Are All Creationists Racist?

Sexo Grammaticus's picture

Well, we promised you an article that has nothing to do with religion and sex, and here it is. Okay, yes, this one’s about religion and racism, but that isn’t our fault. You see, while surfing the web looking for shit to make fun of, we stumbled across a racist site (whose traffic we don’t wish to increase by listing the URL), and thought “Hey, here we go! We’ll make fun of racists!” It was a convenient idea—in retrospect, we’d been thinking that our Paris Hilton essay didn’t really come down hard enough on the whole “n-word” thing, because we got sidetracked by talking about sex, and figured that sticking it to racists would make a good follow-up. Plus, racism also has nothing to do with religion, so we were all psyched up to write an essay that broke totally new ground.

Then we found out that the racists were also Creationists. Oh, well. Here we go again.

For most of what we read, the site was your typical alarmist trash of the “wake-up-white-people” variety, replete with easily-overturnable “proof” culled from hundred-year-old encyclopedias. But then things got interesting. The author of one particular screed deemed it necessary to insert a disclaimer at the end explaining that her quotations from scientific texts did not imply a belief in evolution. She proudly asserted that she was, in fact, a good ol’ Biblical literalist who believes that God created the races separately (and... what, made the “white” one all awesome, for some reason, you dipshit?) and didn’t intend for them to “mix.”

We’re not sure how this makes her a “Biblical literalist,” since, you know… the Bible doesn’t say anything about God creating the races separately. But since we already know that religious people just make shit up and then say it’s their religion, we guess this shouldn’t be surprising us anymore.

But we need to be fair here. It’s not like this was a Creationist website that included racist stuff—it was a racist website that included Creationist stuff. So we certainly can’t judge all Creationists by it. Right? We mean, Creationists are just people who believe whatever the Bible says about stuff, so when it comes to race, we guess most of them just believe whatever the Bible says about it, which is…

umm…

Holy Fuckface, Mother of Shit. The Bible doesn’t say anything about race. We checked, and nowhere is it even acknowledged that there are such things as whites, Blacks, Asians, etc. etc. And, unlike other stuff that religious types are free to just deny the existence of, they can’t do that with visual evidence of (wonderful, beautiful) human diversity. But they also can’t believe what actually explains it, i.e. the fact that human-like creatures first became distinct from apes about 2 million years ago, and, from one common ancestral pool, some moved this-a-way and others that-a-way into various environments that made them look different because of gradual environmental-adaptation shit, and that this doesn’t even really constitute the existence of “racial” categories anyway, because things like skin-color are analogous, not homologous evolutionary traits, i.e. that they happen independently in different gene pools for similar reasons, meaning that people who appear to be from the same “race” are not even necessarily more closely related to one another than they are to people from different “races” (we realize that was a mouthful, but science is complicated… by the way, you caught the part about there not even being such things as “races,” right?).

So, okay… if the Bible doesn’t tell Creationists what to believe about “race,” but it does tell them that they can’t believe the actual explanation, which involves the dismissal of the very concept of racial categories itself, then that means… That means they would have to make something up. Let’s repeat that, just to make sure you understand the situation. They have to make something up.

Quick trivia question: What 7-word phrase appears in all six Star Wars movies?

Answer: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

The following is excerpted from seminal Creationist tract The Beginning of the World by Henry M. Morris (1991):

"The descendants of Ham were marked especially for secular service to mankind. Indeed they were to be 'servants of servants,' that is 'servants extraordinary!' Although only Canaan is mentioned specifically (possibly because the branch of Ham's family through Canaan would later come into most direct contact with Israel), the whole family of Ham is in view. The prophecy is worldwide in scope and, since Shem and Japheth are covered, all Ham's descendants must be also. These include all nations which are neither Semitic nor Japhetic. Thus, all of the earth's 'colored' races,--yellow, red, brown, and black--essentially the Afro-Asian group of peoples, including the American Indians--are possibly Hamitic in origin and included within the scope of the Canaanitic prophecy, as well as the Egyptians, Sumerians, Hittites, and Phoenicians of antiquity.

