Ancient Myth Exposed: Being Black is Not a Curse; Bigotry is a Sin
(Formerly Titled: Biblical bigotry? Are blacks a curse on this Earth?)
By Cody G. Carson [updated 3-23-09]
After posting in a few non-Christian groups, I got reposes from unbelievers insinuating that Christianity views blacks as some sort of a curse on the Earth and that the bible is responsible for racial bigotry. Does the Holy Bible promote racial bigotry? Was the racial tension in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s a true from of Christian expression that was propagated by reading the Holy Bible? This essay should clear up any misunderstandings about what the bible has to say about racial tensions.
Part 1: Racial Bigotry
The fact is that ethnic tension against blacks as recorded in the bible goes back long before the time of Jesus.
Numbers 12:1 “And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”
God punished Moses’ sister and brother severely for speaking out against Moses because of his marriage to this black woman from Sudan. It is not clear if this woman was Zipporah or another wife that Moses married after Zipporah died, but Miriam received seven days of leprosy as punishment for speaking out against her brother, Moses, because of this marriage.
If Moses had sinned for marring a black woman, Miriam would have been in the right to speak out against him, or at least to council him in the matter. However, God did NOT condemn this ethnically mixed marriage.
However, If Moses had still been a boy who was living under the authority of his parents, AND if his parents objected to him dating outside of his race, THEN he would have been wrong begin a relationship with this woman – not because she was black, but because of the fifth commandment:
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
In other words, if you live at home and your parents do not want you to date outside of your race, then honor them. If they do not object, then God does not either.
Since God allowed His messenger to marry a black woman, being black was not an issue with God; neither was ethnic purity. God condemned bigotry in His punishment of Miriam. Bigotry is NOT biblical; it is a sin that can provoke God to punish those guilty of it.
Part 2: About Noah and His Curse
It has been taught by Mormons in the past that being black is some sort of a lingering punishment that came from Noah’s curse against Canaan. If memory serves correctly, the KKK use that same curse as justification for their twisted belief system as well. Noah’s curse has also been used outside of those belief systems as well. Did Noah cause the black color to appear in humanity by issuing a curse? Let’s take a closer look:
It was Noah’s son Cush, who was the father of the Ethiopians, Phut was the father of the Libyans and the peoples of Africa. Noah’s curse was placed on Canaan (the youngest son of Ham). While the skin color of the descendants of Cush and Phut were black, the skin color of Canaan’s descendants matched the skin color of other Arabians. Noah’s curse could NOT have resulted in the appearance of black skin because the curse followed a completely different ethnic line of descendants. Therefore, biblically speaking, black skin is not a curse. Scientifically speaking, black skin is a dominant hereditary trait. This is a designed-in feature within our DNA to enable us to be in direct sunlight for longer periods of time. How can a sunshield for desert-like regions be considered a curse when it is an environmental benefit?
Here is the misunderstood biblical story behind all the controversy:
Genesis 9: 18-27 “Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. “May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.”
The word nakedness as used in the original Greek language had a sexual connotation to it that most believe refers to sodomy. Ham either lusted after Noah, or saw Canaan doing something to Noah. Since Noah’s curse was on Canaan, I suspect, as do many, that Canaan was involved. I am currently seeking conservative orthodox Jewish friends who believe in a literal interpretation of the Tanakh (Jewish bible) and who have in depth knowledge of the ancient customs and traditions, so that I can get a better understanding about what actually happened to Noah.
Either way, Noah was a godly man; not an evil wizard with the power to cast a spell that changed skin color and caused a whole new race of people to be born and put under condemnation for all of history. Canaan’s curse was fulfilled long ago as his children did, in fact, become the servants of the descendants of Cush and Phut. That curse is no longer active, and it never had anything to do with skin color.
Part 3: One Race of Many Breeds
Biblically speaking we all come from Adam. This can be demonstrated by “back timing” or retracing each cellular division. The process shows how each family can be traced back to an original family and how each person can be traced back to an original human. All of us have the necessary characteristic within our DNA that we could have expressed any of the available physical traits of the different cultures throughout the Earth. What we interpret as different races are actually different breeds of the same race. Scientifically speaking, our DNA shows that we all came from one original man. Also, through a study of chromosome differences, it has been conclusively proven that we did NOT evolve from Neanderthals. [This is not taught in public schools because it contradicts the teachings of evolution. A link to information about these scientific case studies is included at the end of this essay.] In other words, there is really just one race: the human race.
Consider these passages and try to find where the bible condones racial hatred:
Colossians 3:12-17 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. “
Jesus said in Luke 6:31 “"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”
I can’t find any verse in the bible that condones the hatred of anything except sin.
Until 1978, The Mormon church did not allow blacks into leadership positions within the their ministry because of a misguided belief about blacks based due to a misinterpretation of Noah’s curse. Proponents of slavery in the recent past have referred to Noah’s curse as justification for their actions. The KKK also uses misquotations of God’s Word to demonize people, and God’s wrath will be on them during judgment.
Part 4: Setting the Record Straight
Dr. Martin Luther King JR was a conservative evangelical Christian pastor who got his beliefs and convictions the same way I do - a literal interpretation of the bible as fact. Conservative evangelical Christians, white, black and other races fought along side blacks in the civil war to free them from slavery and also fight for their equal rights in the culture war of the 1950s and 1960s. Conservative evangelical Christians, both men and women, fought for equal woman’s rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
Racism in America goes both ways. The love and equality message that Dr. Martin Luther King JR. preached is in sharp contrast to the racial hatred sold to the black community by the Rev. Jessie Jackson for personal profit. Jackson’s hate messages and the hate messages of the KKK should be replaced with slogans like, “There is no white or black - just different shades of brown.”
Part 5: Conclusion
We need to stop saying things like, “Black power” and “That’s mighty White of you.”
Being black has never been a curse. Being prejudice against a person because of skin color has always been a sin. We all came from Adam; we all came from Noah; we are ALL part of the HUMAN RACE and we are all part of one big genetic family. We should learn to think of skin color in the same way we think of eye and hair color.
If reading this made your blood boil, then you have just discovered a new sin in your heart…. Pray about it.
Part 6: links
If you would like to read information from case studies that are not allowed in public schools and state run collages that show how we are all descendants of one man and not the gradual evolution of monkeys, click here: http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/descent.html
The link is to a Christian site, but each individual case study can be linked to from that site. In checking, I found one link was broken so I found that case study and provided it here: http://www.pnas.org/search?submit=yes&pubdate_year=&volume=&firstpage=&doi=&author1=G.+Rannala&author2=B.+Rannala&title=&andorexacttitle=and&titleabstract=&andorexacttitleabs=and&fulltext=&andorexactfulltext=and&fmonth=Jan&fyear=1997&tmonth=Mar&tyear=1999&tocsectionid=all&format=standard&hits=10&sortspec=relevance&submit=yes&submit=Submit