Author Topic: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry  (Read 7379 times)

peter_speckhard

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2020, 09:34:23 PM »


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 09:36:08 PM by peter_speckhard »

peter_speckhard

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2020, 09:53:11 PM »

What do you say to someone who says a black person ainít black if they vote Republican? Or are acting white if they pursue academics? Or are Uncle Toms if they support the police?
To take up my own question, what do people make of this?

https://twitter.com/DrTyroneWilson1/status/1270122814754848768

My guess is that if a white person posted the exact same thing, the truth of the content would remain unchanged, but the person posting it would be derided as racist and probably lose his job. Since the doctor is black, people can't do that. But they have to somehow explain to themselves why the nation should stop for George Floyd's death when none of the people saying that ever even heard of or acknowledged the 67 deaths this doctor mentions. So they'll say my reposting it is insensitive or unhelpful. Or that the doctor is being used as a tool of the right wing. Something, anything, to claim this doctor doesn't represent a legitimate black voice or that it is illegitimate of me to think he has a point.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2020, 10:18:39 PM »
The death of George Floyd at the knee of a white policeman (not the correct way to take a knee) was a tragedy, especially because the duty of the police officer was to protect George not end his life. It graphically demonstrated a perennial problem in American life that absolutely demands addressing. One item that has been featured repeatedly in the news was "the talk" about how to be safe from the police.


But as Dr. Wilson pointed out,  there are greater dangers out there than the police, but those dangers are not considered especially newsworthy.  There are some more talks that need to happen. Statistically speaking is being killed by police a leading cause of deaths among Blacks? Any such deaths (when the officer does not legitimately fear for his life) are too many and measures must be taken to prevent them. But do the lives lost in Black on Black violence matter? Police brutality must be addressed, but so must the othe4.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2020, 09:39:26 AM »
I dare suggest, Peter, that you step back from defining and limiting what you think racism is and listen to those who experience it.


Peter can speak for himself, but he makes perfect sense to me, a white, middle class American whose ancestors came from various lands surrounding the North Sea who has personally experienced racism and has seen it expressed, sometimes virulently, by people and institutions of all races.

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2020, 07:27:39 PM »
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.
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mariemeyer

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2020, 12:11:40 PM »


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.

Ignoring the realty that humans have different skin colors, be they black, brown, yellow or white, is unrealistic.  In this instance, having  a white person suggest that having black skin is best no longer considered a category of being human denies that persons of black skin have for centuries been regarded as a different category of humanity.  Black persons have every right to say, "Are you kidding?  That's fine for you to say from your position of privilege. Get real man!"

How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.

The way forward is to recognize that persons of color are still  not given the same status, opportunity, education or housing as white persons in some American communities.   There are Lutheran churches in these communities. Some, but not all, have been proactive in recognizing what the CTCR calls on them and us to do and say.

For whites to deny the reality of how their status in American culture offers advantages not afforded blacks is, IMO, paternalistic, perhaps even arrogant. 

Yeas ago Christianity Today featured an article on George Washington Carver.  Carver is quoted to have said that the white man has to get off the black's man's neck.  Why? So that the black man can get up and help the white man see the truth of his wrongful treatment/regard for the black man.  I submit that whites today need the black man to help us come to the reality of our privileged  status in America.  We need black Christians to being us to repentance for our sin.

The solution is not to deny the reality that humans have different colors of skin.  It is for persons of white skin to recognize the truth that they are responsible for past and present cultural, institutional and personal egocentric sinful silence for how color has contributed to differences within humanity that are offend the true God as revealed in the Written and Incarnate God.

Marie Meyer
     

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2020, 12:18:02 PM »
A friend send me a copy of this service at an Episcopal Church in Tucson, the sermon takes a powerful look at racism through the ages. The sermon begins about 27:50.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy-c1jUl4o8&t=3133s
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2020, 12:49:12 PM »


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.

Ignoring the realty that humans have different skin colors, be they black, brown, yellow or white, is unrealistic.  In this instance, having  a white person suggest that having black skin is best no longer considered a category of being human denies that persons of black skin have for centuries been regarded as a different category of humanity.  Black persons have every right to say, "Are you kidding?  That's fine for you to say from your position of privilege. Get real man!"

How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.

The way forward is to recognize that persons of color are still  not given the same status, opportunity, education or housing as white persons in some American communities.   There are Lutheran churches in these communities. Some, but not all, have been proactive in recognizing what the CTCR calls on them and us to do and say.

For whites to deny the reality of how their status in American culture offers advantages not afforded blacks is, IMO, paternalistic, perhaps even arrogant. 

