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Racism is a sin

I have coached a broad range of athletes when it comes to color, creed and nationality. I have had Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and I am sure agnostic and atheistic players. They were of African, Latin, Asian, European and Native American descent. Regardless, I have looked at them as athletes and my expectations for each were based on their God given talents and not their ancestry or religious affiliations.

I am disheartened when I see our culture embrace racism under the pretense of equality or other equitable goals. Martin Luther King Jr. prayed for a day when his children could be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. His words were grounded in God's word whereby racism is a sin. Let us count the ways God abhors racism:

  1. We are all made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). God does not hate himself nor does he tolerate those who hate his creation.

  2. We are all sinners (Romans 3:10-20). Not one of us can say we are not separated from God and thereby ahead of another in God's eyes.

  3. For Christians, we are all one in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:28) How can we all be one under Jesus Christ but hold one group or race is better than another?

  4. In Genesis, the separation into tribes with differing languages was a curse. God is telling us we are intended to be one but our curse is to be separate. (Gen 11:7-9)

  5. James teaches us that partiality is a sin (James 2:1). When we treat another person unfairly or favor one group over another we are dishonoring God because Christ came to save all men.

  6. Treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated (Matthew 22:39). This one is self explanatory

  7. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15). When we hate others because of jealousy and covetousness we are sinning against God.

  8. Love rejoices in what is true, honest, forthright, etc (1 Cor 13:4-7) You can’t love when you assume the worst about people and live your life fueled by prejudice, misguided convictions, and animosity.

  9. Heaven has no place for racists and racist behavior (Rev 5:9-10). Jesus flat out tells us racism is not accepted in the Kingdom of Heaven.

  10. I am sure there are more examples... but these ought to be enough!

Sports should be a meritocracy and if you want to be a lesser team then focus on someone's color, creed or nationality and not on their talents. This is not to recognize we all have obstacles to overcome and racism might be one of them. However, your mother always told you (or she should have) "two wrongs don't make a right." You don't cure problems with inclusiveness by excluding people.

Racism, reverse racism, tribalism and other forms of pitting one group against another are at an all time high in my life time. This struck home to me recently when I was told my soon to be adopted son would be denied health care given to other adopted children because he was white. I was shocked because in this day and age how does ones skin color play a factor in their need for medical care? Nobody could adequately explain the policy, none were willing to do so in writing and I don't blame them because to do so would be to defend a racist policy.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Let no man pull you low enough to hate him." He recognized that hate, which results in racist thoughts and acts, is something we control. Each of us must do our part to first know what racism is (it is not someone having something you don't have) and second to call it out when we see it practiced. It has no place in God's heavenly Kingdom and should have no place here on earth and we can start as athletes by making sure it has no place on the field or court.

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