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Essay donated by Kathy LaPan

How we all came to be,
or why racism is pointless


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Webmaster's note:

Followers of Creation science generally believe that God created Adam out of mud and Eve out of Adam's rib less than 10,000 years ago. God also created all of the species of animals at about the same time.

Followers of naturalistic evolution believe that all species of animal and plant live that are present on the earth, or were present in the past, evolved from a single one-celled animal. This happened as a result of purely natural forces without any input from a creator God or Gods. Most evolutionists believe that modern apes and humans share a common ancestor; that is, that humans did not evolve directly from an ape. They have been trying to explain this to creationists for over a century without much luck.

Kathy Lapan believes in one version of theistic evolution: that all animals evolved from a single one-celled animal, but that God controlled the process. At some point, human beings of the species homo sapiens evolved from a species of ape called Australopithecines.


How we all came to be, or why racism is pointless

The fact is that all - every single individual - human life on this planet descended from Australopithecines.  They were apes, not black people as many people believe, and common theory suggests they were light brown with a lot of fur.  White people did not descend from black people, nor did Asian people or any other race of people.  All people descended from apes.  Australopithecines originally developed from even older species of apes in what we now call Northern Africa. However, this was before the continents were in the places they are now, and during massive climate differences, so it was neither hot nor dry there.  Eventually evolution (directed by God) created different kinds of humanoids - it wasn't a straight line, and current theories suggest that many of those “off-shoots” interbred into our gene pool to create who we are now.  Some of those humanoids moved away and developed adaptations to their new environments, such as scoop shaped teeth and smaller eyelids (Asian-type features), very dark skin and tightly curled hair with slightly curved thigh bones (black people), light skin and a tendency towards greater height and musculature (white Europeans)...you get the idea.

No one knows if Adam and Eve were humans as we are today, or if they were a type of humanoid, or if they were Australopithecines. All we know is God created them, and their creation lead to us.

In reality, there are only three "types" of people, and then combinations of the three - Caucasoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid.  There are not "Africans and whites and Arabs and ..." whatever. The variations of human beings are much more akin to breeds of dogs than anything. Although you may have a Dalmatian, a boxer, a Chihuahua, and a mixed breed mutt, no one would deny all of those are still dogs. They can interbreed and create viable, fertile offspring (a key test of genetic closeness). Looking at them, you can see vast differences – the Chihuahua barely comes up to the knees of the Dalmatian, whose spots are vastly different from the brown coat of the boxer – but you can also see the similarities. The same is true of humans.

We’re all the exact same critter running around on the same planet.  So why did God make us all look so different?

Through the centuries, people (mostly white European males who were seeking a way to justify the subjugation and cruelties inflicted on conquered people) have offered theories. Many revolve around the “mark” God put on Cain after the murder of Abel. The theory goes that God made Cain dark-skinned so that he would stand out, and thus be protected:

"And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.  And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." (Genesis 4:13-15; King James Version)

How this justified murdering and enslaving the very people they claimed bore the protecting mark of Cain is inexplicable, but the truth is the Bible never describes Cain’s mark, and certainly does not say that this mark was dark skin.

My belief, and the belief shared by many Christians, is that God had a number of reasons for our diversity. For one, our differences were adaptations to our environments – he made each type of person perfectly suited to where he chose for them to live, just as he does now with our interior traits. We are each made to be where we are, and are each given the tools we need to be there, whether those tools be dark skin that doesn’t burn in the sun or great skills in communication to share God’s word.

Secondly, our physical differences challenge us to look past the external and speak to the soul of each person, which is one of the key points of Christ’s message. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan is a key text against racism, because who suffered more racist hatred at the hands of the Jews than the Samaritans? Yet Jesus chose one of these people to illustrate one of the most difficult directives in the entire Bible – love your neighbor as you love yourself, even if your neighbor isn’t someone you’d normally choose to associate with:

"But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:29-36, KJV)

Now reread that parable, but replace the man in the story with a member of the Klu Klux Klan, and replace the Samaritan with a black man. Or make the man a white vigilante border guard and the Samaritan a Mexican immigrant. This story retains its power over the centuries since Jesus told it because it speaks directly to our (secret or not so secret) hearts where we hide our racism and hatred.

Very few people openly hate. Most of us speak of equality, but in our hearts we know we feel some people are “different”. It is not wrong to recognize differences, but how many times have you found yourself secretly harboring prejudices? Such as, “If you move to this country, you should be forced to speak English or get sent back”. Or “She only got that promotion because she’s ______ and they have to hire a certain number of those people”. How many times have to seen hatred in action and not spoken up? Have you noticed the store clerk watching the black couple to make sure they don’t shoplift? Have you witnessed someone harassing an Arabic person without intervening? Have you heard another parent saying the Asian girl only made honor roll because “those people” are always pushing their children harder?

Prejudice and racism come from the Devil, and it is our challenge as Christians to combat hatred with love and acceptance. We are all the same creatures of the Lord, and it is up to us to choose to live in this unity and love every day.


Copyright © 1998 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2008-NOV-23

Author:
Cathy LaPan

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