Race & Religion

The influence of religion on race cannot be overstated. From the earliest days of Virginia history, religion informed its congregants that Natives and Blacks were — in the eyes of an almighty God — inferior humans by design. It was the “White Man’s burden” to provide salvation. And slavery.

Abolitionist ministers warned of God’s retribution for the sin. And Southern ministers preached slavery, the will of God, to master and slave alike. Huck Finn feared eternal damnation for his sin of helping runaway slave Jim. Churches gave birth to the civil rights movement. And churches still bear the scars of bombings and mass murder.

Churches, mosques and synagogues can do a great service if they’ll organize, promote and present learning opportunities on this complicated subject. A series of sermons, classes, projects with other churches et al.

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