Saturday, December 16, 2006

Selective concern about racism

Are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson very selective in their concern about racism? A black pastor, Jesse Peterson thinks so:

"The Nov. 25 deadly police shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell, a black man, who was shot while trying to run over an officer outside a Queens New York strip club, has outraged Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders. But, prominent black minister and author Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is questioning the silence over a Halloween beating of three white women by a black mob of youths aged 12 to 17 in Long Beach, Calif. The white women were ambushed and struck in the face and chest with skateboards. Police said the youths shouted "I hate whites" during the attack. Ten youths have been charged with felony assault; eight have been charged with hate crime enhancements."

"Rev. Peterson said, 'Jesse Jackson and Al ('the Riot King') Sharpton claim to seek justice for all, yet they refuse to condemn this brutal racially motivated crime against three white women. These so-called 'black leaders' and the mainstream media have ignored this black-on-white crime, just as they ignore black-on-black crime."

The rest of the article can be seen at ChristianNewsWire.


Anonymous said...

The way you're only concerned about violence committed by Muslims and not violence committed by Christians?

You would be right at home is Belgrade.

Anonymous said...

Racism is no longer the most important issue for the black community.

Today something else is more threatening to the future of black babies born every day.

I started a blog to discuss my views, and see who agrees with me.

Kevin said...

Anonymous... Belgrade? The link you provided was cut off... what exactly are you referring to?

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are opportunists. Their actions over time have shown that it's race first and everything else second.

I often wonder if the civil rights leaders and methodologies from the 1960s are completely outmoded in today's society. Is institutional racism really a signficant problem or is socio-economic status and sub-cultural failure part of the problem as well?

Dennis said...

Anonymous (#1):

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27-28)

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. 20 To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

"As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help" (Sura 3:56)

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement" (Sura 5:33)

"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" (Sura 8:12)

"O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness" (Sura 9:123)

When Muslim radicals kill/ mutilate “unbelievers” they are simply following the teachings and example of their founder, Muhammad.

When people like the butchers of Belgrade rape, torture and murder their neighbors they are not following Jesus, Paul or any New Testament writer, but are behaving in direct opposition to Jesus and the New Testament. The butchers of Belgrade are no more Christians than Muhammad!

Anonymous said...

So if a Christian does something bad suddenly they're not a Christian. But if a Muslim does something bad it just proves how bad Islam is. Fanatics like you are so scary.

anonymous david said...

Interesting how when conservatives discuss their disdain for homosexuals it's the Old Testament that counts (and they ignore that the New Testament is silent on the issue), but when violence and religion come up, the violence of the Old Testament is ignored and it's the New Testament that counts.

robert said...

Anonymous -

At least have the courtesy to make up a name we can call you by. It’s very difficult to know if you’re the same person posting or if you’re someone else.

I think what Dr. Ingolfsland is pointing out is that there are significant differences in how the Christian bible treats and defines “justifiable violence” versus how Islam does it. If you look at how Muhammad expanded Islam, you can’t exactly say that Islam was founded in peace. If you look at how Jesus expanded Christianity, it’s pretty hard to claim that his teachings advocate conversion by sword (regardless of later Christian actions).

Now, I think we’d all welcome a lively discussion in defense of Islam’s teachings on violence, but coming in here and suggesting someone is a “fanatic” or tossing names around won’t get you anywhere. It’s a poor technique of debate and you might as well concede your argument if you’re going to do that.

In regards to the actual topic of the article, I don’t think that this particular argument against Sharpton and Jackson hold much weight. Jackson and Sharpton are civil rights activists, but let’s be honest here; they’re black civil rights activists (not as in the color of their skin, but as in activists for blacks). The area of their primary concern is to ensure the equality and fair treatment for blacks. Why would we expect them to cry out against black on white hate crimes or even all white on black? It’s probably too numerous to do that. They have to specifically target the most prominent cases to advance their cause. While they may indeed be concerned by black on white crimes, this is not their area of expertise nor does it advance their cause. Like any activist, they’ve got limited time and limited resources. They have to pick and choose their battles.

That being said, I don’t think much of these two activists simply because of the cases they have chosen to trumpet. They seem like gold digging opportunists who use race as a means to line their own pockets or get more air time. I see them as using blacks to achieve their own private goals. If their work helps blacks, I only see it as coincidental. Additionally, they’ve damaged their credibility with some of the people they’ve chosen to represent.

robert said...

David -

Although I'm far from a bible Scholar, I can assure you that the New Testament is NOT silent on the matter of homosexuality.

