The Friday before last, I interviewed Richard Toliver, a retired Air Force colonel, and a man with a great story about overcoming racial prejudice and discrimination. I posted the story on Examiner.com.
This morning, I read an online USA TODAY article by Michael Winter. The headline? “White supremacist guilty of bomb attack on Ariz. official.” I won’t go into the details, but particularly disturbing to me was the line, quoting from The Arizona Republic, that read, “Defense attorney, Deborah Williams, reminded jurors that 'racism isn't a crime.’”
It brought to mind something I once heard from Joel Osteen. His father, John Osteen, founded Lakewood Church in Houston in 1959. One of the remarkable things about the church is its racial diversity. How could this be true of a Texas church founded in the late ‘50s? Maybe it’s because of John Osteen’s outlook. According to Joel, his father used to say, “Where there’s grace, there is no race.”
Maybe my word for this year should have been grace after all, because we all need it. And one place where it’s definitely called for is in the attitude of our hearts toward other races.
Is racism a crime?
But it surely is a sin, and we all need the grace of God to change our hearts and rid us of it.