The Hamites have been the great 'servants' of mankind in the following ways, among many others: (1.) they were the original explorers and settlers of practically all parts of the world, following the dispersion at Babel; (2.) they were the first cultivators of most of the basic food staples of the world, such as potatoes, corn, beans, cereals, and others, as well as the first ones to domesticate most animals; (3.) they developed most of the basic types of structural forms and building tools and materials; (4.) they were the first to develop fabrics for clothing and various sewing and weaving devices; (5.) they were the discoverers and inventors of an amazingly wide variety of medicines and surgical practices and instruments; (6.) most of the concepts of basic mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry were developed by Hamites; (7.) the machinery of commerce and trade--money, banks, postal systems, etc.--were invented by them; (8.) they developed paper, ink, block printing, movable type, and other accoutrements of writing and communication. It seems that almost no matter what the particular device or principle or system may be, if one traces back far enough, he will find that it originated with the Sumerians or Egyptians or early Chinese or some other Hamitic people. Truly they have been the 'servants' of mankind in a most amazing way.

Yet the prophecy again has its obverse side. Somehow they have only gone so far and no farther. The Japhethites and Semites have, sooner or later, taken over their territories, and their inventions, and then developed them and utilized them for their own enlargement. Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they have eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites."

Wow.

Now, we should probably mention that as a result of the recent attention it got, Henry M. Morris claims that he doesn’t believe this anymore. Okay, fine, but this is an article about Creationists in general, not Henry M. Whatever-the-fuck specifically, and there are many, many Creationists who do still believe this. But we’ll also go ahead and point out that, although he claims not to believe this anymore, Morris is still a Creationist, and he hasn’t bothered to mention what he does believe instead, if not this—keep in mind that any explanation other than God creating the races separately (or magically making the three sons of one guy be three different races for some reason) would have to involve evolution, which means that a Creationist can’t believe it, and even if a Creationist concedes that Man “evolved” from Adam & Eve, they still believe that Adam & Eve were created 6,000 years ago, and that isn’t nearly enough time to account for the actual level of current human diversity, so…?

Another interesting thing that this passage makes clear is the fact that it’s basically impossible for a Creationist to give any thorough explanation of Creationism without fucking up and including some stuff that could only be true via evolution. See, since they’re starting with an evolutionary framework in the sense that the entire external observable world is an evolutionary framework, they would have to “catch” every single thing that only evolution could explain in order to present a Creationist framework that isn’t inherently contradictory—and most of the time they don’t, because they’re, you know, stupid.

Case in point: Morris alleges that the (sigh) “Hamites” were the ones who “developed most of the basic types of structural forms and building tools and materials.” We guess he’s basing this on the fact that these things were developed a long fucking time ago when all the people on Earth were still (basically) Black. But aside from the fact that he’s taking what are actually three different periods in human history and arguing that they happened simultaneously to different “races,” there’s also the question of how, if the first tools were invented by the descendants of Ham, did his father manage to BUILD A GIANT FUCKING BOAT AND PUT TWO OF EVERY ANIMAL IN THE FUCKING WORLD ON IT BY HIMFUCKINGSELF WITH NO TOOLS?! WE MEAN, DOING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE ANYWAY, BUT WITH NO TOOLS?! THAT WOULD… WE MEAN… HOW CAN YOU…

Slowly we turned, step by step, inch by inch.

You may also have noticed that the three Creationist “races” aren’t really on a par with one another when it comes to diversity within the “race.” You’ve got one tribe that’s white people, another that’s Middle-Eastern people, and another that’s everybody fucking else—like in the original version of the Gilligan’s Island theme song, when the Professor and Mary Ann were just “and the rest.” Except that in the song, “and the rest” only denied identity to two-sevenths of the islanders, whereas Morris is shoehorning the majority of the Earth’s population into the “servants of servants” demographic. (Serve the servants? Oh, no.)

Throw in the fact that Middle-Eastern people are technically Caucasians, and you’ve got two of the lines reserved for “White People A” and “White People B,” with everyone else chucked into the “Hamite” stew despite the fact that half of those people emerged from the other half by going through a common-ancestry period that included Caucasians themselves. In other words, there is no fucking even halfway-accurate way to divide humans up into groups where there’s one group that includes Asians, Blacks, and Native Americans, but not Caucasians, much less one where Caucasians get to stretch out their pasty little hockey-playing legs in two roomy groups all their own.

“Oh, that’s not what we believe! That’s not what we believe!” protest the Creationists. Okay, fine. So tell us what you do believe. We’ll remind you that any explanation that isn’t nauseatingly racist is going to have to involve evolution, and you’ve already made it very clear that you don’t believe in evolution. So, go ahead. Tell us what you believe.

