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A blight on the modern western church is that the bible has been used by certain people to justify racism--specifically dark-skinned people's inferiority and light-skinned people's superiority. Some unfortunately smart people found passages of scripture to support this viewpoint and created compelling arguments.

What are these arguments for racial superiority and from which scriptures do them come? And I'm not just asking about slavery! For example, how did the American church support racist ideas into the '30s and '40s and '50s, long after the days of emancipation?

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One concept I heard someone mention, primarily in terms of interracial marriages, referred to the Old Testament commands to the nation of Israel after the exodus. They were told not to intermarry with the peoples whose lands they would pass through and/or conquer. A thorough study of the texts would indicate that it was not their race that mattered, but rather their beliefs, since the "stranger in the land" who chose to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were welcomed (Ruth being one of the more famous examples, Rahab another). The idea that this was a specific command to a specific people at a specific time is lost on some, resulting in the commands being mutated and put into use even today.

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