree with this: "We don't need to make a point of embracing them simply because they are non white." YES. Yes, those of us who are white PRECISELY are called by Christ to, among another things, embrace people who are not white! Precisely that. As well as to embrace the not educated, or not ignorant; not wealthy, or not poor; not American, or not foreign -- whatever the "other" is to us, that is precisely who Christ calls us to seek out and embrace. No, it is NOT enough to merely "be ready" to befriend in case one happens across a "(fill-in-the-blank) person."

You know, I'm a white guy of redneck stock, middle class, married, educated. My usual social circle, unless I take active steps to broaden it, include people just like me; that's life, and is no "sin" or failure. But, as a journalist, I have to actively seek out people unlike myself to interview, report on, and think on their views and station and expectations of life -- otherwise, the newsI write and edit reflects nothing but me and people like me. So, I actively seek out others, those unlike me, to get 'em into the news!

What a greater call it is to do the same to broaden my social circles -- to get 'em into the church, and more importantly to be a vehicle for God's Grace!

Craig said...

ER,

Venom was probably too strong and I apologize.

Just to clarify, we are all made in the image of God, icons of God if you will, despite our (with all credit to DC Talk)"shade(s) of melanin". If any group of "believers" constructs a theology based on race or based on exclusion of those of a different race, they are clearly teaching a different gospel than that preached by Jesus, the Apostles, and Paul. I can't believe that this is the source of such consternation, but there it is. I can't imagine that anything else needs to be said on the subject.



ER,

To your question about the poor being with us, I'll defer to Dr. Perkins who deals with your question very succinctly.
"It has been difficult over the years for some to understand why Jesus would make a callous sounding statement like, ("the poor you will always have with you"). Isn't our job to eliminate poverty? Jesus was moved to compassion when He was personally confronted with a need. His task was not to heal every disease and feed every hungry person but to witness the presence of God..."

Dr. John M. Perkins
Beyond Charity: The Call To Christian Community Development

pp. 146-147


As far as the notion that one needs go out of their way to engage in those who are different. It seems as though the early church model would seem to suggest that living in Christian community with those who are different should be the norm, not a special effort.

MA,

Kudos for the question of the hour. "Need a white man make his home in a black neighborhood to prove he's not a racist?"

While I don't believe that it is necessary to prove one is not a racist. I have recently been challenged to consider moving to North Minneapolis, in order to make a commitment to redeveloping a a community that needs much help. If it was just me, I'd move in a heartbeat. However, I'm not sure the rest of my family feels the same way. I'd appreciate prayers for this, because it's a big decision. Thanks.

Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "living in Christian community with those who are different should be the norm, not a special effort."

Well, yeah. But it's not.

As for the poor being always with us being "callous" to say: Never thought of that as being callous. Eliminating pverty, or trying to, might be a cause of a government -- and I believe it should be. Contributing to such an effort is a Christian thing to do, ,in my opinion, a Christian way to use one's vote and influence on politics and policy. But the Christian's, and the church's, calls is to meet poverty where it is, when it is, with grace and giving.

Craig said...

Feo,

Just to be clear, you're fine with theologies that exclude people based on race or color. No offense, but if I'm counting on your for moral growth, I'm screwed.

For the record, a few theologies either based on racial separation or with a strong racial component.

The Dutch Church in S. Africa
LDS
Liberation Theology of any stripe
AME (as founded)

Finally, am I the only one who finds it bizarre that I'm being criticized by people for espousing a picture of the body of Christ that is not based on color. Please, show me one instance where the Jesus, Paul, or any of the other NT writers indicate that race is the criteria for being part of the body of Christ. Please, just one. That's all I ask, one.

So, Feo, you go right ahead and exclude whoever you like, based on whatever superficial criteria you deem sufficient. I'd appreciate it if you could exclude me while you're at it.

Craig said...

ER,


RE: yeah, but it's not.

Yeah, but some of us are trying, surely you'd not discourage us.

RE: Callous, his point is that Jesus had ample opportunity to eradicate poverty and disease while on earth and chose not to. That raises the question of what that means for us. One thing that seems obvious is that the poor will always be with us. But we don't stop trying to help who we can.


Do you believe that the current government efforts (LBJ to the present) are actually effectively eliminating poverty?

I would agree that the government has a role to play (safety net v. hammock), but I'm not sure that the current system doesn't contribute to perpetuating the problems.

Feodor said...
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Feodor said...
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Craig said...

So Feo,

Apparently your black nun knows more about being victimized by racism, than the black 4th grade educated, sharecropper, tortured for being involved in the civil rights movement, Christ following, community developer, who is shaping my current thinking. Because, it is exceedingly obvious that your black nun teacher is the last word on various racially based theologies, and therefore cannot be disputed and challenged.

