It was the Reformed Oliver Cromwell who invaded Ireland and slaughtered the Irish and the priests therein. So, imagine my dismay when I read a blog post from a Reformed website extolling St. Patrick–the patron saint of Ireland. The blog was from John Piper’s ministry.
Piper is a Reformed pastor. He is one of those Reformed people who would tell Pope Francis or any Catholic or Orthodox that they need to get saved because the Catholic or Orthodox believe a “false gospel”. It’s safe to say that Reformed pastors hate catholics. Of course, they say they love catholics, they just want them to get saved. It’s sort of like a racist saying they love blacks because they just want them to become white.
Of course, in the story painted on the website, they tried to paint the church in a bad light. They said the church did not want to send Patrick. Yes, they were so reluctant to send Patrick that they consecrated him a bishop so that he could ordain other priests.
I guess, that’s what galls me. St. Patrick was a 5th century Christian. He was a bishop–not a “pastor”. As a 5th century Christian, he would have believed that the sacrament of baptism was more than symbolic. He would have believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the mass. He would have believed in the sacrament of confession and the ministry of the priest to forgive sins. He would have believed in the communion of the saints. He would have been a Christian that Piper and others like him would have never allowed to preach a sermon from a pulpit. In fact, if Saint Patrick were to come before a Reformed pastor, the Reformed pastor would tell Patrick to abandon the false gospel of works and to become a real (Reformed) Christian. That’s what they would do to Pope Francis or any other Catholic or Orthodox bishop.
Last night, thinking about the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, I was thinking of writing this post. I was wondering how the officials in Alabama in 1965 could think it was acceptable to treat their citizens in that manner. This morning, I woke up to a video of some frat boys from the University of Oklahoma chanting how there would “never be a ni**er SAE” and that they would rather “hang him from a tree.” The first thing I noticed was that the people were singing along and it was as if they had sung this before–that it wasn’t something just made up on the spot. There was also the repugnant clear reference to lynching. You might dismiss this a just a bunch of drunk frat boys, but they learned it growing up somewhere.
Ok, back to the title, “White people are racist”. Having been raised white, I see nothing controversial in that. We have had 44 presidents, and only one of them is black. The black one has taken more abuse and lies about his character than any other president I can remember.
As a whole, white people are racist. Do I think they are the only race in the US that is racist? Yes.
Some people equate prejudice and discrimination with racism. They are similar things, generally, but they are a little different. You can have prejudice and discrimination without racism, but you can’t have racism without prejudice and discrimination. I don’t believe that black people are any less prejudiced about white people than white people are about black people. Back in the 70s, Norman Lear made it clear when he had Archie Bunker and George Jefferson. Did George Jefferson like white people? Not really. There were ones he could tolerate once he got to know them. And, that is how it is with much of us.
For some reason–probably fear–humans like homogeneity. We are clannish and cliquish. Whites feel safer and more comfortable around whites. Blacks feel safer and more comfortable around blacks. The same could be said for Asians. Christians feel safer around other Christians. Jews around Jews. Muslims around Muslims. Buddhists around Buddhists. But, not only that, but even within sects within the same religion. Look at Sunnis vs Shiites or Protestants vs Catholics or Orthodox vs Reformed.
I grew up in Michigan. There were and still are plenty of prejudiced people. My grandfather used to use the N-word all the time. When we had to go into Detroit, my mother would freak out if there were black people around, and she would make us triple check the locks on the doors to the car. I don’t remember ever experiencing any black on white prejudice, but I have seen other prejudice. During my post 9th grade summer, I worked as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant for $2 an hour cash under the table and a free dinner. The owners used to say horrible things about black people and even talk about going places to try and provoke them with firecrackers and cherry bombs. And, these were people who were a minority themelves.
Am I prejudiced? Undoubtedly. If I see someone of a certain race walking down the street in jeans and a t-shirt, I might be less worried about the white guy or the Asian guy. I’d probably be most worried about the black guy. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just the way it is . But, if we go further, and if I see a black guy in a suit walking down the street and I see a white guy in dirty clothes walking down the street, I am more likely to be wary of the guy in dirty clothes. If I see a guy who looks like a businessman or a man who looks like a gang banger, who do you think I will be more wary of?
