Re: Social problems and evolution

Charles Cairns (
Sun, 1 Mar 1998 22:46:23 -0500

Glenn wrote re evolution and racism:

>And I will tell you my own mother, who didn't believe in evolution and was
>revered in her church, was not happy that I chose a woman of Lebanese
>descent for my wife. I don't think she really liked her half-Lebanese
>grandson either. Racism has nothing to do with evolution. It has to do
>with sin. And we Christians seem to have a lot of it.

I ran into similar sentiments after marrying my wife, who hails from Sri
Lanka; mostly from her side of the family, but some from mine. Our son is
quite fair and has brilliant blue eyes, features that my wife finds charming
and which my son may someday find advantageous. (That is the reality of our
society and not meant to be a judgement on my part.)

Shifting gears here for a minute, I'm disturbed with most Christian
missions' tacit and unexamined Westernization. My wife's people have a
saying: The English came with bibles and the Sri Lankans had the land. They
closed their eyes to pray, and when they opened them, they had the bibles
and the English had the land. Behind it is a great deal of resentment and a
history of brutality that stretches back to colonization by the Portuguese.
(Being white and of English descent, I think I'm sometimes held accountable
by my inlaws for the sins of my fathers.)

Color, of course, has very little to do with it. Power by nature wields
itself over others. Had the Sri Lankans developed sea travel and weapons and
the spice trade, the West may have been at their mercy. But alas, Hinduism
prior to the modern era did not lend itself to military and cultural
conquest. (It is one of the most gentle and tolerant beliefs I've ever

Being ecumenical myself, I believe the cost to humanity warrants a more
cautious approach to missions, one in which cultural sovereignty is

Just thinking out loud.