Finally, thanks for restating my original premise "healthy theologies are reflections upon God's grace and are therefore not exclusive.". It then should follow that theologies that are exclusive are not "healthy" or "reflections upon God's grace". It has been my contention throughout this entire thread that ANY theology that excludes based on race is not a healthy reflection on God's grace. The fact that you have decided to impute something beyond that is beyond my control.


You need to understand that your interpretation of one person's teaching about BLT, does not truth make. Your contention that reflection on exclusion could lead to exclusion seems bizarre to me.

I think that there is much greater room for growth as I continue to spend time in the various communities, and develop more relationships with a number of different people of various races, religions, and ethnicites. I tend to think that basing my view of something based on one source becomes incredibly limiting. So, if it's ok with you, what I'll do is continue to spend my time working/meeting folks in N. and S.Minneapolis, E. St. Paul, Jackson MS, and St. Louis du Nord/Port de Paix. I'm fairly confident that growth can happen in those places.

To conclude, I hear just fine. When there's something worth hearing. In your case, a dollop of humility and a 75% reduction in pomposity would go a long way.

Craig said...

Feo,

It's really more effective if you are actually engaging with what is being said here.

No one is arguing that there was no significance in Christ being incarnated from the line of David. For him to have been otherwise (either then or now) would have been a departure from the entire narrative of what we refer to as the Old Testament. I am unaware of any Biblical teaching that would hold that there will be either gender or ethnicity in the future. (Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.)
So thank you for putting forth such a forceful argument against something not in dispute. Devastating, as usual.

Feodor said...
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Marshall Art said...

ER,

Why should ANYONE regardless of color or any other "difference" come to your church or your idea of Christianity when you profess nothing? Is the bending-over-backwards you do merely speaking but saying very little to people who are different? I don't see were you are bending over backwards at all.

So I'll say it again, that I feel I am directed, by both Christ AND Dr MLK Jr, to treat people as people only, and not based on differences racial or otherwise. Be advised, this does not mean that differences such as income levels do not require some attention, but the people themselves are still people and people only. Nothing special because of their color or place of origin. To reach out to a black person because they are black would seem insulting, as I would be inclined to feel they would rather not be dealt with on that basis in the first place. At least many of them seem to say so.

As to welfare, I will only state that it is not the gov't's job to care for the poor, it's yours and mine. Directly, as Jesus preached. Feel free to encourage the wealthy, but don't pretend it's in any way Christian to force others to do what is your job and mine. That would be a lie.

hashfanatic said...

feodor?

with all respect, you've reached that point, where you're not really saying anything anymore

please take a deep breath, and two steps back...it's not worth it

Marshall Art said...

Craig,

Good luck with whatever means you choose to do what you feel compelled to do. It is a big thing to expect one's family to make such a change just on one's word. Perhaps there's another way to accomplish the job without putting the family on the spot. I hope so.

Marshall Art said...

I would also being less inclined to act on the preaching of any one person without comparing it to Scripture. I believe there was a recent news story concerning the Pope and a disgraced priest who preached that the Holocaust was a lie. What would Feodor think if a member of that guy's parish?

I can't think of anything in Scripture that would compell me to go looking for connections with people with whom I wouldn't normally interact. Again, if anyone did that to me, I'd be creeped out. I come into contact with all sorts of people of every race and ethnicity. I simply don't need to go looking. Few people do. It's how I treat each of them that counts, and that includes white people as well. As soon as I go out of my way to "reach out" to a black person, I'm automatically NOT reaching out to others. To be totally fair, I'd then have to reach out to the Indian, the Arab, the Latino, the Comanche, the Korean, etc etc etc. Why, I'd have no time to blog!!! And that's not totally a joke as this blog has the potential to send my message of real harmony to the world (tell your friends).

There is nothing Scriptural to support the "black as victim" theology of BLT. We are to preach that all are in need of a Savior, and not speak of killing God if He is not on the side of the black victim, as BLT's founder, Cone, says.

hashfanatic said...

"...that I feel I am directed, by both Christ AND Dr MLK Jr, to treat people as people only..."

huh? marsh, you most likely would vehemently opposed MLK's policies and goals, political views and doctrines, at the time...

yet, you allow yourself to be DIRECTED by his words, as you would Christ, Himself??

hashfanatic said...

"I believe there was a recent news story concerning the Pope and a disgraced priest who preached that the Holocaust was a lie. What would Feodor think if a member of that guy's parish?..."

connection?

it was an internal catholic matter that had absolutely nothing to do with any holocaust, members of other faith traditions or belief systems should have had nothing to contribute, on what was an internal church matter


"I come into contact with all sorts of people of every race and ethnicity..."

yeah, but who's to say in what context, in comparison to another american?

when you live in an urban area, you live on top of one another, and see one another at their worst

if you're in a suburb, you're concerned about crime and property-value issues...

in a work environment, each side of the racial divide wonders how badly they're getting screwed by affirmative action policies, and the minorities resent thinking they have to do more work, for less recognition

on the weekends, including most church activities, americans want the freedom to choose their company, and have a break from social engineering for a change, that's not something that is hard to understand, even if you cannot relate, or disagree

Erudite Redneck said...

