ANNVILLE, PA (01/19/2018) Martin Luther King Jr. once said that 11 a.m. on a Sunday is "the most segregated hour in this nation" and research shows this still holds true. Historically, religion has played a role in advancing or rejecting racist regimes. On Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m., representatives of local congregations will answer questions regarding the association between Race and Religion, the topic of the fourth Interfaith Dialogue this academic year.
Questions for the panelists will be selected from among the following: Does King's statement match your experience? What might be the reason for the phenomenon that King describes? What role does religion play in addressing racism? What do we make of the fact that the Bible was used to justify slavery and call for its end? Why is Jesus most often portrayed as a white man? What role does your religious/worldview identity play in your understanding of race relations in modern America? What do we make of the fact that Bonhoffer and Hitler were Christian? Why is Christianity not to blame for the KKK, but Islam is for al Qaida? What role do American ideas of race play in our understanding of Islam in the current moment?
Unfortunately, it will be impossible for the panelists to address all these questions within the time allotted for the dialogue. However, isn't it important for all of us to answer them for ourselves? Shouldn't we all try to find answers or credible explanations, either by reflecting on our own beliefs, by looking back at what history can show us, or look more attentively at our society?