"Fundamentalism provided fertile recruiting soil for ... the Ku Klux Klan"

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RPittman's picture

The KKK is usually pictured as it appeared during the last half of the twentieth century. In fact, the KKK was vastly different organizations at various times in its history. It also varied from place to place. During lawless Reconstruction, it was more a law and order vigilante group. At times and in certain places, it was more a political-fraternal club, like the Masons and Shriners, than what it later became. Yes, various segments were racist, violent, and all the other bad things but it is not the true or whole picture of the KKK everywhere and during all periods. It is rather like characterizing the whole U.S. Army throughout history by the My Lai Massacre.

My point is that it is hard to find anyone living in the South or Midwest during the 1920-30's who was not associated with someone connected to the Klan. The Klan is often used unfairly without true historical perspective in an attempt to discredit either conservative or religious groups.

However, there may be a warning and lesson in this for all of us professing to be Fundamentalists. Stay out of politics because the mechanism of politics is compromise and politics makes for strange bedfellows. Otherwise, we may end up in bed with fellows having a bad smell.

RPittman's picture

Well, no one can accuse David R. Stokes of objective, fair, and passionless views on Fundamentalism and J. Frank Norris. Although his obvious word choices and the way he states his facts betray his bias, he does write with flair and readability. At least, he holds your interest.

J Ng's picture

I believe it was wise of a Fundamentalist institution to have changed the name of one of its men's residence halls recently from Bibb Graves, who's best known as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibb_Graves#Political_life ]KKK-linked Governor of Alabama , to H.A. Ironside, who's best known as a Fundamentalist leader.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
During lawless Reconstruction, it was more a law and order vigilante group.

I respectfully disagree with this Gone with the Wind flavored assessment. During Reconstruction, the Klan was a murderous terrorist organization designed to wear down the occupation of the war weary but victorious North. This was done through criminality and murder and flexing resurgent all-white political power. A primary goal was to keep the black man in his place, so that he could not enjoy or experience his newly won rights. I strongly recommend reading Stephan Budiansky's The Bloody Shirt for this eye-opening history. It's a rare history book that acknowledges without blinking that at one time the Republicans were clearly the good guys.

While Stokes' article is certainly lopsided (The Klan, after all, murdered many Republicans, white and black, and was a huge influence in Democratic politics), Fundamentalism has much to be ashamed of in supporting a racist status quo in many American states. Instead of standing up for the oppressed, it often put God's stamp of approval on oppression. Even until very recently, Fundamentalist institutions held tenaciously to monstrous racial theories long after the world had come to its senses. It is still present among some which I have seen firsthand.

We should be very careful and clear-eyed in defending our own when shame would be a more appropriate response. Many Fundamentalists have been complicit in robbing people of justice. That is a cause for deep remorse and repentance.

RPittman's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:
Quote:
During lawless Reconstruction, it was more a law and order vigilante group.

I respectfully disagree with this Gone with the Wind flavored assessment. During Reconstruction, the Klan was a murderous terrorist organization designed to wear down the occupation of the war weary but victorious North. This was done through criminality and murder and flexing resurgent all-white political power. A primary goal was to keep the black man in his place, so that he could not enjoy or experience his newly won rights. I strongly recommend reading Stephan Budiansky's The Bloody Shirt for this eye-opening history. It's a rare history book that acknowledges without blinking that at one time the Republicans were clearly the good guys.

Well, I respectfully disagree with you. Mr. Budiansky's book is little more than a fine piece of revisionist history without the balance and fairness one would expect from a serious work. It is a very biased book. Budiansky admits in the prologue to having changed the historical perspective. Having read many of the primary sources of those who lived during the era, I find most modern works slanted toward our own modern perception of a bygone age without being able to capture the feel of it. Our political correctness clouds our understanding. We are judging others without having vicariously walked in their shoes. Rather than opening one's eyes, it sells a bill of goods.
Quote:

While Stokes' article is certainly lopsided (The Klan, after all, murdered many Republicans, white and black, and was a huge influence in Democratic politics), Fundamentalism has much to be ashamed of in supporting a racist status quo in many American states. Instead of standing up for the oppressed, it often put God's stamp of approval on oppression. Even until very recently, Fundamentalist institutions held tenaciously to monstrous racial theories long after the world had come to its senses. It is still present among some which I have seen firsthand.

Are you judging justly? I am very suspicious of those intent on pointing the finger at others. After all, I thought being judgmental of others is politically incorrect. Or, is it just that it's open season on Fundamentalists? Furthermore, I'm sick and tired of hearing charges of racism as if it is the original sin. [/quote]

We should be very careful and clear-eyed in defending our own when shame would be a more appropriate response. Many Fundamentalists have been complicit in robbing people of justice. That is a cause for deep remorse and repentance.[/quote]What about false accusations, innuendos, and insinuations. This is closely associated with the explicit commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (Exodus 20:16)." Although Fundamentalist leaders, like the Biblical heroes such as David, Paul, Peter, Noah, et. al., had their faults and failings, they do not deserve the constant scrutiny and denigration that they receive . You are implicating a lot of good, godly men unjustly.