Craig, glad (not) to see that you've really gotten the hang of this blogging business. You're just as unnecessarily rude as everyone else. Bravo. As for your decision: Ditch your family. That is a biblically based suggestion.

(Garsh! This stuff are hard! Wish it was easy as MA says it all is!)

Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

Marshall, how dare you say I "profess nothing." Liar. Stop it.

Repeated from Feb. 15, the last time you "challenged" me:


Standing across the room, I can look at the recliner I am now at this moment sitting in, and I can declare "I believe that chair exists."

I believe that is what you are doing with Christ. You've read about Him. You're a church goer, even a leader. And you know, or believe, Christ exists. And your notion of faith is 1., that intellectual assent, plus, 2., all the other doctrines, and actions, and nonactions, that you believe make up what it means to be Christian.

I'm sitting in the chair.

I don't know how, and I don't much care how, the chair is holding me up. I'm just totally at rest in it.

Same with Christ.

I'm totally resting in Christ.

Totally serious.

---

If that is insufficient, so be it. But cut the "ER professes nothing" crap.

Marshall Art said...

"I'm totally resting in Christ."

What does that mean? How would that in any way draw anyone to Him? How does one live that out? To say you have no dogma, no doctrine to which you would direct someone to review, to show what "I'm totally resting in Christ" means, it really seems an empty statement. I'm not trying to hack you off. I'm trying to provoke some kind of real description of what you believe. You say you often speak before your congregation (something like a deacon, if I'm not mistaken). What do you say? Are you only reading from Scripture? If so, what if it's one of those parts that conflict with your personal beliefs?

I just don't get how it works. You "bend over backwards" to reach out to another race or person(s) different than you and you tell them what?..."I'm totally resting in Christ."? How does that compel them to do anything?

Craig said...

ER,

Thanks for your thoughtful answer to my questions for you, I appreciate your wisdom. Maybe, you'll give me an insightful answer like the one you gave MA.

As far as "unnecessary rudeness", when I cross the line, I apologize. I usually try to keep to necessary rudeness, but sometimes overstep. I'm still trying to live up to the examples set by others here.

RE: my decision. First, you misstate my dilemma(if untentionally, no problem. If intentionally, liar). My decision is not whether to abandon my family, and live elsewhere. Rather, it is how to determine if what I am feeling is actually the Lord calling us to make this move, or something else. My obvious hesitation is a direct result of not wanting to uproot my kids. All I can do is pray, listen, and get feedback from others. Thanks for yours, it was very helpful. If you actually have a serious comment, I'd be happy to hear it if not, then move on.



MA,

Thanks; it would be a big move, and like our last big move, would be preceded by much prayer, listening, and wise council. There are really two sides to the question. One, to become a part of a community and "do life" with those who are superficially different from me (one attraction is the chance to move into a community that is actively engaged in this sort of thing). Two, to make a small dent in the large number of foreclosed houses in the area. It would be tough on our kids, and I'm not sure I want to move them twice in 4 years. The one thing I've learned, is never say no. God has this way of getting us to do what he wants.

Craig said...

ER,

One more thought on "unnecessary rudeness". I'm much more likely to be "unnecessarily rude" when dealing with someone who is pompous, pretentious, more than "unnecessarily rude" themselves, and who hides behind a pseudonym and black blogger account. It would appear Feo, has decided to take his ball and go home.

Feodor said...
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Craig said...

Feo,

Not only pompous, but incoherent, and presumptuous as well. You've hit the trifecta, nice job.

Craig said...
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Feodor said...
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Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "How does that compel them to do anything?"

TRUST IN CHRIST -- it compels people to DO NOTHING except shut up.

Srsly.

Jesus. Jesus Christ. Jesus H. Christ, MA, as long as you see this as a quid pro quo, well, yer lost. Lost. Burning, according to yer interp. Lost into eternal Godlessness and nothingness according to mine. You cannot do a damned, or blessed, thing to earn shit from God. Tou cannot do a damned, or blessed, thing to be denied shit from God.

Got it? It ain't about you! Or, me! Jesus. Christ. Will you get over your damned self and your damned rules and your damned fears and your damned "knowledge" and your damned rules and your damned dogma and your damned SELF?

Jesus. Save. Us.

Erudite Redneck said...

Craig!

Hi, guy! Maybe you don't know anybody who will look you in the eye, or the blog, and tell you the truth. Here goes:

If God has called you, then shut he hell up and go. Or don't. But quit whining. And quit with the concern about your family.

