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3.04.2006    |    "blatant expression of racism"
This is the principal reason given by the United Methodist Church for cancelling their 2012 general conference that had been slated for Richmond. Bad, bad Richmond. What can you expect from the former capitol of the Confederacy?

But that's not the kind of racism the UMC is objecting to. It seems that Richmond boasts a minor league baseball team, the Richmond Braves. And, as all right-thinking feel-good guilty white liberals know, anything named after an American Indian is racist. From the UMC it's very self, the bleeding heart of political correctness:
We are sad for the great United Methodists in Virginia who were excited about hosting the General Conference but are pleased to take a strong stance against teams with offensive names. However well intended, sports teams named after Native Americans demean the heritage of native peoples. They perpetuate unhealthy and unfair stereotypes."
Hmm. I suppose that were a team be named Dirty Ugly Sasquatch Squawmen, it might be offensive. But there aren't such teams. Indian-themed names and nicknames typically are neutral, e.g. the Cleveland Indians, tribal, e.g. the Seminoles of Florida State University. Or, for many teams, simply, the Braves.

My dictionary provides this definition for "brave":
Willing to face danger, pain, or trouble; not afraid; showing to good effect;fine, or splendid.
"Braves" in the Indian usage have these attributes. Perhaps these PC Methodists are right: it would be so terribly "unhealthy and unfair" to characterize our Indian brothers with such a shameful appellation. Throw me in that briar patch.

While you're throwing, the Methodists should throw out any and all gatherings in any of these racist states, all of which have racist names that are "unhealthy and unfair" to Indians:
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Nebraska
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Wisconsin
I must, in charity, give the United Methodists the benefit of the doubt: they probably meant well. The result, however, is that they look foolish and posturing vainly. And, not least, isn't it a wee bit patronizing to instruct Native Americans as to what they should be offended by?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Tomxp said...

LOOK foolish??? How about ARE foolish! Where will this nonsensical thinking end?

7:55 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Beautiful, well-reasoned post.

8:30 PM, March 07, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.