Religion or Racism – Which Has Caused More Harm?


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If there were two social concepts that have shaped the trajectory of human interaction across history, it’s religion and racism. Now while these two have succeeded in creating a sense of strong community beliefs, it has certainly polarized the social spectrum across time. Throughout history, religion and racism has been used to create a divide between communities, ride on prejudice and stirred up wars.

Now as polarizing as these two concepts may seem, one has significantly infected the interaction in society. First off, what is racism? The Oxford Dictionary describes racism as The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another. Emphasis on the inferior and superior.

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Racism is traced back to the 1700s in Europe but many believe it goes further back. It’s funny how a couple of white men somewhere in Europe under the guise of imperialism, gathered and thought let’s travel miles across the world to (Africa) forcefully toss their culture, oppress them and sell them for cheap labor.

The Black Church

Simply because we think the color of our skin is better than that of the black man. Fast forward 400 years later, and that concept still holds sway in society. Outlandish is the word you’re looking for. Hold on.

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Religion on the other has an even crazier logical inconsistency. The concept that there’s a higher power in the sky that is all knowing and all powerful yet great sufferings exist in the world. The Oxford Dictionary defines Religion as “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

The Buddha.

I know what you’re thinking. How does that even make sense? Crazy how a mythical premise that goes as far back as 3200BC, has managed to dictate the tenets of society even till this day.

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In Africa, we may not have racism problem but we have a tribalism complex. The idea that one tribe is superior to the other. Racism says, you are superior because you have superior color. Ironically, religion has been used to push the racist cause as well.

A group of religious leaders in one place.

It’s a conversation I believe we must have to properly understand why these concepts have been so polarizing even till this day. Let’s talk. Join the conversation on the podcast on SPOTIFY. What are your thoughts on both concepts? Which has caused society more harm? Tell us what you think. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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