If you are so intent upon your groveling and wallowing in abject self-loathing for Fundamentalism, then perhaps we ought to make public proclamations of guilt and repentance to the Palestinians because of the Israeli's whose spiritual heritage we share and whom we support.

Jim's picture

From Time Magazine ( Feb. 07, 1927 ): http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,729968-1,00.html

From NYTimes ( June 24, 1926): http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F00F10FC355F17738DDDAD0A94D...

The NYTimes article notes that a Klansman supported Norris; but that doesn't mean Norris supported the Klan

This article from the J F Norris society "debunks" the Klan connection: http://thejfranknorrishistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/2010/09/debunking-k...

Quote:
Having observed the man up close, I can conclude the passion of his message was directed towards issues, not intended against persons or groups. He hated the devastating effects of liquor, but he loved the victim. He opposed the priestly concept of infallibility, but could align himself with Catholics with crucial issues. He spoke often of his admiration for stalwarts in all denominations, but resented over-lording tactics of ambitious leaders. The anti-Catholic bias did not begin with the Klan. Thomas Jefferson is quoted in Wikipedia as equating the priest-hood as hostile to liberty. On a personal note, I can testify that J. Frank Norris never unfairly attacked the Catholic faith, at least he never indoctrinated me with such folly. As a World War II Veteran of the South Pacific and Europe, I can reveal nothing but pleasant experiences I had with my fellow comrades of all faiths. I served with Catholic buddies, slept in the same hut, fraternized on a daily basis, but very rarely in unfriendly conversations. Most Catholic lay persons are genuine in their devotion to sacred principles. Open and frank dialogue is in keeping with the spirit of ecumenism. This aspect of ecumenism is commendable and represents the same philosophy which J. Frank Norris embraced. No subject is sacrosanct.

Some elements of the Klan in the 1920’s were vocal in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Anti-Semitic attitudes perpetrated the myth that the Jews crucified Christ. Elements of the Christian world have echoed the “Christ killer” myth, not taking into account the multitudes of Jews were the pioneer followers of Christ. Most all of Christendom has fallen into a fallacious trap. J. Frank Norris split ranks with a number of his fundamentalist brethren over this issue. Early in his ministry, he was passionate about the Jewish right to their inherited land. To equate Norris in league with the Klan would certainly be a stretch of the imagination.

The Klan in Texas emerged in prominence in the early 1920s, so powerful in fact, that one-half of the Texas Legislature were in the grip of Klansmen. This was true in vast regions of the country, brought on by the increase of foreign immigrants, most of whom were Roman Catholics. The heart of the Catholic issue centered around the authoritarianism of the Catholic Church. While Norris was in the center of the issue, he was no more different than the vast majority of Protestants, even though he was more vocal.

RPittman's picture

J Ng wrote:
I believe it was wise of a Fundamentalist institution to have changed the name of one of its men's residence halls recently from Bibb Graves, who's best known as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibb_Graves#Political_life ]KKK-linked Governor of Alabama , to H.A. Ironside, who's best known as a Fundamentalist leader.
Linking Bibb Graves to the modern conception of the Klan is rather like characterizing Noah as a drunk and David as an adulterous womanizer. The Klan of the 1920's was not the Klan most people envision. I think it is wonderful to honor H. A. Ironside, a true man of God, but I wonder if we're abandoning a godly man to the naysayers who have no love or respect for God's people anyway. Graves was a good friend to BJU. Is public image so important? Even Fundamentalists, who did not know Bibb Graves or know anything about him beyond the politically correct slanted propaganda, are ready to jump on him with both feet. Somehow, I find this repulsive and disgusting.

Jim's picture

RPittman wrote:
Well, no one can accuse David R. Stokes of objective, fair, and passionless views on Fundamentalism and J. Frank Norris. Although his obvious word choices and the way he states his facts betray his bias, he does write with flair and readability. At least, he holds your interest.

Stokes is not objective on this count:

Quote:
[Norris ] shot and killed a wealthy Fort Worth businessman in July 1926 in a dispute over his vitriolic sermons. He was charged with murder and faced death in the electric chair. He would beat the rap.

He didn't simply "beat the rap"! It was clearly self-defense. (I had posted some links to the portion of the trial transcript elsewhere on Sharper Iron - here it is again)

http://www.jfranknorris.net/books/Word_for_WordTranscriptofDrNorrisTrial...

That Stokes could not objectively address this aspect of Norris' life, makes his veracity suspect!