Or, quit with the "the Bible is so clear about (fill in the blank)"! Admit that even where it's clear as a bell, you're gonna do what's expedient. Then deal with it.

No sympathy here.

I have no doubt that 1., I am a communicator, 2., God has called me to use every tool at my disposal to be an active Christian, 3., I choose, instead, the easy path, the one that does not potentially lose me my wife, my income, my life as I know it.

I should preach. But I don't. I should go to seminary for the credential. But it's too expensive and disruptive of my life. I should do other things. But I refuse, out of comfort, and out of fear, and out of habit.

It sucks. I wish I had the balls to do what God clearly asks of me. But I don't, and I slink through life.

BHut I'll be damned, so tp speak, if I'm gonna pretend that what I should do is not clear. I do have clarity. I hope you find it.

Craig said...

Feodor,

The fact that you have continually missed the point of my original comment does not fill me with hope that it would be possible to have a reasoned conversation with you no matter how many books you assigned or how many quotes with page numbers I threw out.

I'll try this one more time, your argument is not with me, maybe indirectly, I was quoting someone who should have a fair degree of credibility on this issue.

The fact that you have decided that your pet sources are the only ones that you will accept, eliminates the possibility of rational discourse. The fact that your default position is that anyone who might possibly dispute your holy grail could only have come by their arguments via Fox news. The fact that you feel that you know me well enough to assume that you know (despite my actually telling you) where I get my information, tells me all I need to know about your desire to have an honest conversation. As I have said I have come to my views on this issue from relationships, conversations, and personal experience. It is obvious that those have no value to you. The only way you will engage is if you set the rules, define the acceptable sources, and you get to be the judge. Why would any sane person take you up on that?

But for grins lets take a couple of cone quotes and compare them to what you have said earlier.

"Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants."

Please reconcile this with your earlier comment (conveniently deleted) that Christs incarnation as a person of Jewish ethnicity and race is critical? Or were you actually arguing that Jesus was black? Does this mean the the BLT Jesus doesn't enter the world of the poor and oppressed hangin' around browns, or the gettin. ahead man red man, or the mellow yellows? Sorry, Jesus is just for the blacks.

Or this:

"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."

This of course is an incredibly scriptural position.

Finally;

"In the New Testament, Jesus is not for all, but for the oppressed, the poor and unwanted of society, and against oppressors ... Either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not"

Is this really the God about whom our children sing, Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight.

I know you're going to whine about page numbers and Fox news and whatever, the problem is there is no context into which you can put, "If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ", that makes it not racist.

So, maybe you should read a little more Cone. I look forward to how you parse this to make it palatable for yourself. I honestly don't think it's worth much more of my time continuing this, I've seen how you operate, and having a reasonable honest conversation doesn't seem to be high on your agenda.

hashfanatic said...

i totally get what you're talking about, ER

after all, the most important part of the Lord's Prayer is, "thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven..", and those are the words He gave us directly, to pray

so, how can anyone look around in the natural, to be "compelled", or try to "compel" any other mortal soul, when it is His Will, that we should be praying to be done?

i get your point, i relate heavily to your frustration with fundie controllers, putting their extremist views over The One Above, and you've connected the dots to many questions that have come up here for me, lately

thank you

Craig said...

ER,

Thanks again for the constructive comments. If it was clear, it wouldn't be a problem. I am well aware of the concept of God calling and how it works. I am also aware of the concept of discernment. If, in fact, God is calling me to live in a certain place I'm gone. My process is to make sure where God is calling me to be. There are a number of factors that would bear on this none of which involve either comfort or convenience.

I have to admit, I find your combination of certainty and refusal to do what you believe God has so clearly called you to do. My previous experience is that you can either do what God wants of screw things up. It seems you have made your choice. I'd prefer to stay open for a while and figure out of this desire is me or God. If it's me then no biggie, I've been down that road before. If it's God, then it will be clear.

I have to admit it kind of saddens me to see someone who has so clearly decided not to follow Gods lead out of fear, comfort, and habit. For what it's worth, take the risk. It'll probably be worth it.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"You cannot do a damned, or blessed, thing to earn shit from God. Tou cannot do a damned, or blessed, thing to be denied shit from God."

Well, you can rebel, you can reject, you can say you don't believe and by doing so you have chosen to be denied. That Paulian bit about nothing seperating us from God requires that we believe at the very least. That means one does something--believe. That's doctrine. That's dogma.

