I forwarded your post on “A Brief Paean Unto White Privilege” to a friend and he responded … Just thought you would like to know his response:
Bret at his dumbest. This piece is idiotic, nonsensical, emotional GARBAGE. There’s no substance to even refute. He’s just picking things that have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the color of your skin and claiming it’s some impossible-to-actually-define “white privilege,” and just because he says so.
Notice he made no attempt to justify any of this trash with Scripture. (That would have just made it doubly embarrassing.)
“I’m white, and amazingly, so were my parents and grandparents and neighbors, and we were all nearly perfect people, so… that must prove that whiteness equals goodness. Case closed.”
Are you forwarding this because you agree with him, that Christianity has some direct and exclusive link to “whiteness”?
1.) Well, I’m quite willing to admit to being dumb. Just this morning I put my shoes on the wrong feet and ate my porridge with a butter knife. Someday I am hoping to advance past dumb to merely moronic.
2.) Said smart person has made the ongoing reductionist error thinking that race has only to do with melanin. Races can and do have particular strengths and weaknesses that end up impacting the way that cultures are formed. Using just one example, does anybody really believe that a race that has an average IQ of 85 is going to have the same strengths or build the same culture as a race that has an average IQ of 105? If differences are going to show up in this area then why can there not be other racial differences related to genetics, which also end up demonstrating themselves in the tendencies of various races or peoples in their respective cultures? The idea that genetic differences among peoples makes an impact on cultures used to be a common idea. Everyone has heard of the idea of “Dutch clean,” or “Scot stubbornness,” or “German precision,” or “Italian passion,” or “English understatement.” Do those observations have nothing to do with Dutch, Scot, German, Italian, or English ethnicity? My observations about white people was merely the same idea only as applied to a more broad scale (larger) category.
Even if races with these different IQ averages believe in the same God of the Bible they are still going to build different cultures and have different strengths. Grace does not eliminate who God has genetically made us to be though it does work in us to the end of being sanctified peoples and individuals as connected to the genetics God gave us when in Christ. If God’s grace doesn’t change women into being men or men into being women then why would we think grace will change us in terms of the tendencies of our racial and ethnic identities?
My smart interlocutor complains that I was “picking things that have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the color of your skin,” and yet there is nothing about me or people groups in terms of our behavior that hasn’t got something to do with who God created me and us genetically and racially to be. Now, to be sure, behavior is also related to our fallen-ness but even that fallen-ness is going to express itself consistent with the genetics God gave us and the environment we were raised in as well as our belief in the false gods served.
Christians certainly don’t absolutize genetics, just as we don’t absolutize environmentalist arguments regarding individual and racial behavior but we are not so stupid as to say that cultural behavior of people groups has nothing whatsoever to do with the genetics God ordained that we would inherit. To deny this basic reality would make us Gnostic and that may just be worse than being dumb.
3.) The piece that finds me being dumb was written in response to the dumb people who are “just picking things that have nothing whatsoever to do” with who white people are. If the enemy can just randomly pick completely contrived pejorative things connected to “white privilege” in order to turn my people into hewers of wood and drawers of water then I can equally pick the positive characteristics that I see to counter the silly arguments of those who are seeking to genocide White Christians.
4.) I did not seek to justify any of my observations with Scripture because Scripture does not teach those observations, just as the Scripture doesn’t teach that the sky is blue, or how many colors are in the rainbow, or how dumb one has to be in order to truly be dumb. Even Gordon H. Clark’s Scripturalism does not require someone to give proof texts for these kind of observations.
5.) Of course white people are not perfect. However, white people have been, by God’s grace alone, the carriers of Christianity and so those whom God has ordained to build Christian civilization. Remember, it was white Europe that was once referred to as “Christendom.” So, while white people have not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it simply is the case that it is white people who have been blessed with being deeply influenced by Biblical Christianity. White people have about them the smell of Christ and it is for that reason alone that white people are being attacked. An attack on white people is a back door attack on Christ and that only because God in His sovereignty has chosen imperfect white people to be the historic carriers of Christianity.
It was Charles Martel — a white man — who rolled back the Muslim hordes at tours in 732. It was John Sobieski — a white man who stopped that same horde at the gates of Vienna in 1683. It was John of Austria … a white man whose Admiralship stopped the Muslims at Lepanto in 1571. It was Hernan Cortes — a white man — who ended the rapacious and bloody reign of the Aztecs in 1520. White explorers expanded the known world. White Reformers restored Biblical Christianity. White Christian Kings sent the Gospel with their conquering Armies to far off lands. White Crusaders sought to relieve the plight of Christian pilgrims on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. White inventors made the world a more tame place in which to live. White missionaries, often at the cost of their very lives, took the Gospel to strange and foreign lands. White people invented the hospital and printing press. And all this is only the very tip of the tip of the iceberg on the glories of white people. Peoples around the world have been blessed by white privilege and while the sins of the white man are plenteous we are seldom reminded anymore how the God of the Bible chose out of mere mercy and grace to build the glories of Western Civilization (Christendom) by His calling and blessing of the white man.
So, yeah Jim, I do believe in white privilege and I believe it has been a positive good and I believe being white has significant input (not the sole input) on the building of glorious cultures. Obviously God’s great undeserved and unmerited grace is the sole reason but who says that God’s great undeserved and unmerited grace excludes our genetics in combination with our nurture and our belief system? Culture is the expression of all those factors but it is God who determined each of those factors by His grace.
6.) Clearly Christianity is not exclusive to white people. Only a dumb person would say such a thing or think someone said that when they never got close to saying that. However, one might say rightly that building Christians civilization has, to date, been predominantly connected to being white.
Honestly, Jim, I don’t mind being called dumb. But how dumb is it for someone to complain about my dumbness who hasn’t thought through these matters and seems to respond with an emotional outburst that basically amounts to sticking his tongue out and saying..”Nuh Uh?”