Jim's picture

"Fundamentalism provided fertile recruiting soil for ... the Ku Klux Klan"

I suggest that racism and a misunderstanding of the Christian teaching on "in the image of God" provided a "fertile recruiting soil for the Ku Klux Klan"

Were / are some fundamentalists racist? Yes! But I don't believe they were /are racist because they were / are fundamentalists.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
Were / are some fundamentalists racist? Yes! But I don't believe they were /are racist because they were / are fundamentalists.

I agree with this, Jim. They were racist because they accepted the racism of the culture. A study of Indiana klansman (my home state) found that Klansman came from all demoninations and stripes of protestant whites. Nothing particularly Fundamental about racism. But, O, if the fundamentalists had stood up for justice! If that had been their legacy! But that kind of courage was very rare indeed.

And it gets worse. Some Fundamentalists added to the sin of racism by creating and maintaining racist theory as though it were a biblical doctrine, thus implicating God in their sin. By making it a doctrine, they could disdain justice as worldliness and political correctness as some still do today. Thus Fundamentalists became associated with a virulent sin society was shaking off, and it stained, and still stains the cause of Christ.

Jim's picture

RPittman wrote:
I wonder if we're abandoning a godly man to the naysayers who have no love or respect for God's people anyway. Graves was a good friend to BJU. Is public image so important? Even Fundamentalists, who did not know Bibb Graves or know anything about him beyond the politically correct slanted propaganda, are ready to jump on him with both feet. Somehow, I find this repulsive and disgusting.

From the wiki article on Graves:

Quote:
... both Graves and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, another Alabama Klan member, were more opportunists than ideologues, politicians who used the temporary strength of the Klan to further their careers.

...

Roosevelt's “court packing” plan and Hugo Black's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1937, when Black's ties to the Klan were debated in Congress, Graves noted his own previous membership as well, a membership that had been publicly revealed when he resigned from the organization in 1928

Would one perhaps consider his resignation from the Klan repentance? I would!

But for you brother Pittman: Do you consider BJU stripping the hall of his name, unwise? repulsive and disgusting?

JobK's picture

RPittman wrote:
During lawless Reconstruction, it was more a law and order vigilante group.
Yeah, and the criminals that they targeted JUST HAPPENED to be blacks, and whites friendly to blacks. The fact that so many people associated with the KKK back then is a negative indictment of the population of that time, and not any indication of any virtue or merit in the KKK. That's like saying that since street gangs, illegitimacy, drugs and jail are so common among certain communities - more common than going to college in some cases - that gangs, children out of wedlock, and a criminal record can't be so bad.

The Klan is often used unfairly without true historical perspective in an attempt to discredit either conservative or religious groups. Look, attempts to contextualize or be an apologist for the KKK are no different from doing the same to Al Qaeda. LOTS of Muslims try to put terrorist groups in " true historical perspective" and claim that their critics are simply motivated by "Islamophobia." Why not just come out and admit that the KKK and its supporters were wrong and leave it at that?

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Jim's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:
Some Fundamentalists added to the sin of racism by creating and maintaining racist theory as though it were a biblical doctrine, thus implicating God in their sin. By making it a doctrine, they could disdain justice as worldliness and political correctness as some still do today. Thus Fundamentalists became associated with a virulent sin society was shaking off, and it stained, and still stains the cause of Christ.

For a brief period I considered interracial marriage a sin. I was wrong. Ham's book "One Blood" has been a tremendous help to me!

I think we fall into a trap when we categorize men by "race":

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/dp/one-blood

Quote:
First, I would propose that we do away with using the term “race” when discussing the different groups of people in the world.

Before Darwin, the term “race” was largely a political and geographical term. People that were closely related biologically (such as the English and Irish) were considered to be separate races. Darwin’s theory has permeated the entire globe and the teaching of evolution has really redefined the term “race.” Now, when most people think of “race,” they’re thinking of lower races, higher races, black races, red races, etc. Even the best of us at times have struggled when we use that term. It just doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

Every human being in the world is classified as Homo sapiens. Scientists today agree that there is really only one biological race of humans. Geneticists have found that if we were to take any two people from anywhere in the world, the basic genetic differences between these two people would typically be around 0.2 percent,1 even if they came from the same people group. “Racial” characteristics account for only about 6 percent of this 0.2 percent variation. That means that the “racial” genetic variation between human beings of different “race” is a mere 0.012 percent.

Overall, there is far more variation within a people group than there is between one people group and another. Anyone who continues to make racist distinctions does so based only on superficial, outward appearances rather than on sound scientific fact and clear biblical reasoning.