Recently Geoffrey tested me with scenarios and asked how I'd respond to a couple of problems brought to me by congregants if I was a pastor. Based on how little you express about what you believe, how you come to believe it, what part of Scripture to you count as authoritative, I fail to see how you could respond to anyone who comes to you for spiritual advice. I've been accused of believing in a magical God, as well as other demeaning adjectives, but your limited description of what you believe suggests the most magical of all. You act as if all one needs is say "I believe" and that's it. But repentence is required. That's doing something. Adhering to God's Will as revealed in Scripture is required. That's doing something. Or perhaps you agree with Alan who seems to believe that one loses the ability to choose at some point and can't help themselves but be pious after claiming belief. We are mandated to be holy because God is holy. These things indicate some type of action on our part in order to be giving more than lip service to our claims of belief. Sure, works don't get it done, but faith without works doesn't either. To pretend you have no dogma or doctrine to which you adhere is not even really possible. The only thing I know for sure about what you believe is the mistaken belief that God no longer cares about sexuality.

So, once again, if you're going to reach out to those different than yourself, what is it that you do, particularly if you're saying we are somehow expected by Christ to do so? What do you tell these people that would compel them to do anything. Don't give me that crap about only God compelling them. He uses us to spread His Word. Isn't there any way in which you allow God to work through you to compel others to come to Him?

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

"thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven..",

No kidding. But the question I continue to have for ER is WHAT WILL? How would one describe to the seeker just what the hell that's supposed to mean?

This "fundie controller" crap is just a dodge. To hold to God's clearly revealed Will for us as described in Scripture is not in the least "extreme". To try to understand where the "less extreme" get off ignoring that to which they no longer wish to abide is not controlling at all. No one on the right is holding "their" views over God, but holding to His views as we see them. To seek an explanation as to the differences between our interpretations and those of the "less extreme" is every bit a form of evangelism as preaching from the pulpit.

Marshall Art said...

Craig,

Great comments! Thanks.

Craig said...

ER,

The more I thought about your comment, the more I realized that your "reasons" are really just excuses. There are a number of places where you can use your communications skills, teaching, preaching, mentoring, etc. None of these require seminary training. There are a number of church staff positions which would allow you the opportunity to communicate without going to seminary. There are a number of pastors who lead churches without s seminary degree. So, quit making excuses and put forth the effort to find someplace.

BTW, given your distrust(contempt seems too strong, distrust seems too weak), for things like doctrine, theology, and the like; seminary seems like a mistake anyway.

So, take your certainty, stop bitching, and go do something with it.

Craig said...

MA,

Thanks,

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erudite Redneck said...

Well, I apologize for the wee bit of bad language. (Uh oh, I just said "wee." Sigh...)

And, I reckon I was a little hard on Craig. But hey, the first rattle out of the box in this thread, Craig, ol' buddy, pounced on me without provocation:

To wit: "We've got our resident redneck to enlighten us. Have you actually read the new testament? The whole no Jew or Greek, slave or free, one in Christ thing ring any bells."

To wit again: "ER, keep redneckin' as long as you can feel superior, I guess it's all good."

And it went downhill from there. So, I was p.o.'d and I let Craig have it. Sorry for that, too.


MA, you and I may never agree on the fine point of when salvation occurs. If I thought it mattered, I'd go on, but it doesn't, so I'm out on that.

It did occur to me that when you ask what one should DO, you mean as a result of one's salvation, and I keep mishearing you as asking what one must do to keep or maintain one's salvation. In short, one can DO nothing to gain salvation, and one can DO nothing to keep or maintain salvation. Now, as a result of salvation, one SHOULD love God and others, and one SHOULD try to live Micah 6: 8 every day. Just about anything else either of us could come up with is culture, mores, habit and tradition talking -- but not the faith of our fathers and mothers, not in my view.

OK, now I'm out of that, too.

Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all. Here's hoping that whatever you do for Lent, it brings you blessings.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

See folks? Deleting comments is nowhere as good as letting loons speak and show themselves for the fools they are.

Feodor (aka "loon" and "fool"),

Your last rant perfectly supported our side of the argument regarding BLT. Thank you so much. A highlight or two:

Liberation Theology, Black Theology, and Feminist Theology.

One doesn't need a semester of study to see that each of these sets up one group as the oppressed and then spends way too much time separating themselves from those they consider the oppressors. NOT a Christian essential in any sense of the word, and NOT anything that resembles Christian thought, which teaches that there are NO differences between us. Such a holy doctrine covers things for oppressed and oppressor alike.

""It is to be expected that many white people will ask [wasn't this question like yours and MA at the beginning?]: 'How can I, a *white* man, become black? My skin is white and there is nothing I can do.""

No. It wasn't. If I don't care about skin color, why would I ask a stupid question like that?

"To be black means that your heart, your soul, your mind, and your body are where the dispossessed are."

Not at all where CHRIST wants our heart, soul, mind and body to be.

""For white people, God's reconciliation in Jesus Christ means that God has made black people a beautiful people, and if they are going to be in relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God's presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches."

Absolute and utter crap, unsupportable Biblically nor otherwise, without the missives of a lunatic race-baiter. You can't seriously expect anyone to believe you buy into any of this crap.

"What they fail to realize is that in America, God's revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white."

