Well, it happened again. I got the unsubscribers after my last post about race and Christianity. I told ya I would! People (especially Christians) don’t like discussing issues of race very much, do they? Why do you think that is the case?
Do you even think it is true?
If not, it’s OK. Please share your view below.
I welcome the feedback. I can learn from it and maybe others will too. I want GodsyGirl to be a Christian lifestyle blog that makes a difference.
At any rate, race still is such a divider among us Christians and it’s really beginning to bug me. It’s even worse since Donald Trump became president. I think had I posted my blog opinion about race a few years ago, I wouldn’t have gotten the response I received.
The country’s tolerance level has changed in my opinion. To be clear, I don’t think I was wrong for posting about race. Anyone offended by my first post or second post on the subject is not the subscriber I want anyway. So, bye (with love).
Dealing with Race as a Christian
(…and dealing with racist Christians)
Race intolerance is really a thing.
In fact, not long ago, a friend (of another race) and I had a very candid conversation about race and politics. We weren’t arguing or anything, just discussing things from our opposing perspectives.
It was such a good dialogue!
Although we could not agree on everything, we at least, understood and discovered fresh ways of viewing life.
Again, it was such a good discussion!
We discussed many of our experiences as adults. We also talked about our children’s very different perspectives of country, life, and law enforcement.
Moms and Black Sons
For example, I have a 12-year-old son. He’s a handsome booger with an open heart.
Well, when he was small, cute, and cuddly, he garnered tons of attention just for being …well, cute.
In the supermarket, people would come to my cart, smile at him, and talk to him for what seemed like an eternity (after all I had shopping to do!)
But, his chubby little cheeks, cocoa skin, and pretty little piercing eyes were simply irresistible (they still are to me).
During this time in his life, he wasn’t “big” on strangers, but he LOVED (i mean LOVED) police officers. Oh boy! Did he ever!!!!
When he would see one – from the comfort of his little car seat- he would just freak out! He’d begin waving frantically and yelling “LOOK, MOMMY…POLICEMAN!”
The same would happen while driving. If they happened to notice my little fella in the backseat waving, they’d usually smile, nod, and wave back. If they did, it would make his day.
It’s different now. He’s a Black young man.
Now, that he’s almost as tall as I am and his face is beginning to morph into that of a young black man, I see a difference in how people respond to him. For one thing, policemen no longer smile at him on a regular basis.
That could be for a lot of reasons, I guess.
Still, it’s rare for a police officer to look at him with anything other than “weirdness” …if they notice him at all. Frankly, some seem to sort of glare at him. In a store, he’s noticed being “followed” by security.
I see it. I’m sure he does too. It’s part of his new reality as an emerging Black man. It’s part of mine too. But, I’m used to it.
This is the sort of thing my friend and I discussed during our lunch.
It felt good to discuss this new “reality” with my non-Black friend. It felt good to have her understand my perspective and care about it. It also felt good for her to share hers and declare she IS NOT A RACIST because of where she lands on the political landscape. I agree. She is not.
My son is not a thief simply because he looks a certain way.
I am not a statistic because I have more melanin in my skin than others.
In fact, I’m likely more educated and exposed than most racists who judge me.
It happened in CHURCH!
Not long ago, my husband preached at an all-white mega-church in an affluent suburb of our city.
Anyway, my son and I opted (as we usually do) to drive to the church on our own. Being a preacher means my husband usually arrives super early and we weren’t “feeling” like sitting and waiting.
So, we began to walk toward the door in the crowded parking lot.
Other families were also heading in. I was smiling, grinning, and super excited to meet new people!
Oddly, none made eye contact with us at all…they just stared at us as though the two of us were a whole…like we were a blob of humanity. It was strange. It’s like they saw us, but didn’t “see” us.
Then, we entered the sanctuary. It was beautiful. It was opulent. We marveled as we saw them talking to one another.
As we sat, we smiled at folks; no one smiled back. Few (OK, only one person) returned our hello in the coffee line.
My son said something like “this is a mean church.”
I nodded, but I thought to myself “No, these are racist Christians.”
When my husband began preaching, he acknowledged his family and asked us to stand. No doubt people knew we were his family… it’s wasn’t much chocolate in the land.
Either way, we stood, waved, and smiled.
What happened??? Who are you, people?
Here’s the kicker. At the end of the service, the same people (SAME!) who didn’t even smile back at us descended on us like a swarm of bees. They were beaming with smiles, extending hands, hugs, and lots of questions.
My kid noticed it immediately and said “Oh now, they talk to us.” I nodded in the affirmative and tried to keep my fake “pastor’s wife” smile intact.
Isn’t that sad? We received so much love and acceptance only after they realized with were the preacher’s family. What do you make of that? Are they racist Christians? Did they assume I was just some stereotypical single mom they didn’t want in their church? Who knows?
In the end, see people as people and know we have different experiences in this world based on race (and other factors).
All this to say, don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t be racist Christians.
Don’t assume all people have it as easy as you may have it in the world. There is another reality and it’s not manufactured by press or by manipulation. It’s real.
We must talk to one another to understand one another better, don’t you think? Only then can we be empathetic to one another’s experiences, views, and plight.
So many folks would likely never have imagined I could have experienced that coldness at a church. That’s why we have to talk. We have to get to know one another.
When we talk about issues of race, I think we will be less likely to become racist Christians.
We have to also figure out a way to co-exist AS CHRISTIANS with people who may support Donald Trump but don’t ascribe to all his views or the views of people he aligns with.
To be clear: I do not support that politician. However, I have friends and family that do.
Here’s the thing: my friends who support Donald Trump do so based on “party” issues, like abortion. They do not support most of his, his foul lifestyle, his world view or his allegiances. They care THAT much about abortion and their passion to end it is enough for them to vote for him.
Who am I to judge that?
It’s true that we cannot discuss our opposing political views, but that should not end our friendship or relationship. What do you think? I’ve been COARSELY criticized for staying in relationships with people who support that politician.
I’m sorry. You cannot convince me someone I have been close to for over 20 years is a racist. I’m sorry. You can’t and you won’t. As Pastor Stanley says in the video below, it’s not worth it to “give up influence” matters so much more than an opinion.
He also says the only thing that really matters is the vote we cast. Who cares about arguing and such? Why “burn a bridge” with someone you care about over politics? You really should listen to his sermon. It’s really going to give you some practical tips for navigating racism and politics.
Back to understanding one another and not being racist Christians.
I hope my first post on “Understanding the Strong Black Woman Thing” gave you a fresh perspective.
Secondly, I hope you found the second installment interesting as well. It was “The Strong Black Woman” post. Both posts were worth each of the unsubscribers. I felt heard and understood by your comments. Thank you.
Now, back to inspiring, sharing cool stuff, and encouraging you to live your best Christian life as a woman of God! Yay-yuh!
Gotta Love Andy Stanley!
He’s talking about Christian racism and the election year.