Growing up in the inner city in the '60s, I recall with horror the violence of race riots that swept across this country from East to West and from North to South.
I recall having to be locked in classrooms and hidden from view for personal safety reasons. I remember walking down the halls of my high school seeing the blood stained walls, and having to step gingerly on marble floors slick with blood.
Today, as I read some of the banter taking place in the Citizen Poll, I find myself wondering if we are not headed for a new era of violence. Why is it that we can't seem to get along?
The simple answer to that question is the human heart. The Bible says, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NLT).
Personally, I think we are catching a little glimpse of the wickedness that resides in our hearts by the comments coming out of our mouths in the safety of an anonymous forum. The embers of hate are being fanned into a flame I am not sure we want to battle again in this country.
The really sad part in all of this is that we forget these racial atrocities are nothing less than a family feud (unless of course evolution is true; then it is survival of the fittest and we have no room for moral judgment one way or the other on the issue.)
As a Christian, I believe that we are created beings. Yes, I believe in a literal Adam and Eve. That may cause you to write me off, but please hear me out.
If it is true that God created the heavens and the earth, and if it is true that he began all mankind from one couple, then ultimately we are all related. In reality, there may be many variations within the human race, but ultimately there is only one race.
How did the differences that we observe today come about? If you accept the evolutionary view, they came about as the various races sprang up through natural selection. If you recall your evolutionary science, it is believed and taught that those races also were seen as a hierarchy of development and used to justify the superior of some over the inferior nature of others.
One of those branches being described in 1919 as "only being able to develop to the mentality of an 8-year-old and therefore must be controlled by those further along the evolutionary chain."
There are always implications to what we believe. Along with this view of the origin of the races came the eugenics program of Margaret Sanger who, in the periodical The Birth Control Review, November 1921 edition, declared that the purpose of her program was "to create a race of thoroughbreds."
Also, in the "Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America," by Linda Gordon, Sanger says, "We want to exterminate the Negro population."
As a Christian, I believe that we are all related to Adam and Eve through Noah. We are family. The differences in ethnicity, not race, are due to the scattering of the human family at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). Through the human family, scattering over the face of the earth, dominant genes got together and the result is the differences we observe in people today.
Naive? Backward? Unintellectual? While that is the label of those who view themselves intellectually superior may claim, the truth is, you won't see a program of eugenics growing out of such a view.
We don't agree with Sanger who, in her book "Pivot of Civilization," described immigrants and poor people as "human weeds, reckless breeders, spawning human beings who should have never been born." We see one another as family.
When all is said and done, the way to end the racial divides we see can only be accomplished with a change of heart. Laws won't accomplish that, borders won't insure that -- only Christ can change the human heart.
Only when we realize anew and afresh that all humans are made in God's image will we discover the wonderful unity in diversity that exists in our world.
Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. For more information, visit the Gateway website at www.gatewaycommunity.org.