JobK's picture

Let me guess ... a tradition of Klansmen in your family, right? And enough of this "political correctness" nonsense. Racism is a sin. Segregation and discrimination violate the Constitution. The people who supported those things were wrong, period. Yes, lots of good Christians supported these things. So what? Plenty of good Christians DIDN'T. It is possible to be a Christian and still be wrong. And we certainly shouldn't defend things that are wrong because certain Christians do them. You brought up the Noah and David examples ... well what you are doing is the equivalent of claiming that adultery and drunkenness aren't sins because Noah and David did it. Look, Noah's sin came at a great price ... it led to his cursing his son. And David's sin came at a great price also. So, don't think that the wickedness of the KKK and its sympathizers were merely ignored by God.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
Budiansky admits in the prologue to having changed the historical perspective.

Brother Pittman,

Is this the passage in the proplogue to The Bloody Shirt you speak of?

Quote:
This book tells the stories of a few of the people who lived through that chapter. It does not purport to be anything like a complete history of reconstruction. It does not pretend to explore, much less analyze, all the political and economic nuances that came to bear on the events of this exceedingly complex period in our nation’s history. It does aim to challenge the palliative stereotypes, the exculpatory myths, and the outright bald-faced lies that still characterize far too much of what passes for common knowledge of this era.

I would say he achived his purpose rather well from original sources. Can you show some serious instances where he was wrong?

RPittman's picture

JobK wrote:
Let me guess ... a tradition of Klansmen in your family, right?
This is an ad hominem argument and you are completely off base. You are casting a dispersion on me and my family without cause. None of my family has ever been associated with the Klan. It is wrong and wicked for you to make such a false accusation. The Bible specifically forbids a false witness and false accusations. You are guilty and stand condemned by your own words. You have revealed your own character. Yet, you dare judge others. Are you man enough to retract and repent?

RPittman's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:
Quote:
Budiansky admits in the prologue to having changed the historical perspective.

Brother Pittman,

Is this the passage in the proplogue to The Bloody Shirt you speak of?

Quote:
This book tells the stories of a few of the people who lived through that chapter. It does not purport to be anything like a complete history of reconstruction. It does not pretend to explore, much less analyze, all the political and economic nuances that came to bear on the events of this exceedingly complex period in our nation’s history. It does aim to challenge the palliative stereotypes, the exculpatory myths, and the outright bald-faced lies that still characterize far too much of what passes for common knowledge of this era.

I would say he achived his purpose rather well from original sources. Can you show some serious instances where he was wrong?

No, this is not the passage and no, he did not achieve his purpose.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
No, this is not the passage and no, he did not achieve his purpose.
.

Can you point me to that passage please? A page number...a paragraph perhaps?

Also, as to this comment

Quote:
Furthermore, I'm sick and tired of hearing charges of racism as if it is the original sin.


I don't think racism is the original sin, but it is America's most grievous sin --- a deep sin --- an early sin that went uncorrected and continued on in worse forms for a very long time, a sin of unspeakable cruelty and injustice to a whole people, and prompting more sin through rationalization and justification and eventually a perverse theology. I do not think America is a racist country today. Thank God. But there are still elements that linger, and sadly, among believers too.

RPittman's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
Wayne Wilson wrote:
Some Fundamentalists added to the sin of racism by creating and maintaining racist theory as though it were a biblical doctrine, thus implicating God in their sin. By making it a doctrine, they could disdain justice as worldliness and political correctness as some still do today. Thus Fundamentalists became associated with a virulent sin society was shaking off, and it stained, and still stains the cause of Christ.

For a brief period I considered interracial marriage a sin. I was wrong. Ham's book "One Blood" has been a tremendous help to me!

I think we fall into a trap when we categorize men by "race":

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/dp/one-blood

Quote:
First, I would propose that we do away with using the term “race” when discussing the different groups of people in the world.

Before Darwin, the term “race” was largely a political and geographical term. People that were closely related biologically (such as the English and Irish) were considered to be separate races. Darwin’s theory has permeated the entire globe and the teaching of evolution has really redefined the term “race.” Now, when most people think of “race,” they’re thinking of lower races, higher races, black races, red races, etc. Even the best of us at times have struggled when we use that term. It just doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

Every human being in the world is classified as Homo sapiens. Scientists today agree that there is really only one biological race of humans. Geneticists have found that if we were to take any two people from anywhere in the world, the basic genetic differences between these two people would typically be around 0.2 percent,1 even if they came from the same people group. “Racial” characteristics account for only about 6 percent of this 0.2 percent variation. That means that the “racial” genetic variation between human beings of different “race” is a mere 0.012 percent.

Overall, there is far more variation within a people group than there is between one people group and another. Anyone who continues to make racist distinctions does so based only on superficial, outward appearances rather than on sound scientific fact and clear biblical reasoning.

The concept of nation, race, etc. has changed greatly with time, place, and culture. Unfortunately, we read the OT with our present concepts.

