American Racism

For the next two Sundays we will be taking the annual Reconciliation Offering, an annual collection for the Disciples' anti-racism program. That we have to take this offering is indicative of the fact that racism still runs rampant in this country.

We hear regularly from pundits who wonder why Barack Obama hasn't run away with this election, considering how badly the Republicans are doing. Well, the answer seems pretty clear to me -- it's the color of his skin. Yes, for some it's experience, but all signs point to the fact that many Americans aren't "comfortable" with Barack Obama -- why? Sometimes we hear that he's an elitist or aloof -- but what does that mean?

If we don't believe that racism is a problem in America, news out of George Fox University in Newberg, OR should give us pause. George Fox is a growing, highly regarded evangelical university that is situated not far from Portland, OR. It is historically related to the Friends Church (Quaker). News is that this past Tuesday an effigy of Barack Obama was found hanging outside one of the school buildings, covered with grafitti complaining about a scholarship program. That such a thing might happen on an evangelical campus -- one that is Quaker in orientation -- should send a chill up one's spin.

Eugene Cho, writing in the God's Politics blog, points us to Paul's word of reconciliation in 2 Cor. 5.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21)

Whatever one's political persuasion, whether one supports Barack Obama or some other candidate, may we consider this call to be reconciled to God and to one another. As we pursue this reconciliation, let us consider that racism still marks our country long after the end of the civil rights movement's hey day.


Anonymous said…
Maybe someone read "Obama Supports Gay Depravity" on Google - who knows? Rick
I don't get the point? Because Obama supports gay rights a Christian college student is justified in hanging him in effigy? As they once asked? WWJD? Not that, I would hope!

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