We’re waiting.

And we’re going to have to keep waiting, because the fact is that it’s logically impossible to construct a Creationist explanation of human diversity that isn’t racist. But that doesn’t mean that all Creationists lump all non-whites into the “Hamite” category. The Mormons don’t put Native Americans in there—but that’s only because they believe that the Native Americans were actually the Jews. Or something. We decline to debate the relative merits of this hypothesis, because it would be kind of like debating whether or not the ghosts from Pac-Man are the spirits of beings who were in life the same race as Pac-Man himself.

And none of what we’ve mentioned so far is even close to being the worst of it. Some of the other Creationist schools of thought on the subject of race make Henry M. Morris look like a regular Branch Rickey by comparison. One popular theory, for example, holds that Black people are descended not from Ham, but from Cain, and that being Black is in fact the mark set upon Cain by God after the murder of Abel. Don’t believe us? Fuck around awhile on the web and see what floats to the surface. Make sure you have a bucket close by. (But if you’re looking for an explanation of how an antediluvian race division could have survived the Flood, don’t bother—you won’t find one.)

But aren’t we being unfair by asking religious folks to make with the whys and wherefores? Sure, the minor details may differ from one sect to another, but aren’t all Creationists really just one big happy faithful family that simply wants some vague, inclusive, nondenominational religious theory to be given “equal time” with evolution, out of simple sensitivity and fairness? The answer is complicated…

No, wait. The answer isn’t complicated, because the answer is “no, they aren’t.”

Earlier this month, Warren Chisum, a Republican 18-year member of the State House of Representatives of (you’ll never guess) Texas, circulated a memorandum recommending a ban on the teaching of evolution based on the grounds that it is… Jewish?!

Said it? Yup. Regret it? Nope. He passed on the “news” as a favor to a (five-term Republican) Georgia State Rep named Ben Bridges, and the “discovery” that evolution is really Jewvolution is based on some passing similarities between the Big Bang Theory and some obscure Kabbalist writings that held that the Universe is billions of years old.

Yes, we know that evolution and Big Bang Theory are two totally different things. We know that. But Chisum and Bridges are apparently members of the crew that uses “evolution” as a catch-all term for “science at all”—it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about the origins of Man or the birth of the Universe: if it’s science, it’s “evolution,” and they need to find an excuse to ban it.

In case you care, their “fact-checking” was done on a geocentrist website. Yes, there are apparently still geocentrists—i.e. people who do not believe that the Earth goes around the Sun. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, not only are there still geocentrists, there are geocentrist state legislators, who have been elected over and over by majorities of the people in their districts, and are at this very moment making laws that bind the citizens of their states. We’re not sure where the people who run the website did their fact-checking, but hey, at least they sure talk a lot about how Einstein was a Jew.

All you can do is laugh. And fall to the floor, and sob, and get up and punch the wall, and open the window and scream at pigeons, and drive to the tattoo parlor and get a tattoo of that Jefferson quote about what the Tree of Liberty needs to be watered with.

And rub some alcohol on your tattoo, and calmly sit back down at your computer and point out the fact that the “people of all faiths are united in their desire for a generally-phrased religious explanation” line is a sick and disingenuous mask. What Creationists of all stripes have realized is that, in their xenophobic sect-specific Creationist dogmas, they are all minorities—but if they hush up about the specifics and just stick to some vague line of “God did it” rhetoric, then together they all constitute a slim majority.

And as a result of this epiphany, they got their tactics down pat. Whenever you argue with a Creationist in front of a group of people, they will try to frame you as the “intolerant” one, and argue that they merely represent the millions of people who want equal time to be given to “a religious explanation.” When this happens, your first response should be: Whose religious explanation? This is when the Creationist will realize that you’re onto them, and get pissed off. After they get pissed off, they will get sloppy, and sooner or later they will mention Adam and Eve. That’s when you ask them what race Adam and Eve were, and that’s when they will either shut the fuck up very quickly, or say something that loses the “debate” for them without you even having to say anything else.

Of course, since we just alleged that racism constitutes an automatic loss in a debate, many right-leaning readers are probably ready to accuse us of being the “P.C. Police.” By way of response to these concerns, we will now once again demonstrate our sworn allegiance to true explanations over polite ones.