Yeas ago Christianity Today featured an article on George Washington Carver.  Carver is quoted to have said that the white man has to get off the black's man's neck.  Why? So that the black man can get up and help the white man see the truth of his wrongful treatment/regard for the black man.  I submit that whites today need the black man to help us come to the reality of our privileged  status in America.  We need black Christians to being us to repentance for our sin.

The solution is not to deny the reality that humans have different colors of skin.  It is for persons of white skin to recognize the truth that they are responsible for past and present cultural, institutional and personal egocentric sinful silence for how color has contributed to differences within humanity that are offend the true God as revealed in the Written and Incarnate God.

Marie Meyer
   
As I mentioned on another thread, I think Dr. Mauchen did an excellent job of refining the distinction between being colorblind and defining people by their skin color. I recommend you give it a listen.

 

mariemeyer

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2020, 02:20:37 PM »
Peter writes:

"As I mentioned on another thread, I think Dr. Mauchen did an excellent job of refining the distinction between being colorblind and defining people by their skin color. I recommend you give it a listen."

And I recommend that you respond directly related to the CTCR report, the letter from the LCMS Black Clergy Caucus and other posts here that refer directly to the reality of racism as it exists in the USA today as part of our culture, our institutions and in our individual lives.

Age brings with it a variety of life experiences.  It wasn't until I confronted the reality that Bill and I could take our children to a State Park, but we could not take our neighbor's children with us that I had inkling of our culture.  When the LWML had a zone rally at a local school rather than in their church building so that the black women from my church did not enter their sanctuary  I came face to face with LCMS racism.  When laws were passed so we could take our youth group to a state park, Bill rented a van to take the Youth group to a state park.   While there a group of white men who had been drinking  approach our group with hateful racial slurs.  Bill directed me to get the youth in the van while he confronted the men. I  experienced a fear I had never known before.  Trembling, Bill was able to get in the  van and drive us out of the park.  Laws had changed, but the hearts of men had not changes.

To think that one can become color blind in America today without systemic changes or by ignoring the words of George Washington Carver reveals how personal defensiveness is a barrier to change. Carver claimed that whites needed the blacks to be lifted up from out of their white racist ideology.   We, whites, need eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand the realty of existing racism in our culture and institutions.  Seeing persons as persons of color is not the problem.  Being blind to the reality that humans come in different colors serves no purpose. Needed are changes within... changes in our self image, changes in our heart, changes in our thinking.   

How I see myself today is a direct result of having black neighbors and being part of a black community of believers. How they related to me enriched my understanding of what it means to be a Christian and a US citizen. 

We have made progress since the sixties, thanks in large measure to the blacks who have stood alongside whites as mentors in confronting how racism has and continues to impact on their lives and ours. Until we see how racism of any color diminishes us, I think there is work to be down within our country and in our churches.

Marie Meyer

peter_speckhard

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2020, 02:37:37 PM »
You act as though Iíve never read CTCR documents that were published when I was in seminary. You act as though I havenít responded to the letter from the black clergy caucus. I was one of the first to post a response. If you canít be bothered to listen to Dr. Mauchenís talk, so be it. I find myself in broad agreement with him and even posted that I thought his categories and distinctions were better than the ones I had used. Iím not going to transcribe or translate him for you when the link is available in multiple places. If you want to know what think, youíll listen to it. If you donít want to know what I think, youíll quit asking me.

mariemeyer

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2020, 05:22:58 PM »
You act as though Iíve never read CTCR documents that were published when I was in seminary. You act as though I havenít responded to the letter from the black clergy caucus. I was one of the first to post a response. If you canít be bothered to listen to Dr. Mauchenís talk, so be it. I find myself in broad agreement with him and even posted that I thought his categories and distinctions were better than the ones I had used. Iím not going to transcribe or translate him for you when the link is available in multiple places. If you want to know what think, youíll listen to it. If you donít want to know what I think, youíll quit asking me.

Peter: I checked back to all your emails for the Dr. Mauchen's talk and could not locate it. If the link was available in multiple places, I missed them.

I do want to know what you think, which is why I referred to how the CTCR report outlines cultural (USA), institutional (LCMS) and personal (mine/yours) racism.  In reading your posts I did not find mention of whether you thought how the CTCR applied their definition of racism to our American culture, to our synod and to individual members of LCMS congregations was valid.

IMO, the solution to moving forward, not being color blind, is unrealistic. It fails to acknowledge the reality of how racism has and continues to impact upon the life of many black Americans.  I have acknowledged changes that have taken place since the sixties.  At the same time I have openly and consistently maintained there is more work to be done within our American culture, within the LCMS and within the hearts and minds of Christians.