RPittman's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:
I don't think racism is the original sin, but it is America's most grievous sin --- a deep sin --- an early sin that went uncorrected and continued on in worse forms for a very long time, a sin of unspeakable cruelty and injustice to a whole people, and prompting more sin through rationalization and justification and eventually a perverse theology. I do not think America is a racist country today. Thank God. But there are still elements that linger, and sadly, among believers too.
Please help me. I've never understood why malice or hatred based on race or nationality is worse than the individual malice/hatred for individuals close around including sometimes family members, neighbors, or coworkers regardless of race or creed. It seems that racism is an abstract social attitude directed at no one in particular although it may contribute to the maliciousness of wicked people. Racism is more a social-political question than a moral question. Can you give me one clear Scripture condemning racism per se? I cannot recall one passage off the top of my head but I can give you many Scripture passages condemning individual malice/hatred.

Real sin is malice/hatred of the individual who is God's image-bearer regardless of race, not social mores. Now, I fully realize what foolish charges to which I have left myself open. I am not defending racism or any such thing but I am just trying to balance the scales. So-called social sins have filled our vision that we can no longer see the real sins.

Jim's picture

http://sharperironintheironskillet.blogspot.com/2011/08/si-you-lie.html

OK for those who don't get filings ... and I guess the above author is one of them

http://sharperiron.org/about-filings

Quote:
SharperIron Filings are links to bits of news around the world and the “blogosphere.” The items linked to are not published by SI and do not necessarily express the opinions of anyone at SharperIron. They’re chosen because we believe they may be of interest to SI readers. (As is customary on the ‘Net, we do not seek permission to link to Web content.)

Note how the filings is in quotes: "Fundamentalism provided fertile recruiting soil for ... the Ku Klux Klan"

That's a quote from Stokes ... not S/I.

I doubt the above author get's it but I hope S/I members can read and understand

*** UPDATE ***

I posted the filing myself - not Aaron. And anyone can see from my comments on this thread that I do not believe that "Fundamentalism provided fertile recruiting soil for ... the Ku Klux Klan".

Note my earlier comments:

  • "That Stokes could not objectively address this aspect of Norris' life, makes his veracity suspect! "
  • "I suggest that racism and a misunderstanding of the Christian teaching on "in the image of God" provided a "fertile recruiting soil for the Ku Klux Klan"

I also posted the filing http://sharperiron.org/filings/8-27-11/20001 "Earthquake May be a Divine Sign"

AND I believe that the crack in my driveway is a divine sign! Smile

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Also for those not clear on what Filings are, there's a link at the top that says "About Filings." The way it works is you click it to find out what Filings are. (It's been there for a couple years now I think.)
Free tip of the day. Wink

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

RPittman's picture

RPittman wrote:
Wayne Wilson wrote:
Quote:
Budiansky admits in the prologue to having changed the historical perspective.

Brother Pittman,

Is this the passage in the proplogue to The Bloody Shirt you speak of?

Quote:
This book tells the stories of a few of the people who lived through that chapter. It does not purport to be anything like a complete history of reconstruction. It does not pretend to explore, much less analyze, all the political and economic nuances that came to bear on the events of this exceedingly complex period in our nation’s history. It does aim to challenge the palliative stereotypes, the exculpatory myths, and the outright bald-faced lies that still characterize far too much of what passes for common knowledge of this era.

I would say he achived his purpose rather well from original sources. Can you show some serious instances where he was wrong?

No, this is not the passage and no, he did not achieve his purpose.
Wayne, yes, this is the passage. Someone came in as I was leaving my desk when I dashed off my reply. I was wrong; this is the passage.

Although, the author references factual incidents, what he chooses and chooses not to include colors the view. Also, there are many additional or extenuating circumstances that may or may not be told. He failed to give proper credence to the atrocities done by carpetbaggers, scalawags, and Negroes to white Southerners. Quoting political rhetoric does not give the true picture.

MShep2's picture

I see I must duck when I post this, with all the shrapnel flying around. However, I couldn't let this one pass:

Wayne Wilson wrote:

I don't think racism is the original sin, but it is America's most grievous sin --- a deep sin --- an early sin that went uncorrected and continued on in worse forms for a very long time, a sin of unspeakable cruelty and injustice to a whole people, and prompting more sin through rationalization and justification and eventually a perverse theology. I do not think America is a racist country today. Thank God. But there are still elements that linger, and sadly, among believers too.
Really? America's most grievous sin? I hope this is hyperbole. While I believe the culture and practices of racism that existed in the U.S. were a great sin, I would say the www.nrlc.org/news/2001/NRL01/roe.html murders of 40 million unborn babies has that sin beat by a long shot.

