Viewpoints is a SpokaneFāVS feature where our writers respond to a weekly question. Readers are invited to participate by posting in the comment section below.
Racial tensions are high across the U.S. right now. A Gallup poll reported earlier this year that 35 percent of Americans are “worried a great deal” about race relations. That number has more than doubled in two years. We put the issue to our writers:
How can faith communities help ease racial tensions?
Elizabeth Backstrom: The church can’t remain silent
Faith communities are powerful sources of social and political capital in our country, and in many countries. We can use this power for good or to disrupt and divide. On the question of race relations, the church cannot afford to remain silent. I believe we must choose to take the sometimes risky step of standing with our brothers and sisters from all races and walks of life, and to stand up for them when they are being oppressed. This can look different for each of us. It can be just listening and acknowledging their issue is real, even if we haven’t experienced it.
This sounds simple but so many folks say this does not happen. It can also be joining protests, calling for changes in legislation, or standing up for people in a situation where they are being bullied. Either way, I believe each of us is called to examine our own attitudes. It is said that no one knows any racists. We never want to see our own blind spots or shortcomings, but we all have them. What are our own biases, and how does this influence the way we treat others?
1. Move into a neighborhood where the challenges we are mourning become our experiences more than issues we hear or read about or watch.
- Understanding the differences between pluralism & tolerance:
- Understand the differences between conviction, conscience, compromise & custom
- Defining biblical boundaries without compromising biblical values.
- Upholding biblical truth in the middle of cultural change
- American Christians should practice piety before politics
- American Christians should demonstrate care before criticism
- American Christians should practice justice before judgement
- American Christians should cherish the gift of separation of church & state
- American Christians need to understand the difference between a Republic and a Democracy
- American Christians are called to the ministry of Prophet, Priest & King
- Video: Coffee Talk on Faith and Technology - June 5, 2021
- “Celebrate Curiosity” Art Contest Deadline Approaching May 12 - May 8, 2021
- Take This FāVS Survey & You Could Win a FāVS T-Shirt - April 23, 2021
- VIDEO: Coffee Talk “The Role of Holidays in Different Faith Traditions” - April 5, 2021
- Rally To Be Held in Downtown Spokane Saturday “To Stop Asian Hate” - March 19, 2021
- The Fig Tree Benefits March 5 and 10 To Be Held Virtual - February 28, 2021
- Temple Beth Shalom Vandalized with Swastikas - February 8, 2021
- Top FāVS News and Commentary of 2020 - December 31, 2020
- Pandemic’s effects on religious life, liberty named No. 1 religion story of 2020 - December 17, 2020
- Spokane Clergy Plan to Commit to Year of Anti-Racist Work - September 15, 2020
- Help FāVS Keep the Conversation Going in the Time of COVID-19 - March 24, 2020
- Annual Greek Festival Takes Place This Week in Spokane - September 24, 2019
- Ask An Evangelical: Who is Your Leader? - August 15, 2019
- Ask An Evangelical: Satan, Hell and Demons - May 17, 2019
- Ask An Evangelical: Evangelical Views of the Christian Faith - February 24, 2019
- Jessa Lewis plans to bring Pop Up Church to Spokane - January 30, 2019
- Ask An Evangelical: Are some sins worse than others? - October 28, 2018
- #WhyIDidntReport — The Sound of Silence - September 27, 2018
- Ask An Evangelical: Do you believe in free will? - September 7, 2018
- Ask An Evangelical: Evangelicals and the Christian Right - August 2, 2018
- 16 New Testament guiding principles on giving - October 6, 2016
- Men, Gilgamesh & the call of the Wild - September 15, 2016
- Flat Tires, Flannery O’Conner and a Bigot Barber - August 18, 2016
- Feeding the hungry unawares - August 10, 2016
- ISIS, the DNC and the Martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel in France - July 26, 2016
- Making America Wait Again - July 19, 2016
- Viewpoints: How can faith communities help ease racial tensions? - July 18, 2016
- Are the Barbarians at the Gates? - July 15, 2016
- Churches, Gender Laws and the future of Community Development in our Cities - July 6, 2016
- Proud to be an American - July 4, 2016