The Golden Rule

It is now the end of Spring semester, COVID-19 has changed our world, probably forever, and my students are writing their concluding blog for the semester. My entry here, is an example for them to follow. It is by no means is it the end of my own blogging.

Golden Rule (Rockwell, 1894-1978a). ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN

I have peppered this post with images from the 2015 Norman Rockwell Exhibit, We the People and his Golden Rule painting (Rockwell, 1894-1978a). I have come to believe the historical Christian Church has failed at Matthew 7:12, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (The Peoples Bible, 2009). I ask you before you read this summary of my previous entries for the semester, to look at Rockwell’s Golden Rule to the right. Notice the rainbow of black to brown to white and remember my post, The Myth of Race.

My focus this semester was looking at the question, “How may I work towards social justice in the fight against racism with my brothers and sisters in Christ?” (See The Journey Continues). My greatest movement towards answering that question was committing to a year-long facilitator training program with the United Church of Christ Sacred Conversations to End Racism (UCC SC2ER, 2020) (See Jesus didn’t Speak in Red letters.)

Reference photo  1 (Rockwell, 1894-1978b)

Participation in that process and reflecting upon what I have learned has already led me to change the name of my blog from Let’s talk about racism: You say you’re not a racist to Deconstructing racism: Moving beyond what we see. Here are some of the things that I learned and that are supported in social, anthropological, and genetic research.

I learned that we all have our origins in Africa and at some genetic level, we are all persons of color. I lay my case for that in my entry Across the Great Divide. I supporting that in facts through my own genetic testing results indicating my African ancestry of 1.3% Angolan and Congolese. Race, as a biological construct does not exist.

Reference photo 2 (Rockwell, 1894-1978c)

I learned that while there is no basis for race, racism, as a social construct is alive and well in the 21st century. A fact I talk about in my entry I was Black until 1967.

And I learned race, as we use the term today, is a direct result of a Papal Bull allowing Christians to seize the lands of other people and to enslave them and which future Protestants would use to continue the same. A fact I talk about in The WASP’s Nest.

I know I have not begun to address my question, but I have laid the foundation for it. But based on what I have learned, I feel the Church has more of a role in atonement than I thought. I feel the Church mut not only be socially just and live the Golden Rule, but must be restorative and atone for the sins of its past. My question shifts from society to Church  and How may I work towards restorative racial justice within the Christian Church?”.

United Nations Golden Drawing (Rockwell, 1894-1978d)

References

Rockwell, N. (1894-1978a), Golden Rule, 1961 [Oil on canvas, 44 1/2” x 39 1/2”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 1, 1961]. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. https://www.nrm.org/2016/06/peoples-norman-rockwells-united-nations-2/#exhibition

Rockwell, N. (1894-1978b), Reference photo 1 Rockwell used for his Golden Rule [Photograph]. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. https://www.nrm.org/2016/06/peoples-norman-rockwells-united-nations-2/#exhibition

Rockwell, N. (1894-1978c), Reference photo 2 Rockwell used for his Golden Rule [Photograph]. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. https://www.nrm.org/2016/06/peoples-norman-rockwells-united-nations-2/#exhibition

Rockwell, N. (1894-1978d), United Nations [Drawing]. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. https://www.nrm.org/2016/06/peoples-norman-rockwells-united-nations-2/#exhibition

The Peoples Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. (2009). Fortress Press.

United Church of Christ Sacred Conversations to End Racism (2020). Retrieved April 17, 2020 from https://www.ucc.org/sacred_conversations_to_end_racism

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