In 1967, Richard and Mildred Loving of Caroline County, VA had cause to celebrate. Their interracial marriage had previously triggered a court judgment against them, but their later suit (Loving v. U.S.) resulted in the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed all state statutes that forbade interracial marriage.
While laws that forbid discriminatory practices are needed and helpful in a myriad of situations and circumstances, a stubborn ugly truth refuses to bow, and that truth is this: You can’t legislate the human heart nor issue court orders for biases that crawl into the crevices of our broken humanity. So, how are we (the church) doing in the domains of spoken and unspoken thought, values and attitudes about interracial couplings that periodically pop up in and around our holy huddles? Do we still shoot shady glances of disapproval to interracial couples as they sit in worship? Do we publicly glad-hand them to their faces and then hiss about them behind their backs? Outside of the hearing of parental units, do we utter inappropriate comments to biracial children who may be too young to even discern an inappropriate jab? Do we understand that in some instances in some of our churches, interracial couples feel like ships without a port?
Do we proactively teach about the barrier-busting Jesus as a way to help our local church communities be safe places? Do we pensively tolerate racist individuals in the church and use talk of “grace” as an excuse for not addressing their sinful intentionality or poisonous ignorance? Have we consciously thought about seed-planting behavior that influences children for their right now behavior, and how it also (likely) forges the trajectory of their future convictions about diversity, race, inclusion and reconciliation?
When man’s bent laws and polluted proclivities contravene God’s laws and expectations, look for the signal and certainty of spiritual warfare. The question that ricochets around the hurting chamber of my heart is, “Are we truly in the fight, or have we made an unspoken decision to sit this one (issue) out?"