Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ignorance Encounter

Racism, in whatever form, is hardly surprising to encounter. It happens all over the place all of the time. But it's when it hits you personally that it takes you aback and knocks your bearings all off.
Today I encountered a bit of it from a person I respect and like quite a bit. It was not the kind of hateful racism that Maury pimps out to raise the ratings or anything. The topic of interracial marriage was brought up. She said she was raised to believe it wasn't right. I asked if she had since gotten over this, and she confessed she had not.
At this point I fight off being offended and simply ask, "You do know that my wife is Mexican-American right?" Of course she does. Now, how she reconciles this, I have no idea. I ask her why she thinks that's wrong and she says it's in the bible. I frankly reply that it is not. At least not in the way she thinks.
To clear things up a bit, the Old Testament mentions several times that God had commanded the nation of Israel to not intermarry with the Pagan nations. God surely had his reasons, but being rather uneducated in this portion of biblical study, I won't dare attempt to figure out what they were. But it was only mentioned in regard to the Jews.
I am not a Jew. This is where many people fall into error when studying the bible is not understanding that the laws that applied to God's people in the Old Testament do not apply to Christians today, necessarily. Certainly some do carry over, but we are not slaughtering spotless lambs to atone for our sins annually. Nor are we observing the seventh day of the week to worship. We use the first day of the week, as the apostles did. We repent and seek the redemption from sins through Christ's sacrafice, as the apostles and other early followers of the ressurrected Christ did.
This ignorance of the differences between the Old Testament (Old Covenant, Old Law, if you will) and the law of Christ is what led to my racial encounter. I didn't take offense and I attempted to explain why I'm not transgressing God's law. I hope she studies on it.
Racism and ignorance are alive and kicking and frankly until Christians do a better job of teaching others and spreading knowledge of Christ's law, it will persist.
Today, I've used the blog to get things off my chest. If you're reading, thanks for letting me have that opportunity. If you disagree with me in anything I said, reply and let's study it. The truth is more important than pride.


BRATCH said...

Is this person someone who knew you and your wife prior to marriage? Also, how old is this person?

Age really makes a difference.

If this is a person that you and your wife knew before marriage, I'll bet that she doesn't see your marriage as "interracial" even if she is against it. I think it would be hard to know the both of you and be able to think in the back of your mind, "I hope they don't get together, that would be wrong." That still doesn't make it right, however.

After hearing this person's reasoning as being "it's in the Bible," to me, this isn't as much of a racial issue as it is a rationalization issue on her part.

There are simply some things that are written in the Bible that, as a rational human being, you must be able to disregard.

In the Bible, fathers and daughters and mothers and sons had children together. I'm sorry but that's disgusting, wierd and wrong. I guess it was OK back then, but we aren't in the business of procreating at all costs in this day and age.

I'm calling that a cop out.

According to the Bible you can stone a person to death or at least cut off an appendage for just about anything if you read far enough and follow it to the letter. But then again, if you follow it strictly to the letter you are going to be one confused Christian who can slaughter a calf, sheep and goats with the best of them.

This person has a reason for why she thinks this way, but this reason isn't it. I'm willing to bet that it's because she probably didn't grow up with much racial diversity. Here in OC, where most of us grew up, we know that people would talk about it if one of us dated someone who was black.

Maybe not talk about it in that it was purely wrong and be angry about it or anything for the most part, but the gossip train would be rolling.

So I'm willing to bet that the person you were talking to is against it purely because she wouldn't want to do what you are doing now...

Dealing with a person who doesn't approve of your interracial marriage.

Travis said...

She did not know us before marriage. She's 36 I believe and just misinformed.

FYI, in the bible where fathers and daughters had children, it was called wrong. That was Noah and his daughters. Noah got himself drunk (the daughters helped) and "one thing led to another."

And Christians have no need to slaughter anything because that was a Jewish law. Obviously Christ made that unnecessary. So when you say that following the letter of the law in the bible leads to those things I disagree. Not understanding the bible leads to those things.

We talked for a bit and she understands that my marriage is an interracial one. I seldom think of it that way, but she does.

Levitical law is what commanded people to be stoned and killed for their "sins." In the New Testament, Christ presented his law and it was different in some areas. Sometimes more strict, sometimes less so. But Christ set the perfect example when he talked to the Samaritan women, taught prostitutes, told parables about the good deeds of a tax collector.

That concept of forgiving each other and helping one another get to heaven runs through the entirety of the New Testament books.

Back to the marriage thing. Like sacrificing cattle, like offering fire, like Days of Atonement, going to Temple, fasting, etc. there was a time and a place when interracial marriage was disallowed by God. That time ended when Christ came and died on the cross. Things changed, laws changed.

BRATCH said...

My point really was that you people can pick out a lot of things in the Bible and run with them if they choose to and choose to not study reasoning behind it, etc. I was speaking in generalities because it's obvious in her Bible reasoning that some picking and choosing is going on in what she chooses as "Biblical rules to live by." God was OK with Abraham marrying his half-sister and that's just icky in this day and age.

Things change over thousands of years.

Either way, I don't believe that this person is giving you the real reason behind her feelings. But I also realize that maybe she doesn't see things as cut and dry as you or I do.

The whole problem with this is that I don't see this as much of an issue and I can't believe that there is someone out there who not only has a problem with it, but actually told you that she did.

In fact, having said that kind of makes me see that maybe she is against it because she saw things in the Bible about it. Because that's pretty hardcore to have "said that to your face" as Donnie Baker would say on Bob and Tom.

I don't really know. Trying to look deeper into the issue makes my head hurt because if she has has been thinking this way since she was maybe 16 years-old, at 36 it's going to be tough to convince her that she's been wrong for the last 20 years.

Even with more Biblical references.

Travis said...


I should point out that the subject of interracial marriage was brought up in reference to someone else entirely. I just pointed out that I'm in an interracial marriage and that's how we got there.

But this morning the woman in question came to me with tears in her eyes apologizing. I told her I wasn't offended, just surprised that she thought that way.

She said she'd gone home, discussed it with others, and even gotten mad at her parents for teaching her that wrongly. She found that God didn't actually speak out against interracial marriage. At least not for Christians.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galatians 3:28

BRATCH said...

Well rock on.

I can't believe that her parents made it a point to raise her that way. Wierd.

To me that is really going out of your way because no one knows exactly when a kid will start thinking about dating. So you would have to start pretty early to ensure than when that time comes they'll be sure to stay within the confines of their own race.

And if you start very early you risk raising a full blown racist because a tight rope has to be travelled in order make sure that a kid won't want to date or marry a person of another race, but will still respect them as people.

Her parents pretty much navigated a mine field with her in my opinion.

Not that my opinion accounts for much, but we did get some good blogging out of it. All for the blog.

Piccu said...


my_merlin77 said...

To your mother.