I just read through the Mail & Guardian’s special
edition on race.
I found the articles interesting. Also disturbing.
What disturbed me was the lack of imaginative possibilities and
specifically the total ignorance of the
role religion can play in bringing possibilities into the race debate in
South Africa. I can’t speak for
the other religions, but as a Christian I think we as followers of Jesus have
an immense role to play in terms of the race debate in South Africa.
Firstly, we should have a posture of humility brought on by
confession. We need to confess
that a major part of the racial mess we’re in is not in spite of our Christianity but because of our Christianity.
Secondly, this should lead us into a time of learning from our past – of rehashing the stories of how we
got ourselves into this situation.
Also, learning from those who got us out of the mess. We live in a time where we simply
cannot afford to drive on Beyers Naude without living with the same convictions
he and others did – we need to learn from the Luthuli’s, the Tutu’s and the
other leaders who inspired us.
Thirdly, we have an opportunity to add to the race debate by
living lives of alternative rhythms.
Of creating wild spaces where race matters, yet where Jesus matters
more. We can create inclusive
communities across racial spaces.
Then we will have stories that we can point to. People with actual names and situations
that have changed. It is this kind
of thing I missed in the Race issue of the Mail & Guardian – it wasn’t
their fault. It is ours.