If you firmly believe in your heart and soul that peoples of color are inferior and incapable cognitively of any significant achievement, then these times must be very difficult for you.The idea of having a man of color in the White House, even though he is Irish and traces his lineage back to a king of England, challenges everything in your belief and education system. How did the impossible happen? How did and could Ham, the son of Noah, lead the Free World? Christians ask themselves these questions, and the fact that they do suggests there is something seriously wrong with Christianity and scripture.

Personally I think that the world’s racial problems comes from a confused understanding of the sacred literature used by the children of Abraham, the Jews, Christians, Muslims. Although coming from the seeds of the same father Abraham, they violentenly dislike each other, and at best politically tolerate one another. What is the source of this deeply felt hostility? Who what and how was the decision made to consider part of humanity inferior and part superior. For thousands of years groups, nations and classes have believed that they have the right by divine order to receive the best in society, and others, by the same divine order must submit, obey and serve.Egypt, China, Rome, England, Germany, Russia, America, all have histories of masters and slaves, but I wanted to limit my research to what part religion played in this division. Yes, I know there is the division between the God and man thing, but I was searching for some direct connection to that belief. I looked at some research on the Noah of the Bible, and the curse of one of his sons, although, for the life of me, I could not figure out how Noah got a white, black and chinese sons out of one wife? I really think that the reason President Obama has difficulty with some individuals, usually racist, is that Obama tends to look like Noah’s son Ham, and as results has the curse of Ham in the hearts and minds of good Christian folks.

 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!” ( wild stuff) 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]

 

               Christians are not permitted or encouraged to question scripture and would never go that deep into scripture to determine meaning and reference, it is however referenced here because this scripture influences American thought about peoples of color and how they should be treated. If teachers tend to come from these two major groups and influnced by religious teachings, then it would be almost impossible to alter ind set or change beliefs. If the Bible reference peoples of color as a cursed people, then something is wrong, since 75% of the world’s populations are peoples of color, and the Hebrews, themselves are an ancient people of color. Then what is the meaning of this chapter and where is the falacy in its teachings? The Old Testament is the history and stories of the recorded events occurring to the people on the continent of Africa, specifically north Africa. The New Testament follows up with mythologies and events passed down from the Middle East. These are all peoples of color, this begs the question with respect to who is God cursing, and what is the nature of that curse? Who transformed this story of creation and early history, and for what purpose? This would suggests that the birth place of man, which scientist have identified as Africa, is cursed, then all of humankind was cursed from creation, the question is why? Why create a people and develop various story lines to justify that curse? Can or would God curse him or herself, and if mankind is made in the image and likeness of God, then to curse mankind is to curse the self, this does not make logical sense. Perhaps it is time for the Christian faiths to enter into the discussions of scripture and come up with meaning and purpose, which can bring man closer to his purpose and his creator.

[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

 

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