Saturday, July 20, 2013

Exposing the Demon

Perhaps I'm unusual, as many have said, or just plain odd, or slightly out of kilter, or full of myself and taken with my own nonsense.

But I find myself profoundly disturbed by the old demon of racism. It still floats around in my life, in spite of my conversion many years ago while at Calvin College, when this little white-bread boy suddenly had the Spirit of God break into my disheveled world to reveal the heart of darkness plaguing me - a heart inherited from family and culture and a religion that did nothing about it. Blacks in America didn't exist for me, except as stranger and threat, and in the church, existed only as "natives" in missionary churches across the seas.

Racism is as America as apple pie and motherhood - it shapes our gut reactions in ways we can hardly discern.

A less-than-perceptive-soul suggested that I was feeling white guilt. No, just honesty about the way I was reared, and the journey away from it.

I thank God for two of my professors who opened windows of understanding for me, and throughout the years, so many good people who have opened up the deeps of faith for me.

Maybe I'm nuts ... could be ... but my heart breaks for this nation, and right now, given the sensible and faithful who strive for a better world, and the horrible reactions of the far-right, i don't know the outcome.

While I might hope and pray for something better, history doesn't offer a great deal of hope for nations drunk on the wine of Empire - Revelation 18 says it well. Yet there are miracles, and things happen. Britain ended the slave trade and American ended slavery and women got the vote. But it's the soul that counts, and in some places of this nation, the values of the Old South remain intact, firmly rooted in culture and religion. The Southern Strategy of the GOP is all about distraction and obstruction. If they can't their way, they'll at least see to it that no one else can get anything either.

The demon of racism is alive and well in our culture ... and why wouldn't it be? It's been our traveling companion since the first white folk step ashore and claimed this land as their own. Denial only gives it strength and adds to the delusion.

Repentance and prayer weaken it ... honest reflection and historical knowledge expose it.

We can confront the monster; it'll never fully go away, but we can seriously weaken it, with resolve and a personal promise to confront it within our own lives.

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