The polite explanation is that Creationists are people who construct the concept of truth using an alternate template of the subjective construct “reality” wherein historicity and empirical demonstrability are subsumed to self-grounded applicability and emotional resonance.

The true explanation is that Creationists are dumb white people who grow up in areas where they are surrounded exclusively by other dumb white people, form/learn their fucked-up explanations of everything while conveniently ignoring the existence of Black people and/or other non-whites, and then retroactively come up with more fucked-up explanations for the existence of non-whites (i.e. the vast majority of the people on the fucking planet) once they’re already adults and their brains are long since shot to fuck by this shit.

How’s that for the “P.C. Police?”

If Creationism is simply a sine qua non of extreme piousness, then how come there are virtually no Black Creationists, even though the American Black community is the most pious in the nation? We guess it’s because the fact that they happen to be Black People makes it rather difficult for them to “conveniently forget” the existence of Black People, which you kind of have to do in order to be a Creationist.

But of course, we can’t ignore the fact that one of the Creationists’ favorite tricks is to accuse people who believe in evolution of being racist. We will address this now, but it is very important that you pay careful attention to what we are or are not saying. Is everybody awake? We realize that we haven’t said anything funny in a couple of paragraphs, but you seriously need to be awake right now. Okay.

It is true that many of the racist scientists of the late-19th and early-20thCenturies believed in evolution, and used evolutionary frameworks to argue racist things (even though Darwin himself didn't believe that there were such things as human "races," anticipating the modern applications of his theories by 150 years). In short, they believed that non-whites were “less evolved” than whites. And it is also true that, if you wanted to make a racist argument that wasn’t inherently contradictory, you would need to base it on evolution. But this doesn’t make evolution, or the people who believe in it, racist, for a few reasons:

1. If you want to make an argument about anything concerning humans, you would need to base it on evolution in order for it not to be inherently contradictory; so, obviously, this includes racism, but only because it includes everything.

2. Sometimes, science discovers a good/true thing, and then bases a false/bad conclusion on it, because it seems logical at the time, before realizing that the conclusion was false even though the thing it was based on was true. For example, it was a good/true thing when scientists figured out that diseases are caused by bad biological stuff floating around inside your body (rather than by, say, demonic possession), but a bad/false conclusion when this discovery led to the practice of bleeding the sick. Science later figured out effective methods of treating disease, but they were still based on the initial true fact about diseases being caused by germs and viruses as opposed to demons.

3. Scientists are not racist anymore. But unlike the “we don’t believe that anymore” defense used by some Creationists, scientists can fully explain what they now believe instead, and why the new belief is superior to the old one. There is a big difference between new data disproving a previously-held stance and public pressure causing you to replace the old thing you pulled out of your ass with a new thing you pulled out of your ass, especially when you probably secretly still believe the old thing you pulled out of your ass.

And really, your ass, and the pulling-out of things from it, is the central point of what we’re discussing here. If you are a scientifically-oriented person, then what you want to believe doesn’t matter—when someone proves you wrong, you’re wrong, and that’s it. If, on the other hand, you are someone who has been encouraged to believe whatever you want and then retroactively construct ludicrous defenses of it—who, indeed, believes that it is a virtue to do this—then whatever you diplomatically claim you just want to give “equal time” to is going to end up bearing a suspicious resemblance to something you pulled out of your ass. And if your ass is from a racist part of the country, then whatever you pull out of it is going to reflect that, no matter how much you dress it up—because you have been trained with military precision since the hour of your birth to believe that the most admirable human virtue is the refusal ever to consider anything that conflicts with what you already believe. It is a fact that if you rounded up all the racists in the country, the vast majority of them would be Creationists. In fact, the KKK requires you to be a Creationist in order to join.

The incredible irony of all this, of course, is the fact that Creationism and racism shouldn’t logically mix at the-fuck all. If an omnipotent and benevolent God created all humans, then why would he bother to divide them into superior and inferior “races?” Just to be a dick? We thought he was, you know, benevolent.

