How Limiting Our Perspective Of Race Limits Our Faith
Politics and Activism

How Limiting Our Perspective Of Race Limits Our Faith

Today the church's pews remain segregated, the pulpit remains passive in regards to justice and Christ remains whitewashed.

How Limiting Our Perspective Of Race Limits Our Faith
Prayer Fest

I was born and raised in church with parents who were born and raised in church and it's all I've ever known. Where I grew up in southern Alabama, as part of the Bible Belt, religious diversity isn't common (or at least recognized). Living here, I can count the number of both Muslims and atheists I know on one hand and I don't know any Jewish or Buddhist people (as far as I'm aware). I attended public schools where we prayed before football games and swim meets and were given Gideon Bibles at graduation events.

Being Christian and southern aren't the only identities I share with the majority here: white, middle-class, straight, natural born citizen. My liberal views are really the only standout qualities from the majority that I have.

As far as my roots extend, both of my parents were sent to private, Christian high schools to dodge the integration enforced by Brown v. Board of Education. I graduated from a public, Blue Ribbon school with honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs for college preparation, and I know parents who refused to let their students transfer because they viewed a 70 percent white majority for the student body as "too diverse." Parents of students who didn't even attend my high school accused the teacher of the new Arabic language class of indoctrinating students with Islam, "a culture of hate." My town's city hall currently flies a Confederate flag and its image is also included in my county seal. In our area, our churches, schools, neighborhoods and even Mardi Gras associations are still racially and economically segregated.

This segregation of perspective is ingrained in the culture here, but especially in circles that claim love and unity. The white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant identity has historically not done enough, from twisting biblical context for justification of slavery to its overwhelming silence during the civil rights movement. Today its pews remain segregated, the pulpit remains passive in regards to justice and Christ remains whitewashed.

By limiting our perspective to that of our own white experience, we limit our fellowship. By limiting our fellowship, we limit our spiritual growth. By limiting our spiritual growth, we limit our interpretation of God. And by limiting God, we deny our purpose as people of faith: to love Jesus and love people. True unconditional love is equitable, not apologetic or passive or assuming. I don't want to worship where people of color are isolated, where LGBT people are condemned, where low-income people are looked down upon.

I am a firm believer in the concept of separation of church and state. But in an area where church is as much as a foundation for the community as fried chicken, we have no choice but to address the issue of segregated perspective in a spiritual manner alongside its legal, political and socioeconomic implications. We can't afford to shrug it off as generational or too controversial or unnecessarily politicized. Let's talk about it.

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." - Isaiah 1:17

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments