Racism: A Legacy of Monotheism?

Nestor Ravilas

Racism is evil, and to root its origin to monotheism is quite distressing!

Monotheistic Christianity, along with other monotheistic religions, has been blamed for racism together with other forms of discriminations this world can name. The practice of classifying people on different categories might have been with us even before monotheism was introduced in Israel, or say, in Egypt by Akhenaten in 1400 BCE, few years ahead of Sinai story. Accusation has been lodged, however, that the dawn of belief in “one and only god” inadvertently intensifies not only racism but all forms of discrimination. Regina Schwartz herself on her book, The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism, stresses this point which seemingly validates monotheism as the root of evil that has disintegrated us into warring factions.

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Differing Opinions: Reflection on John 10:1-10

Nestor Ravilas

On this side we have Jesus, the Good Shepherd, whose distinctive voice consoles and entices us, who leads us where flourishing of life is possible, and protect us from threats against our well-being. That is our Jesus, our refuge.

On the other side are the scoundrels: strangers, thieves and bandits, whose business in life is to thwart the good intention of the good shepherd. These are the enemies which we have to push and keep outside.

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The Riddle of Romans 13

Nestor Ravilas

Romans 13 again comes to the fore as the national government is miserably fumbling and mishandling the management of the current pandemic. When democratic principles granted us the rights for free speech demonstrable in expressing our opinion publicly, Evangelical Christians immediately seize the public space to shelter and protect the government with the usual and irritating “be-subject-to-authorities” discourse of Romans 13. Proudly, they brandished that the Bible is higher than the Constitution. But, do they really know their Bible?

Did the Bible really say that the emperor, or the government for that matter, is beyond reproach? That we should refrain from criticizing the government, which amounts to challenging the authority of God in the same way?

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What would you do with a dead God?: A Theological Problem of Jesus’ Suffering and Death

Nestor Ravilas

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem
and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders
and chief priests and scribes,
and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Matthew 16:21

Let them recite the song of Marduk,
Who bound Tiamat and took kingship.
Enuma Elish VII 161–162

The disciples were shocked. For a moment they were stunned, and no one could utter a word. Something is wrong with what Jesus was saying, this is not how the story should go? Jesus has just shared to them his imminent suffering and death in the hands of his enemies.

Peter, the most impertinent of the twelve, able to regain composure and blurted out, “God forbid it, Lord. This must never happen to you!” And from there Peter gained his first slide to infamy in Christian history.

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Despicable Pharisees: Reflection on Luke 18:9-14

Nestor Ravilas

What else could we get from the story? Its lesson is plain and simple, “for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted”. To dig more to it is to overdo it, and to overdo it is to spoil it. So better go and do what it says!

But for those with untrammelled imagination, follow me please into the wild.

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