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Major current religious and ethical conflicts:
Definition of "racism:"
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "Racism" as:
A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
A doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles.
A political or social system founded on racism.
Racial prejudice or discrimination. 1
This dictionary also has a definition for the word "Race" for use by students:
"Any one of the groups that human beings can be divided into, based on shared distinctive physical traits." 2
A student's unintentionally funny answer to a teacher's question
Many Jews, Christians, and Muslims accept the accuracy of passages at Genesis 1:26-27 from the Hebrew Scriptures -- called the Torah by Jews, the Old Testament by Christians, and the Tawrat by Muslims. These two verses discuss God's creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve "in the image of God."
If Adam and Eve were created "in the image of God," then it would seem logical to believe that their children, grand-children, and all their additional descendents down to the present day would also be "in the image of God," regardless of the person's skin color, age, sex, gender identity, race, country of origin, language, etc. Thus, no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their "race."
Almost all scientists, the vast majority of non-religious persons, and some believers accept the accuracy of the evolution of the species. One belief that is an integral part of evolution is that all members of any one species of life on earth today -- including humans -- all share a two common ancestors, one male and one female. If one accepts that all of the approximately 7.6 billion humans who are currently alive on Earth share a common male and female ancestor then many people would agree that all humans are of value, and that nobody should be discriminated against because of their race, sex, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.
Racism, and any other similar form of discrimination against groups of humans is, by definition, a violation of the Golden Rule.
2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission in the U.S.:
President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Commission in 1968 to investigate causes of the country's racial unrest. The study identified "white racism" as the main cause, and concluded that:
"... our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."
Human Zoos: an example of past racism:
"Human Zoos" are a largely forgotten part of what some call "Scientific Racism" or "Darwinian Racism." This was the misinterpretation of Darwin's Theory of Evolution which some people believed "proved the inherent superiority of the white, northern European 'race'." 3
The above video describes an exhibit that opened at the Bronx Zoo in New York City on 1906-SEP-08. It contained one man and multiple monkeys, implying a relationship between them. Ota Benga was the man selected, in part, because he was an African American. The implicaton was that blacks represent the lower stages of human evolution. They were viewed by the zoo owners as intermediate between white humans and monkeys. Sadly, the exhibit was very popular among the public.
Although there are no Human Zoos left in the U.S., racism lives on today. One example ocurred on 2018-JAN-11, at a closed meeting in the White House's Oval Office. It was called by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who promoted a plan developed by the Congressional Black Caucus. It would have cut the visa lottery for immigrants in half. One half would go to underrepresented countries in Africa and Temporary Protective Status nations, including Haiti. Trump reacted very negatively, and allegedly asked:
"Why do we want all these people from 'shithole countries' coming here?"
Trump later said that the U.S. should get more immigrants from countries like Norway.
Later that day, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, denied that Trump had made the comment. His words were confirmed by some congress members and denied by others present at the meeting.
Neal Katyal is a lead lawyer who was challenging Trump's attempts at the time to impose a travel ban on mostly Muslim nations. CNN reported that he said:
"As I put the finishing touches on the travel ban brief to the Supreme Court tonight, the President's words remind us again of how his un-American racist ideology impacts policy." 5
An example of current racism: Birth Mortality rates differ greatly by race:
Racial differences in maternal mortallity (MMR) and infant mortality (IMR) are quite large. The Center for American Progress reports that racism is the:
"... evergreen toxin [that is] killing [large numbers of] black mothers and infants."
Danyelle Solomon, writing for the Center, said:
"African American women and their babies are dying at alarming rates. According to the most recent data, black mothers are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts, while the death rate for infants born to black mothers is more than twice that of infants born to white, non-Hispanic infants.
A growing body of research suggests that even when clinicians control for education, income, and health, black women and their infants are dying at significantly higher rates than other groups of U.S. mothers and babies. And while race is a consistent factor threaded throughout the data, the driver of these disparities is racism."
Often, the first time that a pregnant black woman sees a doctor about her pregnancy, is in her ninth month when her labor contractions have already begun.
Among developed nations worldwide, the U.S. has the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality. Recent data (2011-2013) also shows that, for every million live births:
435 black women die, while only 127 non-Hispanic white women die.
117 black newborns die, while only 48 non-Hispanic white newborns die.
On 2018-APR-26, the Coordinator of the ReligiousTolerance.org web site reasoned that pro-life groups consider human embryos and fetuses to be persons, and believe that abortions murder a human being. He felt that it would be reasonable to expect them to have programs that try to save the lives of fetuses being born. He sent an email to a dozen leading pro-life groups in the U.S..
American Life League
American Right to Life
Campaign Life Coalition
Family Policy Alliance
Knights of Columbus
National Black Pro-life Union
National Right to Life Committee
Priests For Life
Prolife Across America
Pro-Life Action League
Project Defending Life
Sisters of Life
"Recent data (2011-2013) show that, for every 100,000 live births in the U.S.,
11.7 black newborns die during childbirth, while only 4.8 non-Hispanic white newborns die.
Is your group addressing this loss of life among babies?
Do you know of any pro-life group that is?"
None of the groups responsed to our email. However, email is not that reliable; it is possible that some responses might have gone missing.
U.S. Child suicide rates also differ by race:
Researchers reported in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Pediatrics that:
"Suicide rates in the United States have traditionally been higher among white than black individuals across all age groups. However, suicide rates increased from 1993 to 1997 and 2008 to 2012 among black children aged 5 to 11 years (from 1.36 to 2.54 per million) and decreased among white children of the same age (from 1.14 to 0.77 per million).
As a result, suicide rates among children ages 5 to 17 now differ greatly by race:
Suicide below the age of 5 is almost non-existent.
By the age of 11, recent suicide rates among black children was more than twice those of whites.
By the age of 12, suicide rates were approximately equal at about 18 per million.
By the age of 17, suicides by white youths were about double that of black youths, about 80 vs. 40 per million. 6
The cause(s) of these shifts is unknown.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
J. Bridge et al., "Age-related racial disparity in suicide rates among US youths from 2001 to 2015," JAMA Pediatrics. 2018-MAY-21, at: https://jamanetwork.com/