The Spiritual Side of Racism
July 2, 2020
Prejudice, although often irrational, is an act of our minds. We “pre-judge” people, places and things frequently, making decisions and acting without taking time to closely examine facts. That of course can lead to bad decisions and harm us or others. Sometimes prejudice works as a defense mechanism. We may judge an approaching dog, for example, by its body language to determine if we need to stay away from it. If we are predisposed to great fear or to great love of dogs, our judgment may be skewed to our detriment.
 
Racism goes farther and runs deeper than prejudice. Like other “isms” such as sexism and ageism, racism gives us the feeling that we “know about” individuals and groups of people without getting to know them. Racism stops us from seeing God in many of the people He created and loves. It can be subtle or blatant. Sometimes it operates in us almost unconsciously as a set of “facts” in how we see the world and the value (or lack thereof) of others.
 
An individual’s racism is rooted in one or more of the capital sins — pride, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, avarice and sloth. For example, if we are genuinely surprised to be called a racist, we might want to consider the capital sin of sloth. It takes energy to learn about other people and cultures. We may need to give ourselves a good shake and make an effort to stretch past what we’ve always heard or think we know about people of another race.
 
Every human being of every race is vulnerable to these capital sins and their manifestations, including racism. The good news is that we can resist these sins, and the even better news is that God is more than happy to give us graces to help those good efforts.
 
We hope this series helps all good people who have absorbed untruths about people of other races. We pray it will assist us in the never-ending, but always worthy, quest to see the world as God does. He, after all, knows the truth of it all.
 
God bless!
— Amanda Hudson, news editor
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