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Intersection of Life and Faith

How Should I Talk to My Kids About the Stories of Racism They See on the News?

Dr. Crawford Lorrits

One of the things that we have to do is speak to the obvious message that's there, what they're saying. I think all of us as followers of Christ need to be careful ... One of the things we need to be careful of is being sucked into the political back and forth that tends to contaminate the solutions. I want to warn all of us as followers of Christ. Look, I'm not being partisan here with what I'm about to say. There needs to be a warning to all of us. Be very careful that we don't buy into the combative, adversarial language that's surrounding all of this, and that we don't let our favorite 24 hour cable news network become our default theology and understanding of all of this.

I think as followers of Jesus Christ we need to maintain a higher altitude over these issues and view these issues not through some editor or somebody else or talking head but view them through the lens of the scripture that speak of the dignity of everyone that bears the image of God and we have to speak to that issue.

I think we need to help our kids think distinctively biblically about this and help them to have an informed mindset, not to shy away from it and say, "Well, whoever is devaluing any life is flat out wrong." To go down the street screaming racial epithets is wrong, period. There's no verbal erasers there. There's no howevers or dashes or parenthesis. That's wrong. That's wrong and any of those attitudes. I don't just think about White supremacist, the backlash with Black folks as well or any other ethnic minority. Anybody that disregards the dignity of a person that will somehow subordinate them and take advantage of them, that is evil and wrong. Parents need to make sure that message is put out there.

As you see these images whether Charlottesville or whatever, we have to keep a higher plane and be careful now. And, I know that as an African American this sounds like ... Well, of course, you would say this. But I think we need to be careful that we don't let somebody else neuter the issue by making moral equivalence that don't exist. My passion is let's get back to the scriptures and let's get back to seeing this through the lens of truth and the dignity of mankind and the people that bear the image of God.

One of the things that hurts my heart a bit in this whole Charlottesville situation that ... Heather Heyer I believe is her name that got run over and killed. My heart was broken because certainly she was mentioned but her death, her murder has been minimized with the other political issues and the stuff and the reactions and all this stuff here. I sat back and I said to my wife, "My goodness. A human being is dead. She was murdered." Are we politicizing this? We're talking about reactions. It just goes to show that the devaluation of human life and our passions that have gotten out of context with these things that here's this woman, no matter what she believed, was killed. We talk a little bit about that but everything else is about these issues up here and so it's fairly disturbing. We need to talk to our kids about that.

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