Is racism a sin? The Catechism says this:
1934 Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.
1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:
Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.40
It should be evident that to treat another human being as inferior or unwelcome solely because of his racial origins or the color of his skin is to fail to treat him as another self, a neighbor. Racism is sinful because by it we objectify a human person to be nothing more than what our stereotypes and prejudices tell us he is, and to dehumanize him whether by open and undeserved hostility or hidden and silent neglect or indifference.
I was a bit shocked reading some of the comments at Rod Dreher's blog on some discussions of race recently, especially when a commenter who says he is a Catholic can say something like this:
This is why I have been convinced, for quite some time, that the wrong side won the Civil War, and that the wrong side prevailed in the so-called “Civil Rights” conflicts. Human beings are not “equal”, and when a society tries to make them “equal”, they are then left not free. Apparently, this society made up its mind that Equal is better than Free. Except when it comes to the getting of Free Stuff.I can't say enough how reprehensible and contrary to real Catholic teaching the above sentiment is. It might be one thing to have sane, sensible discussions as to whether or not specific elements of some affirmative action policy or other are appropriate or go too far or are becoming counter-productive; it is another thing altogether to denounce the very notion of equality as "evil," as though our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ are by the very fact of their racial heritage unworthy to share a place at our tables, a pew in our churches, or a desk in the offices where we work.
Score another one for the misguided, wrong-headed, pernicious and fundamentally evil notion of Human “equality”. The acolytes of this concept have so, so very much to answer for, enough to condemn them to a very hot Place for a very, very long time.
It floors me to realize how much ugly racism can be spouted with a veneer of gentle civility by my Christian neighbors, but when I find such things emanating from my fellow Catholics I grow quite angry. My fellow Catholics have the clear guidance of the Church on the issue of racism; they have no excuse.