This sample of an academic paper on Examples Of Prejudice In The Bible reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
In general, equality and impartiality are considered to be fundamental within Christianity. The fact that all human beings are God’s children and are all considered equal in the eyes God is a key belief for Christians. The bible is held in high authority by Christians, and the majority try to follow all the teachings that are found in it.
While there are many teachings within the bible supporting the view that all men should be treated equally, there are a few contradictions.
One of the most important values within Christianity is the Imago Dei. This is the belief that all men are made in the image of God and are equal in his sight. Another is the teaching from Jesus that all men should “love thy neighbour”. These two fundamental beliefs should provide enough insight into Christianity to prove that the religion revolves around equality and that in no way should any Christian discriminate against others.
However, this is clearly not the case. Discrimination was a huge problem around the time of Jesus, and is still a problem today but to a lesser extent. Some Christians have not always been true to the Imago Dei and at certain points in history they have even gone completely against the teachings of Jesus. There are different forms of discrimination, including racism, sexism and a divide between lower and upper classes.
Racism is clearly against the teachings of the bible, and defines what the opposite of the Imago Dei is. The fact that some people claim to be better than others due to their nationality or the colour of their skin does not support these teachings. A classic example of the gross misinterpretation or deliberate ignorance of Jesus’ teaching was the slave trade. For hundreds of years, many Christians used slaves from Africa and the Caribbean for labour. This was because it was cheap and effective but a clear violation of “love thy neighbour” and the Imago Dei. The slaves were generally mistreated and regarded as animals. An example of this inhumanity is the fact that the average African-American male today is 3.5 inches taller that the average Caucasian American. This is due to the breeding of the strongest and biggest slaves from when they used to tend to the fields. Slave owners would only allow the best workers and tallest men mate with other strong or tall female slaves. This is a form of selective breeding and a complete defiance of basic human rights.
However, the concept of slavery is actually supported by God in the Bible. This may seem surprising but there are many chapters in Exodus where God talks of slaves with no objection to the use. For example in Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:
“If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”
This quotation contradicts not only the belief that you should love your neighbour, but that all men are equal. This quote and the many quotes similar to it may have affected the attitudes of Christians involved in the slave trade. The Imago Dei and the belief that all men should “Love thy neighbour” may have been ignored by the slave masters and instead they may have focused more on the points that would benefit themselves.
There are more recent examples in recent history of prejudice and discrimination, for instance the Rosa Parks incidence or the assassination of Martin Luther King. The Rosa Parks incident took place on 5th December, 1955. At the time of the incident, black members of the community were expected to give up their seats if the white sector of a bus overcrowded. When one woman refused to move in order to let a white person sit down, she was arrested and tried. This is a clear example of inequality, and considering many of the members involved in the arrest and trial were Christian, it shows a clear lack of regard for the teachings in the bible.
Martin Luther King, the most famous of the activists during the black rights movement, was assassinated on March 29th, 1968. He dedicated his life to the preaching and declaration of equal rights for black people of the American community. His assassination caused outrage in the African American community. The assassinator, who claimed to be a devout Christian, clearly considered the commandment of “thou shall not kill” to be less important than the concept of equality among all races.
While the majority of Christian teaching supporting the views of equality, there are still parts of the bible that either say or can be misinterpreted to say that not all humans are equal with regards to race. It depends on how the individual reading these parts of the bible wish to construe the meaning.
Another issue regarding equality in Christianity is the issue sexism. The believe that woman have a different role to men in life is a supported view in the majority of religions, and still today there is an obvious sense of inequality between men and women, for example up until recently women were not allowed to be priests. There is still the ongoing debate as to whether or not they should be allowed, but some churches have accepted woman vicars. It is probable that woman will still not be allowed to have a position higher up in the church hierarchy.
There are many quotations in the bible that state the role of women in society, often ranging from the old fashioned views that they should stay home, look after her child and attend to her husband.
As time has passed this view has been confirmed by the way