There’s this misconception among well-meaning Christians that racism is a sin like stealing is a sin. As long as I’m not actively robbing my neighbors, I’m all good. As long as I’m not literally murdering black and brown folks, I’m not racist. That’s not how racism works. 1/
Racism is more like idolatry. Christians get how easily one can fall into worship of something that isn’t God. It doesn’t have to look like a golden calf. It can be money, fame, tribalism, ideology, you name it. Preachers love telling us to keep vigilant against idolatry. 2/
Racism is a little like idolatry. We have to be vigilant against it because in truth, we all fall into casual racism. Talking about good and bad neighborhoods, harboring unspoken stereotypes, not speaking up against injustice, claiming to be colorblind. That’s all racism. 3/
And racism is a form of idolatry because it creates an alternate realty that says God is white, that whiteness is innocence, and that the world is fair. Racism worships a false, idealized version of the world and a God who doesn’t take sides. 4/
An even better metaphor: racism is demonic. Racism possesses us everything we do is corrupted by its reach. And unless we are working against racism in every moment, we slip back into its grasp. Racism is a demon of our own creation and we worship it without even thinking. 5/
That’s why there’s no such thing as “I’m not a racist.” You either are a racist or an anti-racist. There is no “I have black friends” or “I love minorities.” I don’t always love language of the demonic, but in racism’s case, it’s useful to describe just how powerful racism is. x
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