Wayne, if you want to get some perspective on the race issue (including what should have been done), read some of Thomas Sowell's writings (especially http://www.amazon.com/Black-Rednecks-Liberals-Thomas-Sowell/dp/1594030863 ]Black Rednecks and White Liberals ). He is a black man who lived through the Jim Crow era and the civil rights gains of the 60's. Slavery was not a "white" or "American" problem. It was a world problem with everyone from rival African tribes down to landowners in the States having a part in the practice and thus the guilt. Yes, Christians need to examine and condemn the faulty theology that allowed some in the past to justify this tragedy, but Christians were the ones who fought the most against the slave trade and slave ownership. And, there were many other philosophies (such as Darwinism) that were used to justify this sin that had nothing to do with Christianity.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

RPittman's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
But for you brother Pittman: Do you consider BJU stripping the hall of his name, unwise? repulsive and disgusting?
Jim, you and I both know much of life is a muddled affair. Balance is the key to living life well. It is too easy to lean one way or the other and fall off the high wire. While advocating tolerance, I remember my history professor in Puritanism warning "Tolerance is the road to compromise," Many things are like that. Sometimes we go too far down the road and other times we don't go far enough. BJU has traditionally remained firm against currying public opinion and folding under pressure. On the other hand, this can turn into stubbornness. In this case, I don't know. I would not laud it as a wise move. That is short of calling it unwise and most certainly not labeling it repulsive or disgusting. I probably see this as a step in the direction of knuckling under to political correctness.

Although not explicitly stated, their action seems to imply that Bibb Graves was not an honorable man. I think Dr. Bob, Sr. would disagree with their action. After all, Dr. Bob, Sr. knew Bibb personally and better than any of us today. If he thought that he was honorable, then he probably had a better perspective. Dr. Bob, Sr. was a segregationist too. Are they going to rename Founders Memorial Amphitorium? Rename the university?

I would like to see BJU refute the false implications and defend the honor of a good man as far as I can tell. The liberal establishment defended Hugo Black's membership in the Klan when he was handing down radical decisions from the Supreme Court. They are more loyal to their own than modern Fundamentalists, it seems. Bibb Graves as a progressive governor, although he doesn't exact fit my political philosophy today, did much good for Alabama, the Negroes, and white Southerners. He may have made mistakes along the way, but why not give him what is due? He was a big help to BJC in the early days. One doesn't desert his friends just because they are unpopular or out of fashion.

No, I don't agree with BJU on this move but I'm not castigating them either. After all, they don't need my approval or disapproval.

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
Please help me. I've never understood why malice or hatred based on race or nationality is worse than the individual malice/hatred for individuals close around including sometimes family members, neighbors, or coworkers regardless of race or creed. It seems that racism is an abstract social attitude directed at no one in particular although it may contribute to the maliciousness of wicked people.

Brother Pittman, it is hard for me to accept that you really believe this. "racism is an absract social attitude directed at no one?"

But I will go back to your question, because it is such a good one. How is racism a worse sin than a personal offense? . If I mistreat or hate someone like me it is a sin, but it is a sin between men. It goes to another level of hate when you deny another person’s humanity based on the least of differences. If I strike a man, or steal from him, or cheat him, that is a sin. But when I do the same to a whole people, and remind them every day for centuries by law and custom that they are less than me, and not as human as I am, that is a greater sin. And if they stand up to me, and I come to them in the night, armed and in force, and burn their homes, and hurt their women, and then whip them and hang them from a tree as an example to others of their kind that they had better not transgress the boundaries I’ve placed on them, it rises to a new level of sin. If I tell them their children are unworthy to sit beside mine in school, or be on the same playground, or sit together at the movies, or even in church, I have attacked their very humanity. If I make sure, by law and by custom, that they can never improve themselves, and attain to positions of rank in the community no matter their intellect or accomplishments or virtues, I have made injustice a way of life, which is far more than an individual act of sin and hatred. Does this really need to be pointed out?

As Martin Luther King put it: “When your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are), and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro... when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" - then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

Biblical texts? I agree we don’t see anything as pathetic as skin color separating people in the ancient world. Prejudice was more about cultures and other groups who were different in more meaningful ways. One exception might be Numbers 12, where Miriam was made leprous because she despised Moses when he married an African woman. But in terms of the black experience in America, surely all the texts related to strangers apply, since they were brought here as chattel against biblical law.

Ex 12:49 “The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Lev 19:33-34 ‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. ‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
Really? America's most grievous sin? I hope this is hyperbole.... I would say the murders of 40 million unborn babies has that sin beat by a long shot.

I have to disagree, brother Shep. Only a person who hasn't thought much about what the Atlantic crossing in a slave ship was like could say that. I believe abortion to be a great evil, but it is merciful compared to what millions of blacks endured. There are more than numbers at play here. Also, abortion is an act by individuals, and not a systemic oppression of a whole people. They are both great evils, but abortion is not a greater sin "by a long shot," and it has been acceptable for a much shorter amount of time.

