Dear Friends,

So, did you watch ‘that’ interview? What did you make of Meghan & Harry? Did it change your mind about the Royal Family? I confess that I did not watch it. But whether you did or not, none of us is immune to the issues raised, most especially that of alleged racism. Paul says that ‘all have sinned’ – which means that all of us, at some time or another put ourselves first at the expense of others; more selfish than selfless – and I have always thought that for every one of us that has actual repercussions. Racism is a sin. Just as all of us are inherently sinful so all of us are inherently racist. And such is the corrupting nature of sin – persuading us that selfishness, understood as self-interest, is not necessarily a bad thing – so with racism. We are all too easily persuaded that our self-interest is best served by a lifestyle that is ‘our own’. And when personal self-interest becomes national self-interest – in the national interest’ – the seeds of racism are sown. Racism is common to people of every race. No racial group is immune from it. But when one racial group believes itself to be superior; physically, numerically, economically, militarily, intellectually, culturally, ethnically, philosophically, politically, religiously, whatever, and seeks to impose that superiority on others, that is racism. The whole of history is littered with examples of assumed racist superiority enforced through the violent persecution of others, seen at its most extreme in attempts to ‘wipe-out’ particular racial groups…But the ‘free movement’ of people, coupled with the ease of international travel has redefined the nation state. There are few countries in the world populated exclusively by a single racial group. Some countries, like our own, there are present within its borders, representatives of every other racial group. We are a multi-racial society. One only has to look at the list of options available to us when we fill in our census return to realise just how diverse a society we are. Just because we are a multi-racial society it does not mean that race relations – relations between members of different racial groups – will necessarily be harmonious. The close proximity of people of other races is as likely to exacerbate racial prejudice as it is to eliminate it…It is all too easy for those of the previously dominant racial group; for those who can claim an ancestral superiority; for those who can point to a particular way of living; to an ordering of society as having been established over centuries; to seek to impose that agenda on those who have more recently settled among them. It may be that is no bad thing. It may be that certain attitudes, traditions and practices should be confronted, and a willingness to change demanded as a reasonable ‘price to pay’ to be accepted, and given the opportunity to prosper and flourish. But that cannot be demanded just because it is the way the dominant racial group has always done it. It too has to be prepared to be challenged by those who have brought with them a different way of living. Each one of us has something to teach everyone else, but only if each one of us is prepared to learn from everyone else. May be Meghan & Harry touched a nerve, so be it.

Racism is a sin