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Racism is described as a combination of prejudice and power. Sometimes racial prejudice is made acceptable and supported by key institutions in our society. Racism is when racial prejudice gets turned into action that harms the weaker group. So racism is seen as a way of acting towards other groups of people.Explain what Christian teachings might be used in a discussion about racism.Each different section of the Christian society has a different view about racism. The Church of England believes that it should not take place, and that throughout his ministry, Jesus met on equal terms with people of races other than his own, for example, in his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, (John 4:8). Even though Jesus told them to, his disciples found it hard to obey his command given to them. They did not seem to understand why. Paul wrote:”In this new life one’s nationality or race or education orsocial position is unimportant; such thing means nothing.Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he isequally available to all.” (Colossians 3:11)The Methodist church believes that all are equal before God:”whatever our skin colour or back ground we are one in ourcommon humanity and one in Christ.”They also believe that racism leads to resentment and threatens violence, and is therefore contrary to the interests of the community as a whole.Although all of the different denominations have different viewpoints, they all believe in the bible. As the bible says:”We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men oreven merely men or women, but we are all the same – weare Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)I think the main Christian point about racism is the story of the Good Samaritan. It is told to a child, by Jesus as a story to explain why he must love his “neighbour” as much as himself. It was told like this:”A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho wasattacked by bandits. They stripped them of his clothesand money and beat him up and left him lying half deadbesides the road.” (Luke 10:30)A Jewish priest walked along and saw him, crossed the road, and passed him by. And so did a Jewish Levite. But even though Jews despised Samaritans, and Samaritans despised Jews, a Samaritan still stopped to help:”Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds withmedicine and bandaged them.” (Luke 10:34)The Samaritan then took him to an inn and took care of him. So even if you don’t like a persons beliefs, it does not mean you can’t help them. Christians often use this story to help explain the teachings of racism and respect.God’s people had a responsibility to treat people of other races in the right way:”Do not take advantage of foreigners in land; do not wrongthem. They must be treated like any other citizen; love them asyourself, for remember that they too were foreigners in the landof Egypt. I am your God.” (Leviticus 20:32-33)Explain how Christians may respond to racismThere are certain ways to respond to racism, but I think there is only one way, non violent. Martin Luther King is a man who changed the history of racism. He was aware from an early age that black people were not treated as equal citizens in America. 4 million black Africans were torn from their homes, and shipped to America to work as slaves. Just because they were black, they were only paid half of what a white person was. They were even segregated in public places. There was a secret society, which wanted slavery to be reintroduced and violence used against them. These people were members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Martin Luther King was a Christian; he too believed the only way was the non-violent way, and peaceful forms of protest. Not all black people agreed with this, the black power movement lead by Malcolm X believed that the only way equality would be achieved is by violence.Martin Luther King organised a bus boycott, to stop people being segregated on the buses. The black people were told to sit at the back, and the white people to sit at the front, but if a white person wanted to sit in a seat where a black person was the black person had to move for them. He organised this bus boycott, where black people refused to use buses, and those white people who thought it right. After this Martin Luther King was the leader of the civil rights movement, and in 1956 the government passed a law to make it illegal to segregate people on buses. He campaigned endlessly and organised various forms of peaceful protests, such as, freedom marches, boycotts, protests, and banners and leaflets. But often the police reacted with violence. A man called James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King in 1968, he was only 39.Churches in England today use quotes, examples from the Bible, sermons and setting an example to help combat racism. Christians themselves, should not be racist, as the Bible tells them not to. This next quotation is from “Education and racism: an action manual”:”As whites we frequently find it difficult to recognise whenwe are behaving in racist ways.”This is written in a manual, and is true. If a person cannot realise that they are being racist, the problem becomes harder to solve.”Violence is an appropriate response to racism.” Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. You must refer to Christianity in your answer.In some ways I believe this is true, but in the case of Martin Luther King, it is proved that violence is not the answer:”Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to thosewho hate you. Pray for happiness of those who curse you;implore God’s blessing on those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-28)In this part of the Bible, it tells people to respect others and not use violence.Although what Malcolm X was hoping to achieve was good, the way he went about it, I think was wrong, but in the Bible it says:”The Law of Moses says, if a man gouges out another’s eye,he must pay with his own eye. If a tooth gets knocked out,knock out the tooth of the one who did it. But I say: Don’tresist violence.” (Matthew 5:38-39)This sounds like the Bible is promoting violence in Christians, so you can see that in different situations, sometimes violence is needed, and in others it is not. These two men, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, both hoped to achieve equality for all, (mostly black people), but they had different ideas of how to achieve it. Malcolm X used violence to help him, whereas Martin Luther King was a pacifist and believed strictly in non-violence. Although Martin Luther King was well known, and respected in South America, he only became known in other countries when he was dead.In places the Bible contradicts its self, here are a couple of examples of which is saying using violence is all right, and a few where it is saying violence promotes evil:”Put your sword back in its place, Jesus said to him, for allwho draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)”Make sure that nobody pays back wrong with wrong, butalways try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”(1Thessalonians 5:15)These quotations is against violence, but the next one is not:”But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someonestrikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the same.” (Matthew 5:39)As you can tell there is more in the bible telling people not to be violent, but still it basically says to stand up for yourself if someone hurts you. Obviously it is better not to get involved, but do what you have to.Although Martin Luther King was well known, and respected in South America, he only became known in other countries when he was dead.

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