Back to racism… and not prejudice…
What makes white people racist is the institutional power that whites have–at least in this country. We’ve had 44 presidents, and 43 have been white. Look at the US senate and see how many are white. Look at who are the CEOs. Look at who is locked up in prison disproportionately. Look at certain laws–like cocaine laws. There are higher sentences for crack cocaine than powdered cocaine. When they made the laws, who was using the crack and who was using the powdered? If you said blacks and whites respectively…ding, ding, ding, you’re the winner! Possession of one gram of crack is going to get you more mandatory jail time than one gram of powdered cocaine. They are the same drug.
In my state, a state lawmaker was recently trying to get a ban of hoodies. Now, who do you think he was targeting?
“Certain ones of those [Gnostic’s] who hold different opinions misuse these passages.They essentially destroy free will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.” – Origen (Adamantius) 185 – 253 AD, from Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 3, pg. 308
And he’s not happy being Mick Jagger. He’s not living a happy life. To me, that’s unacceptable. I’ve got to make him happy! [Laughs.] To me, I’ve failed if I can’t eventually get my mate to feel good about himself. Even though he’s very autocratic and he can be a real asshole. But who can’t be an asshole at times?
The siege mentality kind of worries me about Mick. Nobody can get in there, even me, who’s known him longer than anybody. What bothers me sometimes about him is not being able to get through to him. He’s got his own vision about himself, which is not actually who he is. So he has to play a game; he has to act. He’s not about to give you anything. He’s not about to give anything away. He’ll be flip.
And I don’t mind him reading this shit, because this is part of, as far as I’m concerned, my attempt to help him along. It’s a very sad thing to me to have a friend that . . . especially when he’s in such a privileged position and should be able to live one of the best lives ever. Everybody, as I say, would give limbs to be Mick Jagger, to be able to live like that. And not to be happy? What’s so hard about being Mick Jagger? What’s so tough? It’s like Bob Dylan’s phrase once: “What’s so hard about being one of the Beatles?” Although, you could say that about Bob, too, you know. Now I’m really gonna get shit, man! [Laughs.] I mean, this exaggerated sense of who you are and what you should do and worrying about it so much. Why don’t you just get on with it and stop trying to figure all the angles? That to me is a waste of time. — Keith Richards in 1988
Recently, I went on a 55 mile bike ride and had lots of time to think. Passing through these small towns, I could see signs for First Baptist Church, First Christian Church, First Methodist Church, etc. As I saw these signs, I thought of the saying from Jesus,
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
So, I was thinking it certainly would be refreshing if one day a church named itself Last Baptist Church, or Last Methodist Church.
I do know that in the liturgy of my church we sometimes all confess that we are the chief of sinners (the last), but I know for me, sometimes I don’t believe it. Sometimes I think of worse people–Hitler, Assad, the ex-wife. I know I shouldn’t do that, but the fact is that I do it.
The chief of the Cherokee Nation has chimed in with his denunciation of U.S. Senator Scott Brown and his comments about Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry. I live in Oklahoma (where Ms. Warren was born) and I can tell you that Ms. Warren looks like a lot of people I know in Oklahoma who are of Native American ancestry. I know of a Cherokee woman at work who looks like Ms. Warren and I know of a Cherokee woman at my parish who also could qualify as Ms. Warren’s cousin–at least in the looks department. There are lots of folks floating around in Oklahoma of Native American descent that don’t look like Hollywood “Redskins”. Since Ms. Warren is from Oklahoma, I don’t doubt that she does have some grandmother or grandfather in her lineage who was Native American. The actor Tommy Lee Jones claims to be part Cherokee, and I definitely can see more of it in him than in Ms. Warren, but I think many people would don’t know what real Native Americans look like would say Mr. Jones is caucasian.
Accused President Obama’s health care law of funneling money away from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” In fact, Medicare’s chief actuary says the law “substantially improves” the system’s finances, and Ryan himself has embraced the same savings.
Accused Obama of doing “exactly nothing” about recommendations of a bipartisan deficit commission — which Ryan himself helped scuttle.
Claimed the American people were “cut out” of stimulus spending. Actually, more than a quarter of all stimulus dollars went for tax relief for workers.
Faulted Obama for failing to deliver a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin plant open. It closed less than a month before Obama took office.
Blamed Obama for the loss of a AAA credit rating for the U.S. Actually, Standard & Poor’s blamed the downgrade on the uncompromising stands of both Republicans and Democrats.