The Heart of the Matter for Secularists. How Do You Know that Racism is Wrong?

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By John Hendryx - Posted at Monergism:

Is racism universally (that is, objectively) wrong, or is this something that people should be free to decide for themselves? In other words, is racism something that you think should be wrong at all times for everyone in all cultures and communities, or is this merely your personal preference?

If there is one thing Christians can wholeheartedly agree with young postmodern secularists, it is that, in large part, they are motivated by altruism, a strong desire to advance human rights, and to care deeply for the universal welfare of humanity. There is a tendency among young postmoderns to want to treat with benevolence all people regardless of their ethnicity. This is truly to be admired.

At the same time, however, without blinking an eye, secularists will openly tell you that there is no objective right or wrong - that all morals should be left to the individual to decide. That there is no cosmic or ethical order outside of subjective preferences. But if morality is nothing more than our expression of personal preference or feelings, and does not exist independent of them, then why do people (even secularists) find universal judgments to be irresistible in practice? Their views of racism is a good example. Even the most ardent materialists are unable to refrain from passing moral judgments, even as their philosophy tells them otherwise. They live as if we are accountable to a moral standard that exists beyond themselves.

The Christian believes that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. God reveals this to us in the highest order of importance. That means we are responsible and have an obligation to care for the most vulnerable in our society and people who are not like us (Luke 10:25-37). Therefore it is irresponsible to claim that how we treat others is just a matter of personal taste. If I only say 'to each his own' most would find this deeply troubling. Secularists, therefore, provide shallow and incoherent motivations to love our neighbor. Good intentions can still lead to disastrous results if you don't ground it in an unchanging reality. If you don't know that racism is objectively wrong, not merely a personal preference, then your solutions to racism will prove inadequate as well.