Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Sins Of Segregation

A familiar sign in the Bible Belt

This week's post, a week late I apologize, is another critique on the unique and bizarre culture that is the Bible Belt. Last week I went to visit my brother in Nashville, TN where he attends school at Lipscomb University. Everytime I visit the city I am reminded of how much Nashville is unlike any place in the world. Driving throught the metro area you see these huge million dollar homes with these huge plantaion-like yards. Even more crazy is to see people putting on room additions that houses that already too big. Another stark reminder when I visit Nashville is the vast racial divide that still exists in the Bible Belt. My visit to Lipscomb sparked an interest to learn about the desegregation of Church of Christ schools like ACU, Harding and Lipscomb.

The landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Education came in 1954. ACU was the first of the three CoC schools to desegregate, but it didn't happen until 1965 which was more than ten years after the Brown decision. Let me say that again....10 years later. Not 10 days, not 10 weeks, but 10 years later. Sadly, Lipscomb was one of the last schools to intergrate in 1967 (13 years after Brown). Some will say that since CoC schools are private institutions, then they were not obligated to comply right away with the court's ruling. Segregation is not a matter of private or public, but of right and wrong.

What is even more amazing that it wasn't until 1999 that ACU president Royce Money issued a public apology for its practice of segregation. 1999!! Not 1000 B.C. or 1000 A.D., but at the verge of the 21st century in 1999 A.D. It took two thousand years for a group of Christians to realize that segregation was a sinful and evil practice. A group that seemed to disregard passages like Gal 3:26-28, "26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." How much clearer can it be? Are we that dense?

Sadly not much has changed in the Bible belt. Segregation in the Bible Belt is no longer enforced, but chosen. Both sides of the divide now choose to segregate from each other and the consequences will be felt by generations to come. The end result will lead one into the ignorance of thinking that everybody looks like, thinks like and acts like themselves. It is time to realize that race, not culture, is a fictional construct created by society which is no more real than Santa Claus. One can't escape their culture, but one can transcend their race. No? Well then ask yourself if one has ever been discriminated because of their eye color? Absolutely not and it's because eye color doesn't make anyone more skilled or special than the next person. The same is true for skin color. It is time to deny the lie that there are many different races and acknowledge the truth that there is only one race and that is the human race.


Coming next week: My Concept of Marriage


J-Wild 8:33 PM  

My grandfather remembers sitting in an ACU Bible class for preaching and all of the black students had to sit out in the hall with the door open because they weren't allowed to come into the room. The administration said that segregation was a political issue for the government, and not the church.

HOWEVER, I will say that ACU did admit it's sin. And not by just mentioning it once or twice, but for about a whole year. Since I went to school there the racial mix of the school has improved tremendously. Where is Harding, DLU, and the other schools in this? It was too long for ACU, but they set the example, why has there been no follow up by the other schools? ACU should be commended for recognizing it's sin.

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