Letter To The Editor: Christians Must Not Allow False Doctrine to Justify Racism

2013-01-21T02:00:00Z Letter To The Editor: Christians Must Not Allow False Doctrine to Justify Racism Twin Falls Times-News
January 21, 2013 2:00 am

Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Monday, Jan. 21:

Jan. 1, 2013, marked the 150-year anniversary of President Lincoln’s signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which ushered in the beginning of the end of two and a half centuries of American chattel slavery. Seeing the movie, “Lincoln,” helped me realize what a hard-fought legislative battle was involved in getting that proclamation passed. It paved the way for the 13th Amendment 2½ years later making slavery unconstitutional and illegal. It unfortunately took another 100 years for that freedom to gain any durable and consistent meaning with the 1963 March on Washington, followed by the Voting Rights Act and The Civil Rights Act.

Even so, I have my own sad first-hand accounts of the pain and grief from the past 50 years caused by racism, racial prejudice and discrimination. I’m saddened every time I hear a racial slur, still. What saddens me more is the indefensible use of the Bible by so many to make black, and brown citizens too, carry Canaan’s burden. At the heart of Genesis 9:18 to 27 are the words, “Let Canaan be a slave to others.” This passage must be understood as the Israelites for whom they were written understood them — as the green light to root out the Canaanites from the Promised Land during the conquest of Canaan. It is completely out of order to interpret them as a forecast of human history for all time as Halley’s Handbook of the Bible does, for example.

More important — One man has carried Canaan’s burden completely. Christ Jesus took the form of a servant and became a slave to the Jew and the Greek so that all people evermore might be servants of God and of one another, rather than one group of people being made slaves to other groups simply because of their race. As followers of Jesus, light of the world, we must not allow a false doctrine to provide justification for the racism that still creeps around our society.


Twin Falls

(Editor’s note: The Rev. Dick Sansgaard is the minister at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Twin Falls.)

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. SnakeRiver
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    SnakeRiver - January 25, 2013 1:42 pm
    "So, 21st Century Christians believe the "Word of God" is a book edited in the 17th Century from 16th Century translations of 8000 contradictory copies of 4th Century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st Century."

    Exactly. The Bible was written two thousand years ago decades after Christ lived/died, by men who are capable of injecting their own thoughts or morals, in a language no longer spoken. I think the Bible itself is the problem.
  2. Jim_Bob
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    Jim_Bob - January 24, 2013 10:20 am
    Here we are talking about false doctrines and in the same paragraph referencing the greatest false doctrine of the christian dogma.
    "The King James version of the New Testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the Church of England.
    There were (and still are) no original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down hundreds of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8000 versions of these old manuscripts, with no two alike.
    The King James translators used none of these, anyway. Instead, they edited previous translations to create a version their king and Parliament would approve.
    So, 21st Century Christians believe the "Word of God" is a book edited in the 17th Century from 16th Century translations of 8000 contradictory copies of 4th Century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st Century."

    http://bit.ly/MbXj7Z http://bit.ly/Mymb9J
  3. jdyreson
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    jdyreson - January 21, 2013 3:07 pm
    So I wonder would Martin Luther King be proud of where afro americans are today? Would the state of blacks overall be praised by Martin Luther King? I wonder what the reverand would think of the black mariage rate, or the black abortion rate, I wonder what the reverand would have though about gay mariage?
    Can I ask a question? When will the score be settled? How many more entitlements are neccessary so we can move on from the slavery in our past. You do realize the slavery trade is alive and well in "the homeland" dont you? You do realize that every great civilization in history has been involved in slavery of some sort dont you? My great great grand parents immigrated here after the civil war why do I continually have to be beaten over the head with racism or that I owe some black person something bacause I am white. When is enough- enough?
    Rev. Saansgard while I understand writting that piece must make you feel all very righteous, I wonder much like our Attourney general. When are we gonna be brave enough in this country to have a REAL discussion on race. You know some issues like a race that votes 98% for a man with Barrack Obama's history. I dont care if you like or hate him any one group that votes that much in favor of a man that has a history of being so divisive is absolutely racist. I would ask, do you think 98% of blacks favor abortion, gay mariage,gun control, socialist health care? I dont, yet...98%..... smells of racism to me. What about police and fire stations lowering their qualifiacations for minority groups? I am not talking about bus boy positions here these are the services people depend on to keep them safe. So I have to live with lesser quality fireman and police officers for some contrived sense of equality? Wheres the affirmative action in the NBA? How about a black person's kid having more opportunities for college, for employment, for health care than a white persons of the same income level. I already told you neither me or my family ever participated in slavery, why is my kid put at a disadvantage? Oh...you think thats hyperbole, just start trying to get financial aide for your kid....it gets real in a hurry. How many blacks are affected by white racism or white on black crime in this day and age? Do you have any idea how many blacks are affected by black on black crime?Hmm.....interesting to think about is'nt it.
    Its real easy to sit back and point out racism and blame others, but I ask you Reverand Sansgaard what would you propose? Racism will never completely go away. Its human nature to divide into groups, the need to feel secure amongst those that are similar. If not by skin color, than hair or eye color or your clothes,etc.....
    While I dont believe racism will ever go away, I dont believe it needs to be the center of our culture anymore either. Let go of your "white guilt" people. Racism is going to divide us for as long as we keep being so racial about everything! So lets have a REAL conversation, and quit with the hyperbole.
  4. Andre Leonard
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    Andre Leonard - January 21, 2013 12:56 pm
    A very thoughtful and thought provoking article. America in 238 years is still fighting to achieve her promise. We all can have a part in this progress. Let us all step up to the plate and make it better.
  5. duke
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    duke - January 21, 2013 9:35 am
    i agree with you on some of this. study your history irish and itallianns were treated worse than blacks were treated those people brought themselves out of their slavery the blacks still use it as a crutch i believe in helping them but not giving them rights above every on else, the same for the illegals ....
  6. idahogirl54
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    idahogirl54 - January 21, 2013 8:24 am
    Thank-you for writing a very eye opening article.

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