In America, as in all the world througout history, God's revelation is that which is found in Scripture.

"Reconciliation to God means that whtie people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto)."

Buffoonery. It means that ALL people are to deny themselves (sinfulness), take up the cross(atonement) and follow Christ (remdemption and salvation). Christ is not in any way a black ghetto, metaphorically or otherwise.

"Reconciliation makes us all black."

Worse than buffoonery.

"God has chosen black people!"

God has chosen all who desire to come unto Him. Color means nothing. As stated, everything you've presented in your last comment supports what we've said about Black Liberation Theology. It is race based. It divides people according to race. It puts Cone's perception of reality above the true teachings of Scripture in order to elevate himself over others. It is not Christian, but uses Christianity to legitimize his racist rantings.

Marshall Art said...

I had to take a break in the middle of my last comment for a dental appointment. Once I finished, I saw that there were two other comments posted.

First, Feodor.

"What a moralistically sounding cop out."

I either didn't make myself clear, or your serious spiritual mind is too much of a simpleton to divine my meaning.

If I reach out to one color, I'm making that color more special than others. I don't reach out to color at all. I reach out to people. The size of one's nuts is irrelevant as well. You have none while being nuts and I continue to work with your sad misunderstandings. So I've nuts enough for that.

"cherishing your whiteness"?

What a stupid and baseless charge. Your racism will be YOUR death. Give it up and know that God doesn't deal on such a pathetically human level.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"MA, you and I may never agree on the fine point of when salvation occurs. If I thought it mattered, I'd go on, but it doesn't, so I'm out on that."

What a chance you reject to reach out! I'm here begging to be enlightened as to what the hell you mean when you say so little, and you continue to bail as if you've generated even a momentary spark, much less shed any light.

However, there seems to be an indication you are close to revealing something. First of all, it seems you share Alan's notion that there is less free will in the equation that I believe there is. That is, that at some level, we are called and our response is not totally within our ability to resist. Do you believe this? I believe that we are called when our understanding is piqued and can see the difference between answering or ignoring, accepting or rebelling. But that never goes away. Temptation always exists to turn us away from God but as long as we choose Him, it cannot separate us, even if we somtimes backslide and succomb. If we give in totally to temptation, some believe we were never called to begin with. This makes no sense, it conflicts with the notion of God's justice and our need for a Savior if we have no choice one way or the other.

OK, that's one thing. Then there's Micah 6:8. What is good? How does one act justly according to you? Where do you get your ideas of justice and mercy and doing good? From the same Guy who said to obey God's commandments and then went on to show that they mean even more than His contemporaries thought? You've rejected some of those commands that help us to understand what it means to do good.

Craig said...

Feodor,

This may shock you, but your last comment makes no sense. Let me respond by thanking you again for restating and agreeing with my main premise from the get go. "making color irrelevant to man's essential nature."

One questions comes to mind, how does BLT deal with a society where blacks need to be liberated from other blacks?

The remainder of your rant was just more of your convoluted pretentious crap. You decry my "rules" when I established no rules. You allow your prejudices to determine your response, while trying to accuse me of the same thing. What you consider "honest conversation" is foreign to what most people would think of when they hear that phrase. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the only circumstances under which you will engage in any sort of "conversation" is if you are allowed to set the parameters, the allowable sources, and to mischaracterize at will whatever anyone says. The sad thing is that you really believe this, and believe that you are providing some sort of education.

I'll close with this, you sit in your theoretical word, and spout education. I'll spend my time in the communities dealing with real people of color, and problems that exist now.

MA, I'm glad you chose to deal with the rant, thanks.


ER, thanks, I know it's easy to get carried away. I've done it, so again, my apologies.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erudite Redneck said...

MA, as I said, I don't think it matters that much. I can't be any clearer. But, I simply don't believe that one can be saved and then not be saved. I'm very traditionally Baptist when it comes to that. It could be that the notion is so ingrained in my thinking that I find it difficult to explain.

As to this: "You've rejected some of those commands that help us to understand what it means to do good."

You'll have to name one or two, because I don't recall rejecting anything the Bible says that Jesus said.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

Feodor,

First thank you so much for your gracious demonstration of humility and desire for honest conversation, I am shamed that I am unable to measure up.

Your pride is showing, not to mention you're east coast superiority. I've spent the last 10 years of so employing the homeless, getting to know them and being a part of their lives. I've spent the last 2 1/2 years building low income housing in both urban and suburban areas of the twin cities. Most of my recent dealings have been with families in our local Somali/Ethiopian/Eritrean communities. As well as spending some time in rural Haiti (where 100% of the population wishes they could glimpse the US poverty line, and they are 100% black, being historically and currently oppressed by black leaders). So what's next you want to measure something else.

