Christianity must take the lead in ending racism in America and in the world. We are racist because we are Christian, and Christians are Jews, and Jews are Muslim. Abraham the father of us all was a man recorded in sacred Torah scripture, Biblical Scripture and the sacred writings of the Koran. We all believe and drink from the same fountain but we are nurished in different ways and encouraged to do different things. We hate each other because tradition encourages that hate. Christianity, at this time, is the largest world religion with 2 billion identifying with the faith. It will therefore, be the challenge to Christianity to end racism by challenging flawed religious beliefs.

[1] “The Sons of Noah and the Construction of Ethnic and Geographical Identities in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods”. Doctrine and Covenants. The William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 1997). http://www.jstor.org/stable/2953314. Retrieved 27 April 2010

[1] Sylvester A. Johnson (2004). The myth of Ham in nineteenth-century American Christianity: race, heathens, and the people of God. Macmillan. p. 37. ISBN 9781403965622.

  1. [1] Solors, Werner, Neither Black nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature, 1997, Oxford University Press, p. 87

^ The Midrash: The Bereshith or Genesis Rabba

               In an effort to attempt to address the issue of racism,  it is necessary to go back to the source. America is a Judeo Christian Nation. The culture is influenced by Judeo Christian culture and beliefs. If the problems started with religious belief, then it is necessary to look at those religious beliefs if any attempt is to be made in addressing the problem. The question is who is black and who is white, and what is the Biblical meaning of blackness and whiteness?

             The Torah does not discuss racial classification the story in Genesis is actually about Canaan, and assigns racial characteristics and rankings to Ham, and early Jewish writers focused their attention from Canaan to Ham and interpreted the Biblical narrative in a racial way.[1] The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b states: “Our Rabbis taught: Three copulated in the ark, and they were all punished—the dog, the raven, and Ham. The dog was doomed to be tied, the raven expectorates [his seed into his mate’s mouth], and Ham was smitten in his skin.” {Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108b} The nature of Ham’s “smitten” skin is unexplained, but later described this as a darkening of skin.[2] The text states that the “smitten” skin referred to the blackness of descendants, and a later comment by rabbis asserts that Ham himself emerged from the ark black-skinned[3]. A non Scriptural book called the Zohar states that Ham’s son Canaan “darkened the faces of mankind”. The Hebrews married Egyptian women and Moses marrying a Kushite has been construed by some as evidence against this interpretation of ‘darkening.’ The Bible goes on further to confuse when Aaron and his sister Miriam question their marriage, she is punished with white skin. Jewish Rabbis continue to question this issue, the medieval Jewish commentator on Torah, explains the harshness of the curse: “Some say Ham saw his father naked and either sodomized or castrated him. His thought was “Perhaps my father’s drunkenness will lead to intercourse with our mother and I will have to share the inheritance of the world with another brother! I will prevent this by taking his manhood from him! When Noah awoke, and he realized what had done, he said, “Because you prevented me from having a fourth son, your fourth son, Canaan, shall forever be a slave to his brothers, who showed respect to me!” Jews are permitted to debate passionately different views and some medieval Jewish commentator on Torah, disagrees and writes: “And the meaning of ‘[Cursed be Canaan, he will be a slave] unto his brothers’ is to Cush, Egypt, and Put [only], for they are his father’s [other] sons. And there are those who say that the Cushim [black skinned people] are slaves because Noah cursed Ham [the father of Cush], but they forget that the first king after the flood [Nimrod] was a descendant of Cush, and so it is written, ‘And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylonia.[4] ” I.e. since Nimrod was descended from Cush, and Nimrod was king, this proves the Cushites, i.e. black skinned people, cannot be under Canaan’s curse of slavery.[5]

 

[1] “The Sons of Noah and the Construction of Ethnic and Geographical Identities in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods”. Doctrine and Covenants. The William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 1997). http://www.jstor.org/stable/2953314. Retrieved 27 April 2010

[2] Sylvester A. Johnson (2004). The myth of Ham in nineteenth-century American Christianity: race, heathens, and the people of God. Macmillan. p. 37. ISBN 9781403965622.

  1. [3] Solors, Werner, Neither Black nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature, 1997, Oxford University Press, p. 87

^ The Midrash: The Bereshith or Genesis Rabba

  1. [4] ^ Gen. 10:10
  2. [5] Benjamin Braude, “The Sons of Noah and the Construction of Ethnic and Geographical Identities in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, “William and Mary Quarterly LIV (January 1997): 103–142. See also William McKee Evans, “From the Land of Canaan to the Land of Guinea: The Strange Odyssey of the Sons of Ham,”American Historical Review 85 (February 1980): 15–43

Now, how does all of this fit in with the question of racism? Is it possible that around 336 AD, Constaine, the Emperor of Rome, a tiny country with the power to rule the world, saw a benefit in this conflict and division. What is the benefit to the world to be divided by religious differences today? Put the Torah, the Bible and the Koran down and talk to each other.

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