I am not comforted that pagans and Muslims also practiced barbaric forms of slavery. Christians are supposed to know better. America was supposed to be a city on a hill, remember? You can't blame Darwin for racism. Darwinism justified it, but racism was around long before Darwin. I am very aware that many Christians opposed it, including some Puritans, Quakers, and the great English evagelicals. I own a Methodist circuit rider's book of discipline published in 1860. It directly and openly condemns slavery on pain of excommunication. Yes, good Christians led the way against slavery and racism. However, many Fundamentalists in the 20th century did not follow their noble example. The humiliation BJU put minorities through is unconscionable.

i like Thomas Sowell, and have read him for years. He brings a helpful corrective to liberal propaganda, but I doubt he would say American slavery was not a serious crime against his people. Did he really suggest that slavery wasn't very serious compared to abortion?

JobK's picture

RPittman wrote:
Wayne Wilson wrote:
I don't think racism is the original sin, but it is America's most grievous sin --- a deep sin --- an early sin that went uncorrected and continued on in worse forms for a very long time, a sin of unspeakable cruelty and injustice to a whole people, and prompting more sin through rationalization and justification and eventually a perverse theology. I do not think America is a racist country today. Thank God. But there are still elements that linger, and sadly, among believers too.
Please help me. I've never understood why malice or hatred based on race or nationality is worse than the individual malice/hatred for individuals close around including sometimes family members, neighbors, or coworkers regardless of race or creed. It seems that racism is an abstract social attitude directed at no one in particular although it may contribute to the maliciousness of wicked people. Racism is more a social-political question than a moral question. Can you give me one clear Scripture condemning racism per se? I cannot recall one passage off the top of my head but I can give you many Scripture passages condemning individual malice/hatred.

Real sin is malice/hatred of the individual who is God's image-bearer regardless of race, not social mores. Now, I fully realize what foolish charges to which I have left myself open. I am not defending racism or any such thing but I am just trying to balance the scales. So-called social sins have filled our vision that we can no longer see the real sins.

How is trying to balance the sides any different from trying to pick the lesser of two evils? 1. It is impossible to reliably choose the lesser of the two evils, because at times you will wind up choosing the greater despite your best efforts. 2. No matter whether you choose the lesser or the greater, you are still choosing - still consenting to with your own will and actions - evil. It is better to simply withdraw yourself from the no-win situation. The same is true of "trying to balance the sides." Why when both sides were wrong? The North being wrong in their "war of aggression" against the South doesn't mean the south was right. The wrongs that southerners experienced during Reconstruction doesn't justify the KKK's existence or crimes. If that were the case, then murderous slave revolts led by the likes of Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, John Brown etc. were justified, as were race riots, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers etc. A specific example: one of the main justifications that people gave for supporting black hate groups like the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers was that they acted to defend the black community from violent white racists. (The full name of the Black Panthers was The Black Panther Party for Self Defense.) Now were I concerned with "balancing the sides", I would state that in the context of the times and conditions that they lived in, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, and similar groups were justified, similar to your KKK defense. But since the Bible is my standard, my position is that they were just as wrong as the KKK was.

I agree with the problems of accepting liberal theology on sin, and that the concept of social sin is a liberal one that denies both original sin and individual accountability for sin before God. I am aware that liberal and liberation theologians have redefined sin to fit their political, economic and social agendas, and that racism is a primary example. Still, claiming that all sin is individual, that there is no such thing as a "sin culture" rejects a whole lot of teachings in the Old Testament and Revelation. When sinful behavior is embraced, practiced, and glorified in a culture to where it becomes normal and doesn't seem sinful, you have a sin culture. The development of sin culture is why God destroyed all of humanity save Noah with the great flood. It is why God divided humanity at the tower of Babel. It is why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It is why God warned Israel not to have any dealings with the pagan cultures around them, and commanded that Israel totally destroy the people living in the land that He gave them. Israel did not listen, developed their own culture of syncretism, violence and decadent immorality, and that is why they themselves were overthrown by the Assyrians and Babylonians. And in our own contemporary society, we have many cultures that breed and proliferate many types of sins: the drug culture, the homosexuality culture, the pornography culture, the illegitimacy culture, the violence culture, a huge new consciousness/new thought culture that is being promoted by the government, education system, religions etc. So yes, during the time that the KKK was active (and before and also after) widespread sinful cultural conditions caused whites to hate blacks and blacks to hate whites just like the same sinful cultural conditions in OT times caused people to offer their own children in human sacrifices in order to cause their crops to grow and livestock to reproduce.