Just so you'll shut up about it I got the Cone quotes from a book called African American Religious Thought edited by Cornel West and Eddie S. Gluade Jr. Which actually is in my grasp so to speak. I predict that your next move will be to suggest that I am lying about the source of the quotes. Deal with it.

If you were interested in doing something beyond demonstrating your superiority I might be interested in playing along But alas not

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Craig:

Take heart, my friend! When I read Feodor's offerings, I can't help but recall the slogan of the United Negro College Fund: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

Best,
Joseph

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

ER,

"You'll have to name one or two, because I don't recall rejecting anything the Bible says that Jesus said."

Levitical laws regarding sexuality. You don't seem to put much importance in them, yet, Christ was clear in His regard for Scripture, which, as we both know, meant OT.

As for saved and then unsaved, my question would be along the lines of, are you saying that once someone is saved, they no longer have the free will to reject and rebel or are they somehow unable to resist being saved? Can one who is saved, be tempted away and never return in time to prevent judgment? If one says he is saved, and he means it, but then sometime later decides to steal rather than work for his living, is he truly saved, was he ever truly saved, or has he given up his salvation?

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

You make it so easy...

First comment response:

"Among other things, this means that the wall of hostility is broken down between blacks and whites, making color irrelevant to man's essential nature.""

What came before this conflicts with the underlying message of BLT. But this quote is not what reconciliation with God means. That would be that each of us has repented and turned to Him exclusively for our salvation. If any wall of hostility between any two groups breaks down, that's fine, but it is not a reference to race relations.

--------------------------------

Cone's quote does not respond to my question in the least. It is a point unrelated entirely. Mine was simply to ask how far one must go to prove he is not racist. The Cone quote has to do with his nutty ideas about God siding with blacks or whatever goofy shit he's talking about. "How can I, a white man, become black?" Isn't the same question at all.

--------------------------------

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

What does this have to do with the concept of "cherishing one's whiteness"? My comment refers to God not lowering Himself to such a pathetically human level as concern over skin color.

--------------------------------

"So, if the Bible doesn't say four hundred years of slavery happened, then slavery didn't happen. If the Bible doesn't say Jim Crown happened, it didn't happen.

Nice logic."


Worse than above, this quote has absolutely no relation or relevance to the statement for which it is supposedly an answer. And you dare to speak of logic! By the way, who's Jim Crown?

-------------------------------

"Even novocaine cant' blurr MAs stupidity. It's as sharp as ever.

It's follow Christ into the ghetto, stupid, not follow Christ because he's a ghetto. Unbelievable."


It didn't say that, Einstein. It compared Christ TO the ghetto. Don't pretend I'm stupid because I don't properly interpret stupidity. Don't forget, the whole quote in question was incredibly stupid altogether and a poor interpretation of Scripture.

-------------------------------

And then the kicker,

Feodor compares apples to oranges. Christ was only speaking of a sinner and his sins. He wasn't comparing one group to another. Try to actually find a real Christian teacher. Then you won't have your mushy brain filled with such crap.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hashfanatic said...

fepdor, stop it

you can't just ram your thinking down the thoughts of other people, this isn't union square

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

Feo,

I'm not sure what you think you have proven here, but I'm done. Nowhere in this thread have I have demonstrated superiority, nor dismissed discussion. Maybe you define discussion differently than I, but what you have engaged in is not discussion in any form I have ever seen. The fact that you continue to demonstrate that you would much rather engage with a caricature of me based on your preconceptions of who you assume me to be, would seem to forestall any actual discussion. What you seem to want is an opportunity to spout your "erudition" and mischaracterizations. Had you demonstrated one tiny indication that you have any desire or ability to engage on any sort of footing beyond demonstrating your superiority things might have gone differently. So, while I am sure you will continue for a while to take shots, I'm done. I've got better things to do than this. So hide behind your pseudonym and blank profile and keep spouting.

If as you say I've been b-slapped then you're obviously the b.

Seriously, I'm glad that you have managed to single-handedly eradicate all manner of social ills, you are very proud of yourself. Keep it up, soon you'll finish New Jersey as well. I'll be content to keep doing what I love, with people I enjoy. Continuing this "conversation" is not high on the list.

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

Don't waste yourself. You and I often clash, but you show some level of class for stepping in, even if you aren't doing it for my sake. I'm not the least bit shaken by Feodor's incomprehensible drooling. He exposes himself as does everyone who posts here, including myself. And now he exposes himself by making cracks about my mother. Such low class people have no power. When they're allowed to vomit their nonsense, it saves the rest of us from pointing them out.

Marshall Art said...

Craig brings up a good point. Feodor has no blog, no profile. He is a troll. He proves himself no better.

hashfanatic said...

