With the recent events in Charlottesville our parish has been having a lot of discussions, be it about race, forgiveness, or fact checking Confederate generals. In the discussions there is one fact that never changes, and that’s that there is no room for racism or hatred in the Orthodox Christian Church (even being condemned in the 19th century). We can be worried, concerned, scared, or anything else but we must reject any kind of language that blanket blames any race or group of people. It’s certainly uncomfortable to consider that we have to forgive white supremacists or the violent antifa people, but if Christ can forgive the men brutalizing him then at the very least we can discuss forgiving hateful people.
There is also a lot of discussion here in the city, both physically in public and also on Facebook, most recently on a Black Lives Matter rally held at the Capitol. Some of the comments regarding rally on a news page make incredible assertions, ranging from blacks being lazy, to having too many babies, to draining all the welfare from the state, and so on. Some people rose up against those comments, but that particular page is just one example. And to be honest I hear a lot of these similar remarks in places that I frequent, from people I associate with through different activities or clubs. It’s astounding that in a state so heavily identified as Christian that I encounter so many people placing blame on black or Mexican people. Anyway, once I saw those Facebook comments about “all the babies” I did some poking around for census data to see what they have to say vs. how people perceive reality. Although I assumed a lot of what I learned, the numbers were pretty surprising.Continue reading