I joined the recent Bethel march, but remained silent when, in a safe distance gathering of LCMS sisters in Christ, the conversation mentioned all the flaws in George Floyd's background. 

I honestly do not know if you regard racism as a manifestation of an idolatry of self.  This is the premise with which the CTCR  begins. The report prompts individual self-examination.  It is why they refer to roadblocks i overcoming racism, the first one being denial.  Being color blind was not mentioned as a solution to overcoming racism.  Studies have shown that the first or second difference people see when meeting someone is color.  Seeing the difference in race or ethnicity is natural.  You can't miss it.  How one reacts or responds is an issue. The financial decisions we make. Where we send our children to school.  Where we buy our house. Whom we invite into our homes for dinner.

Marie Meyer 


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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2020, 07:27:25 AM »
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.

     Ah yes.  Thanks for the term. It's nice to have a name for something I have experienced.  This is the second time that I had to wait many years before a term was coined to describe a personal incident.  (The first was "virtue signalling.") Being lectured by a white woman as to why I really don't understand racism by a proverbial "Karen" (I am not White BTW) has always been an eye rolling experience.

Thanks,
Ray
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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2020, 09:33:46 AM »
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/la-times-executive-editor-says-the-word-looting-is-racist

" ... the word 'riot' falls in a 'similar' category as the word 'looting'," I.e., they are racist words.

I'm certainly not going to suggest that Dorothy Tucker is racist. So, is she suggesting that black journalists have co-opted these terms? I stated that the AIM members who toppled the Columbus statue in front of the MN capitol are vandals. Is that a racist use of the word?

Help me out, Dave. You're one of the most woke persons I know.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2020, 09:43:31 AM »
To label people who damage or deface property vandals is a racist slur against Germans and a Germanic tribe.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2020, 01:08:51 AM »
Reviewing Mrs. Meyer's posts it is striking that the experiences she writes about occurred long ago ... long before the CTCR document was written. 

In response to the comment made here, " I would argue that a call to start a black church in SC contradicted the Gospel, if indeed it was a call to form a congregation with membership contingent on race. But maybe that was more possible than integrating a SC church at the time and thus a practical concession to the falseness of the world."

Understanding LCMS efforts to address racism within society and the synod during the sixties requires understanding the realty respected LCMS leaders  confronted.  IOW, cut the four district presidents and the St. Louis Seminary Placement Office some slack in the 1963 decision to send four candidates south to start black congregations.

Integrating white Lutheran congregations in Columbia, SC was not an option.  Starting a black congregation and working to integrate it was. During the time we were there Bill and I added four white children to the congregation.  A white Valpo couple settled in Columbia and joined the congregation.  Several members of the Southern LCA seminary worshiped with The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit from time to time.  Prof. George Anderson's son was the only white kid at our daughters first birthday party. The teen age children of Prof. Raymond Bost attended youth gatherings with the teens of our congregation.

The last Christmas we were in Columbia the SS of the white LCMS Church and the SS of Holy Spirit had a joint Christmas SS program.   Change comes slowly.  In 1970 Bill had three calls; one to CA, one to downtown Detroit and one to Patchogue, Long Island.  Together with church leaders the decision was made that it was time for the congregation to have a black pastor. Bill accepted the call to Patchogue.

Prior to leaving an incident took place that shook us to the core.  The pastor of a neighboring LCMS congregation died suddenly at a church voters meetings. As is the custom pastors from the area came to attend the funeral.  Five pastors came from NC - four white and one black.  The president of the Voters stood on the front steps to the church and would not let the black LCMS pastor into the church.

What to do?  The white pastors from NC left with the black pastor. For the sake of the widow, the white SC pastors attended the service.
and ...
How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.
And ...
Age brings with it a variety of life experiences.  It wasn't until I confronted the reality that Bill and I could take our children to a State Park, but we could not take our neighbor's children with us that I had inkling of our culture.  When the LWML had a zone rally at a local school rather than in their church building so that the black women from my church did not enter their sanctuary  I came face to face with LCMS racism.  When laws were passed so we could take our youth group to a state park, Bill rented a van to take the Youth group to a state park.   While there a group of white men who had been drinking  approach our group with hateful racial slurs.  Bill directed me to get the youth in the van while he confronted the men. I  experienced a fear I had never known before.  Trembling, Bill was able to get in the  van and drive us out of the park.  Laws had changed, but the hearts of men had not changes.
No one doubts that these events occurred ... and there is always room for improvement .. my pastor freely admits things are far better than when he was a boy.

Thankfully he looks forward .. forgives the past ... and trusts in the forgiving hand of a loving God.  Rather than reliving the past ... attempting to inflict guilt where the blood of Christ has forgiven all sins, he continues to witness his faith to all he encounters.