A Creeping Theocracy?

Eric Cernyar ecernyar at SATX.RR.COM
Thu Nov 29 17:05:10 PST 2001

Yes, they were all incorrect in their theology, and tragically so.  If
anyone doubts this, I suggest that they read the Bible.  I have in fact
studied many of the theological arguments to which Prof. Finkelman refers.
They are terribly unpersuasive.  BTW, I would admonish the racial purists
about Numbers 12.  "Miriam & Aaron began to talk against Moses because of
his Cushite [i.e., dark-skinned] wife, for he had married a Cushite. . . .
The anger of the Lord burned against them . . . [and] there stood Miriam --
leprous, like snow [i.e., very, very white]."  Also, the bride in Song of
Solomon is "dark."  Song of Songs 1:5-6.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
[mailto:RELIGIONLAW at listserv.ucla.edu]On Behalf Of Paul Finkelman
  Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:35 PM
  To: RELIGIONLAW at listserv.ucla.edu
  Subject: Re: A Creeping Theocracy?

  For people who believe racial equality is a "deeply Chrisian concept" I
suggest they read anyone of the hundreds of sermons, pamphlets, essays, and
the like by some of the most respected ministers of their time, who used the
Bible and Christianity to defend slavery and racial discrimination before
the Civil War, and then examine the arguments made by Bob Jones University
in defense of its racial practices, and then examine all of the churches in
America that have historically segregated blacks or not allowed them to
attend.,  Then, visit the thousands of Christian burial grounds throughout
the South, where only whites were buried. They might further ask why the
Southern Baptist movement was created. It was to defend slavery and remained
to defend segregation.
  Can all of these Christians have been incorrect in their theology?

  Paul Finkelman
  Chapman Distinguished Professor
  University of Tulsa College of Law
  3120 East 4th Place
  Tulsa, Oklahoma  74104-2499

  918-631-3706 (office)
  918-631-2194 (fax)

  paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu

  Robert Justin Lipkin wrote:

    In a message dated 11/29/2001 3:26:45 PM Eastern Standard Time,
ecernyar at SATX.RR.COM writes:

      The equality of races & ethnic
      groups is a deeply Christian concept.  See, e.g., Rom. 10:12, Col.
3:11, 1
      Cor. 12:13, Rev. 5:9, 14:6.
          I am not qualified to say whether racial equality is "a deeply
Christian concept," but I'm often perplexed by remarks often made by
progressives  inter alia that religion in American society has been
instrumental, sometimes uniquely so, in creating a better (more progressive,
more equal) society.  Typically, religion's role is touted for ending
slavery and segregation. What I find perplexing about these (and other)
examples is even if we accept arguendo that religion played a pivotal role
in ending slavery and segregation, it was religion that staunchly defended
these institutions with similar references to the Bible. Although, I have
not done the research, I would wager that there are few, if any, cases of
religion righting a moral wrong, where that wrong was not conscientiously
defended by other religions or even by other religionists. So to talk of the
progressive force of religion in extirpating evil is only ! half the story.
The other half is that typically it was religion that entrenched and
defended the extirpated evil. Additionally, and this is more to the point of
Professor Cernyar's post, whether or not racial equality "is a deeply
Christian concept," in fact the creation and prolongation of racial
inequality has often been defended on Christian grounds. Whether or not a
concept is a Christian one (socialist, utilitarian, etc.) often depends less
on its conceptual explication by some and more on its implementation in
practice by many.

    Bobby Lipkin
    Widener University School of Law

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