We can do hard things. Let’s talk.
We’re all children of God.
Let’s set the ground rules.
- I’m working from the premise that the faithful espouse this belief, and
- Don’t let the word God jam you up. Higher power, spirit, Allah, Jehovah, the universe – whatever central force you believe in, that’s what we’re talking about.
You can’t really argue with the core of this statement, but that’s not where the true problem lies. The trouble is what else people mean when they say we’re all children of God. It’s really just another version of “we’re all one race – the human race.” It’s a wash.
Are we all children of God? Yes. Do some of us suffer more solely due to a system grounded in white supremacy? Also yes. Throwing “we’re all children of God” out there when a person of color describes their life experience is dismissive, and it’s done all the time.
God is love, and you are my brother/sister in Christ.
God is love, and the black community’s faith has carried them through more pain than they ever deserved to bear. But I hear this phrase and stop in my tracks. What sort of siblings would tolerate for even one second watching their brother profiled and endangered by everyday activities? Seeing their sister fetishized, sexualized as a young girl and discounted in later education? The hypocrisy of watching our brothers and sisters in Christ drown in this country’s disparity is almost too much to take.
You know what the Good Book says – turn the other cheek.
Right. Except when you’ve been torn down, turned away, chased after, and falsely accused for generations. Maybe – just maybe – we’re past the time for forgiveness.
This nine-year-old boy was falsely accused of sexual assault in a neighborhood deli this week. He and his sister can be heard crying on the video as this white woman “calls” 911 (further investigation shows she faked the call) demanding that police officers be sent to their location. They were terrified – by this woman’s vulgar gestures, her fury, the thought of the police coming, who knows. But this young boy spoke yesterday with the weight of a hundred years on his shoulders as he said, “I don’t forgive this woman.” Can you really blame him?
We believe in a God who loves. And it’s possible for Christians to say racist things. It’s time we started wrapping our brains around both of those statements.
The Small Bites series is a way to break down tough conversations into manageable pieces. I hope you come into this space with an open mind. That being said, I know now what I didn’t know in my twenties and thirties, but I don’t yet know what I don’t yet know. I love hearing your stories and perspectives in the comments. Thank you for being willing to share.
You can find previous posts by selecting small bites in the “Let’s talk about” search field.