Discrimination Still Occurs Within an “Enlightened” Society

Within American Christian circles, there has been much focus on the Biblical book of Genesis. The story of Creation has been fundamentally applied to insist that the world is 6,000 to 7,000 years old, despite what scientific study has confirmed. The story of Noah has been glamorized to the point that it is taught that climate change cannot occur because of God’s great promise never to destroy the Earth again for Man’s sins…oh, and dinosaurs were passengers on the ark, also countering scientific study of the Earth’s age. We also seem to give quite a bit of credence to Adam’s punishment for committing original sin, leading to his expulsion from the Garden of Eden: “the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it” (Genesis 3:17, New Living Translation). Apparently, poverty is an unfortunate circumstance commanded by God and perpetuated by the holier-than-thou.

I find the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) most fascinating. It is indicative of the continued human condition of discrimination, deemed necessary by God to prevent a collective endeavor of Man, who might equate himself with God almighty. Man attempts to build empires, building wealth and accumulation to symbolically attain god-like stature; the great tower was to reach the Heavens to find God, to equate Man with God, to prove to God of Man’s assumed worth and value. When Man worked together, united with one language and purpose, God deemed it necessary to splinter the race of Man, by creating confusion of language, by driving man to scattered kingdoms, and by distorting attitudes toward one another, fostering competition, diversity, and hatred among the different factions of Man.

Fundamentalists will note that racism was not created by God during the Tower of Babel incident; God merely created the different language systems, not differing skin colors. This semantic difference seems irrelevant. We might note that today’s society has mapped most of the shared language systems utilized on planet Earth, yet we continue to discriminate against each other, incapable of working together to achieve Utopian civilization. If Christians insist race was not a factor of God’s consequence at the Tower of Babel, then we might concede that ethnicity was a decided factor, based on differing language systems.

I read the Tower of Babel story to be an historic exposition of sacred rationale for humankind’s inclination for all discrimination, a continued detractor of the human condition. Even if we gloss over history, or constrain our study to only that which affects American interests, we cannot deny that racial, gender, ethnic, and fiscal division has continued, even in a time when communication is possible between most fractioned human categories.

In this story of the Tower of Babel, humans attempted to build an empire, and God deemed it necessary to inject discrimination into the culture to counteract Man’s hubris. Fundamentalist Christians read Biblical stories as factual. Interestingly, humans continue to attempt to build empires—symbolic towers built to achieve god-like stature—and Christians approve of empire-building by endorsing the American free market and denying the continued existence of racial discrimination within the country’s culture. This past week has given us three pieces of evidence confirming this theory:

1) The Supreme Court of the United States, the John Roberts court, seems to deny that racism persists in American culture. Along with calling for the dismantling of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the court recently decided to allow states to take apart inclusive policies designed to permit minorities the opportunity to attend colleges. It is universally agreed that our college education system provides citizens the chance to succeed within the stagnating economy of America. Yet, colleges have allowed white and wealthy citizens this opportunity disproportionately. The Roberts court seems to think that racial ethnicity is no longer a factor and has allowed states to prevent affirmative action within college admissions (Interesting note: the two dissenters on the court are female; every vote conceding that affirmative action can be done away with at the state level is a male). Ultimately, SCOTUS has decided that discrimination no longer occurs in America, and this denial of discrimination allows for continued division within the American empire.

2) Sean Hannity often runs segments where he derides the liberal media for “playing the race card.” He often employs black pundits to agree with him that race plays no role in today’s political spectrum. He denies that his opposition to Barack Obama has anything to do with the color of the President’s skin. Yet, when a man he championed, Cliven Bundy, recites obvious racist rhetoric, Hannity is forced to denounce Bundy, distance himself from the Nevada rancher as much as possible, and insist that he is still right about his mission against Big Government (this story is not about Cliven Bundy, you see…and Democrats are the true empire-builders, not conservatives). Hannity will continue with business as usual with his TV and radio propaganda—while omitting the story of Cliven Bundy from here on out—and he will continue to deny racism exists in today’s country. Hannity often provides a blueprint for what he would do to cure this country’s ills (just ask him what he would do if he was President). Sean Hannity promotes empire-building nightly, while he denies that discrimination is still woven tightly within the American fabric.

3) The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, was caught on tape spouting his racist discrimination for the world to hear (this is currently alleged, but the evidence is difficult to deny at this point). Sterling’s history indicates he is racist, and many acquaintances of Sterling are not surprised by this recording. We can safely speculate that Sterling, as an owner of an NBA franchise, is not alone as discriminatory among sports executives; if not for anonymity of reporting, then we would be able to scrutinize at least two more NFL executives in similar fashion as Donald Sterling, concerning Michael Sam and Jadeveon Clowney. Donald Sterling is an empire-builder with discriminatory tendencies. Disturbingly, he might be closer to the norm than an anomaly, as far as modern American empire-builders are concerned.

The Bible holds wisdom within its pages. I will not deny this. Since Christians endorse the lessons of the Bible so vehemently, I often wonder why the Tower of Babel is not emphasized more as a cautionary tale against discriminatory practices, or perhaps an explanation for why humans are always so prejudiced. It’s obvious that discrimination is an inherent trait of the human condition, and it is a sinful flaw, bestowed upon humanity for their collective vanity, ambition, and arrogance. To avoid sinful hubris, we must respect one another, love thy neighbor, and display humility before strangers, as the Bible also instructs. Building empires, individually or collectively, represents the American standard of greed and self-indulgence…the sin of racial discrimination fuels Man’s desire to build a symbolic tower so he can falsely sit shoulder-to-shoulder with God in the heavens…and Man will be prevented from heavenly reward because of these mortal sins of hubris, racism, and intolerance, which continue despite denial to the contrary.

{If you appreciated this writing and want to help support the continuation of this blog, please consider sending a donation to:

Scott C. Guffey
P.O. Box 53
Michigan City, IN 46360

For a full explanation of author impetus, blog mission statement, and donations appeal, click About.}


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