Right out of the gate, in 1 Corinthians 6:9 (NIV) it states:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

However, in regards to the Old Testament and New Testament, if you’re actually to understand how the Old Testament applies, you’d best be prepared to take a class on it (or at least do some serious reading). Much of the Old Testament talks about a specific period of time and makes directives to those people in those specific instances. Without supportive reading, it isn’t always obvious what is considered a global directive to people of all time versus directives to the Jews of that time.

For example, the Old Testament has directives to people back then regarding things that might seem silly today; like the prohibition on pork or on certain garments. Understood historically these laws were either more about safety (food borne illness in swine) or heretical actions that were involved in an issue like the garments (production or typical usage of the clothes).

However, when Jesus came and fulfilled the Old Testament, he created a new and everlasting covenant with all of us on Earth. This is why generally you’ll see most Christians referring to the New Testament. It isn’t because the Old Testament is something to be embarrassed about or is “violent”. It’s because that through the act of being incarnated and dying for our sins, Jesus essentially completed and closed (but did not invalidate) the Old Testament. Its application to us now is limited.

Hopefully I’ve done an adequate job of explaining, but someone like Dr. Ingolfsland could probably do a better job. I just wanted to throw my $1.50 in the kettle.

Anonymous said...

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

Christians opposed to political and social equality for homosexuals nearly
always appeal to the moral injunctions of the Bible, claiming that Scripture
is very clear on the matter and citing verses that support their opinions.

[First must believe that Scriptures are not the generations-removed
recollections written by the devout followers without allowing for
dissenting positions. The Gospels were written anywhere from 30 to 120 years
after the death of Jesus and none were actually written by first hand, eye
witness followers.]

Nine citations are customarily invoked as relating to homosexuality. Four
(Deuteronomy 23:17, I Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46 and II Kings 23:7) simply
forbid prostitution by men and women.

Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what
Biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans homosexual
ACTS [not BEING homosexual]. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting
two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two
different kinds of yarn. [How many have violated that law with cotton/wool or
cotton/polyester blends?] Tattoos, adultery and sexual intercourse during a
woman's menstrual period are similarly outlawed.

There is NO mention of homosexuality in the four Gospels of the New
Testament. The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject.
[His teachings are concerned, however, with acceptance, inclusion, loving and
being non-judgemental. He did not condemn the woman accused of adultery and,
if we live by his example, we should condemn homosexuals for being the way
that they are.]

Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:1, I
Corinthians 6:9-11 and Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was concerned with
homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented a "secular"
sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish-Christian "spiritual" idealism.
He was against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heterosexuals. To
say that homosexuality is bad because homosexuals are tempted to do morally
doubtful things is to say that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals
are likewise tempted. For St. Paul, anyone who put his or her interest ahead
of God's is condemned, a verdict that falls on everyone.

And lest I forget Sodom and Gomorrah, recall that the story is NOT about
sexual perversion and homosexual practice. It is about inhospitality,
according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the poor, according to
Ezekiel 16:49-50. [How many of us are guilty of these same sins? Ironically,
by being inhospitable to our homosexual brothers and sisters, we are
committing the real sins of Sodom - we are the Sodomites. Sodomy is not, in
fact, a sexual sin, but a sin of greed and unloving.] To suggest that Sodom
and Gomorrah is about homosexual sex is an analysis of about as much worth as
suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on fishing.

Part of the problem is a question of interpretation. Fundamentalists and
literalists are terrified that Scripture, when "wrongly interpreted" may
separate them from their values. That fear stems from their own recognition
that their "values" are not derived from Scripture, as they claim, but that
are interpreting Scripture to support the values.

For Christians, the principle by which Scripture is read is nothing less than
an appreciation of the work and will of God revealed in that of Jesus. To
recover a liberating and inclusive Christ is to be freed from the semantic
bondage that makes us curators of a dead culture rather than creations of a
new creation.

Source: Homophobic? Re-Read Your Bible by Peter J. Gomes, New York Times,
8/17/93. Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister and a professor of
Christian morals at Harvard.

robert said...

Is it too much to ask to just put your name in instead of being "anonymous"?

Anonymous said...

Is it too much to ask you not to lie about what's in the Bible to justify your own prejudices?

Dennis said...

Anonymous: Pick a name...any name. Make one up. On another post "anonymous" agreed with everything I said about homosexuality. Did you change your mind or was that someone else? Of course we know it was someone else in that case--but its not always so easy to tell.

Your attack on Robert was entirely unjustified.

Regarding your arguments on homosexuality and the Bible--read my previous posts along with the arguments against me in my July 28, 2006 post: Homosexual sex: Why all the fuss? at