And it is because it gives a shit about questions like “why” that evolution is not racist. Evolution is not racist, because evolution is a part of science, and science is the sum total of things that are true, and racist things are not true. Does this sound suspiciously like Pope John Paul II’s definition of God (“God is definitionally the creator of such a universe, and the meaning of the universe cannot be in conflict with its Creator”)? Of course it does—but the difference, simply put, is that, although they are similar, our statement is, well, true and the Pope’s is not. Are we plugging different terms into similar definitions? Yes. But what does that matter? The statement “a tiger is a large carnivorous Asiatic cat with stripes” is true, whereas the statement “a hovercraft is a large carnivorous Asiatic cat with stripes” is not.

We might also mention the fact that that quote from HHPJPII is taken from a statement where he tacitly admitted that science was right about everything, including evolution. Of course, this won’t matter to the vast majority of Creationists, since they’re Protestant Fundamentalists who believe that the Pope is the Antichrist—except when they’re in the same room as Catholics, and need their help to argue for giving “equal time” to “a religious explanation.” Creationists fight against science and reason not because those things divide us, but because they bring us together. And we’re not even their primary target—they just need to get us out of the way first in order to get down to their real agenda of killing one another.

Creationists want to try and get us out of the way? Just give us the time and place.

We’ll be there… with our tools, fuckface.

Sexo Grammaticus is Lord High Editor of The 1585.

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Sexo Grammaticus is Lord High Editor of The 1585

mavaddat's picture

Your whole post would have

Your whole post would have been more interesting if you had made some distinction between race, ethnicity, and nationality. You seem to think that the concept of "race" is a meaningful one. To me, it is merely a reference to people's skin colour. It is, therefore, silly and outdated. Moreover, it is grossly unscientific. According to the categorization of "race" Tiger Woods is supposedly "black," though in reality he is one-quarter Chinese, one quarter Thai, one quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch. So how do our "racial" categorizations capture his heritage?

So in what sense does "race" really exist? It seems to me that "race" is itself a creation of racist people. Thus, I just don't see its meaningfulness.

Sexo Grammaticus's picture

Okay, um...

...the thing is, I (and science) agree with you 100%.  I say several times that there is no such thing as "race" where humans are concerned--that's what the "analogous traits vs. homologous traits" part was about.  Sorry if you were upset, but your critique doesn't apply to what I actually said.

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Sexo Grammaticus is Lord High Editor of The 1585

mavaddat's picture

I understand what you said

I understand what you said and you are right. However, immediately after dismissing the validity of "racial categories," you go on talking about "Whites," "non-Whites," "Blacks,"and "Caucasians" as if these were meaningful categories. Why use the very concepts that you are trying to deconstruct? If you object to their validity, then why do you use them as if they were valid? To my mind, this damages the credibility of your argument.

Of course, everyone will have their own opinion, but I feel that your reflections on creationist-racism would have been better spent expounding on the short scientific blurb that you have which exlpains why racial categories are bunk. As it stands, your writing is a bit watered-down and difficult to read (for me) because it lacks focus. I really do mean this constructively. I think that your criticisms are important, and I only hope to see them honed.

Races exist politically, and

Races exist politically, and that's really how these scientifically inept terms are wielded.

mavaddat's picture

Political existence?

Yes, "race" is a term that is used in politics. But what do you mean that "races exist politically"? In what sense do they exist? Do you mean that they correspond with socio-economic classes or the voting tendencies of groups of people? If so, you don't think we want to continue referring to people's socio-economic status or voting tendencies by their skin colour, right?

Sexo Grammaticus's picture

Oh, I see...

...so, actually, this is just a language issue.  I had to use the traditional "race" names in order to be understood.  I mean, there is obviously such a thing as "Caucasians" or "Asians" or whatever--it's just that these categories aren't actually "races" in the true biological sense, but just a visual grouping like saying "redheads."  Sure, I could have said, you know, "the people commonly referred to as Pacific Islanders" descended from "the people commonly referred to as East Asians," etc. etc., but I think I made it clear that these categories only make sense as shorthand, the same way that we still say "sunset" instead of "what appears to be the sun setting even though it is actually the earth rotating."

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Sexo Grammaticus is Lord High Editor of The 1585

Whether the differences are

Whether the differences are genetically superficial, and even misleading, is unfortunately an academic concern. Society, culture and politics are all deeply affected by the perception of these spurious categories. I hope that changes, but I'm not optimistic that it will any time soon. Take a "race" that has been victimized by another: I'm not convinced they can, or should be expected to, get over their slights at the hands of another "race" and embrace such a counterintuitive and abstract biological fact.