"I don't have to respect intransigent refusal to pay attention to issues and experiences larger than the isolated, individualistic, protestantized heart, either..."

well, yeah, feodor, you do

you DO have to respect standards of basic, common decency, in the way you behave toward others...these blogs take the policy that they'll shitcan excessively abusive comments, as they materialize

you and i both know, that's a hell of a lot more lax, then the treatment these characters would get on virtually ANY, so-called "progressive" blog or message board

now, you're posting, literally DOZENS of comments you KNOW will have to be individually scrubbed, just to annoy, and with no real point to make...is that proper behavior on your part?

i frequently disagree with marshall, and others here, sometimes heatedly, sometimes even to the point of belligerence, LOL!

and, that happens, when those not of like mind, make that choice to at least TRY to engage, and make some sense of it all, rather than live in one's own echo chamber

but, feodor, what you are doing has got to STOP...you have to be able to recognize when you've gone past boiling point, and nothing you do, or provoke, is going to make a whit of difference...it also becomes unhealthy, and a terrible time-waster

so, take some time, think about it, no one is demanding apologies, just take a few days off, regroup, and rejoin some other discussion topic, where your perspective WILL foster thought...

think about it! i have no agenda here...

hashfanatic said...

"Don't waste yourself..."

no problem, marshall

my guess is, race is feodor's hot button issue...thing is, it's not going away any time soon, despite the prayers of many, that it will

it continues to inspire the deepest emotions, that's just the way the world is right now

my thing is, why waste a comment, when you could tell a personal story, or even throw a different idea out there?

sooner or later, you have to hope, you'll get it right

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Hash doesn't spend as much time being an ass as you do. Other debate opponents haven't either. From the first comment of yours I've ever seen you've gone out of your way to present yourself as one of superior knowledge and intelligence, with a writing style often over the top cryptic after which you condescend when your meaning isn't then divined by anyone who reads it. And now, poor baby, you're feeling put upon. Boo-hoo.

No one cares who anyone is who engages in a respectful and dignified manner, and there was respect and dignity enough before you arrived. For all your "smarts" you fail to divine the true tone of participants, when they're being playful or playfully snarky, when those who've been engaged for a while might get intense, yet still retain that respect and dignity for each other. Most of those who have left still hold welcome here despite past conflicts. You've yet to earn that and seem not to care.

You make charges that attack the knowledge of your betters, and those include most everyone else who visits, as if your wealth of study has bequeathed any real knowledge or common sense. I don't need a single semester of study to know crap when I see it in print, such as your lame defense for the lame theology of Black Liberation. You dare make accusations of shallowness, yet your name dropping and book references have not provided you with any real depth of either understanding or character.

Racism a hot button? You're stoking that fire yourself, pal, as does Cone, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton by seeing people in terms of color, by judging anything as a manifestation or proof of racism.

Like too many others, you make accusations of "cold-hearted Christian judgementalism". Another sorry whine when faced with the realities of Scriptural teaching. Homophobia? A common sob when faced with the truth of its sinfulness. Anti-intellectualism? Typical of those for whom their attempt to make complex the simple fails to impress or sway. Lazy thought? A defensive insult from those with lazy character.

And then there's apathy. Where in the world do you come up with apathy? Apathy does not describe one who blogs about what he believes and continues to do so in the face of lame counter arguments and weak accusations like yours. This blog would not exist if I was truly apathetic.

You end with more cryptic drivel. I hope your 40 days includes some real Biblical study so you'll see where my position really begins and ends.

Erudite Redneck said...

Craig, I ot behind on the comments.

Re, "There are a number of church staff positions which would allow you the opportunity to communicate without going to seminary."

Um, I'm on my church's communications committee and, as much as it horrifies our blog host here, I'm a new deacon. So, please remember -- and this should go for all of us -- we don't know what we don't know about one another.

Erudite Redneck said...

MA said: "Levitical laws regarding sexuality. You don't seem to put much importance in them, yet, Christ was clear in His regard for Scripture, which, as we both know, meant OT."

You are correct, Sir. I do not. I am not a Jew and I am not living in tribal Israel in antiquity. Leviticus simply does not apply to me. Or to you. Not in the way you want it to. That's not to say I "reject" it -- but I do reject its supposed relevance.

On the salvation thing, I'n out of time to deal with that at present. Google "eternal security" and see that Christianity is big enough for both ideas: that salvation can never be lost, forfeited or pissed away, and that it can. I side with the "it can't be lost" side and its verses. You are free to side with the other side and its verses. But I will always wonder: If you think you can piss away your salvation, then you're trusting in yourself, and not Christ, for your salvation. Aren't you?

Craig said...

ER,

I think you misunderstood my comment. I was not making assumptions as to your involvement, or lack thereof. Or even being critical. I was aware of you being a deacon (not sure what that entails in your particular tradition. In mine it's not a preaching/teaching position) I was just pointing out that there are places to serve in the church world where you could use the abilities you list in teaching or even preaching positions. So it would seem that at least some of your objections could be overcome.

Erudite Redneck said...

OK.