So that goes back to the "balancing the sides" thing, between trying to choose between two things that are both wrong. The liberal theology of social sin rejects the Bible, but so does rejecting what the Bible says about groups and nations that give themselves over to sinful practices. So, there are those who are going to be on the side of the KKK, those who are going to be on the side of the Black Panthers, but in the end, both sides will perish. Only those that are on God's side will persevere.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

JobK's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:
Quote:
Really? America's most grievous sin? I hope this is hyperbole.... I would say the murders of 40 million unborn babies has that sin beat by a long shot.

I have to disagree, brother Shep. Only a person who hasn't thought much about what the Atlantic crossing in a slave ship was like could say that. I believe abortion to be a great evil, but it is merciful compared to what millions of blacks endured. There are more than numbers at play here. Also, abortion is an act by individuals, and not a systemic oppression of a whole people. They are both great evils, but abortion is not a greater sin "by a long shot," and it has been acceptable for a much shorter amount of time.

I am not comforted that pagans and Muslims also practiced barbaric forms of slavery. Christians are supposed to know better. America was supposed to be a city on a hill, remember? You can't blame Darwin for racism. Darwinism justified it, but racism was around long before Darwin. I am very aware that many Christians opposed it, including some Puritans, Quakers, and the great English evagelicals. I own a Methodist circuit rider's book of discipline published in 1860. It directly and openly condemns slavery on pain of excommunication. Yes, good Christians led the way against slavery and racism. However, many Fundamentalists in the 20th century did not follow their noble example. The humiliation BJU put minorities through is unconscionable.

i like Thomas Sowell, and have read him for years. He brings a helpful corrective to liberal propaganda, but I doubt he would say American slavery was not a serious crime against his people. Did he really suggest that slavery wasn't very serious compared to abortion?

Sorry, I disagree there. Abortion IS a systemic and systematic murder of a whole people. Abortion is necessary in order to facilitate our society's exaltation of sexual immorality. And it is not just abortion. The exponential increase in brutal sex crimes, many of them against children, can be directly tied to our liberalizing laws against pornography, is also part of it. As far as the slavery versus abortion thing goes ... we have to remember that the Bible in no place calls slavery a sin, and quite the contrary the New Testament in at least a couple of places commands Christian slaves to be obedient to their masters, including even those masters that mistreated them. So, the worst that can be said about slavery in America is A) it involved man-stealing and Cool it did not heed the regulations given in the Bible designed to make slavery more humane. It is actually easier to make a Biblical case against racism - which inherently involves hating and mistreating people - than against slavery, which does not. Abortion by contrast is murder, and the Bible explicitly, repeatedly condemns murder, and counts it as one of the very worst sins. Many references in the Bible are to God bringing judgment on individuals and nations because of shedding innocent blood. I am not aware of a reference where God did so because of slavery. If it exists, it is because of man-stealing, not slavery.

The idea that slavery is in and of itself sinful is how Enlightenment thought influences Christianity, because that thought makes it a great offense to deprive a person of his "rights" so to speak ... his ability to live and act according to his own free will and volition and not have anything imposed on him without his consent. There is also the egalitarian ideal of the Enlightenment, where all people ideally are politically, economically and socially equal. Both notions - individual rights and egalitarianism - are completely absent in the Bible. Were we to simply admit that, it would be a lot easier to refute a central fallacy of liberal Christianity, which is that the Bible is a political/philosophical text intended to address and correct social ills. That's why your statement that abortion is merciful when compared to slavery is terrifying. The Bible does not call for all people to be granted a certain status or level of existence, but instead calls upon all people to submit to and worship God regardless of that status or level of existence. When the Bible commands us not to shed innocent blood, it does not qualify it by saying "unless that person is a slave, poor, or a member of an oppressed or disenfranchised group" because the Bible declares human life to be precious and protected, not the status or quality of human life. So, the idea that abortion is more merciful than slavery sounds very much like the "mercy" of the eugenicists, who, let us remember, were also in many instances products of Enlightenment thought.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Wayne Wilson's picture

Quote:
So, the worst that can be said about slavery in America is A) it involved man-stealing and Cool it did not heed the regulations given in the Bible designed to make slavery more humane.

The worst? It sounds so innocuous putting it as you do. I would agree with you, brother, if American slavery did not involve hundreds of thousands of murders in the crossing and in staggering abuse. Would you rather be beheaded or crucified? One is quick, the other an extended horror. That's all I meant by the comparison. Abortion, which I believe is taking a human life, is relatively quick, and involves lives that haven't had a chance to hope and dream. That's probably the reason people don't act more directly and more violently to end abortion. American, or colonial, slavery took the lives of about 4 million men, women and children just in the middle passage. The survivors were likely condemned to a short, cruel life completely at the mercy of their masters. American slavery, including the slave trade, did not just fail to meet with some biblical rules of governance, it was a nightmare of hopeless, endless cruelty for many, many people. What did Wesley call American slavery? Oh, yes, "the vilest that ever saw the sun."

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