Biblical question (Is racial separation ordered in bible?)

This past weekend, on a visit to my parents, my mother and an old neighbor brought up the idea that everyone should marry within their race. (This conversation was spurred by the fact that my brother will soon marry a wonderful, intelligent, attractive, elegant woman who is Hispanic. Should be an interesting wedding.)

Their justification for this was “It’s in the Bible.” When pressed the next day, Mom admitted she didn’t know the chapter and verse, but that it was in there, and advised me to ask a minister. As I have no access to a minister, I’m asking Dopers. Where, if any, are the Biblical supports for racial separatism?

“In the back somewhere.” -Rev. Timothy Lovejoy

Actually, no, it’s not in the Bible. The closest thing I can think of is that there are certain places in the Old Testament where the Israelites were warned not to intermarry with neighboring nations, or were criticized for doing so. But the incompatibility was religious or political, not racial. And there are also examples of intermarriage in the OT which were apparently perfectly acceptable.

I’ll leave you to guess my opinion of people place restrictions on other people’s behavior based on what they mistakenly think the Bible says.

None whatsoever. In fact, there are some good counter-examples: Moses married the daughter of Jethro, a Midyanite, and Boaz Married Ruth, an Edomite (I think).

(a) Let’s start with the small detail that “Hispanic” is not a “race”, it’s a cultural designator. A marriage of an “Anglo” and a “Hispanic” is as interracial as if it were of a Cajun and an Irishman, or of a Portugese with a Swede.

(b) The main biblical proscription on intermarriage is against the Israelites marrying women from neighboring pagan nationalities, because it’s a corrupting influence – for a major example see the Book of Ezra, chapter 9. But that is really a prohibition against marrying heathens or enemy nationals, not “outside your race”. The nationalistic/ethnocentric element is not applicable to Christians, since under the New Covenant the religion is universal and “in Christ there is no native or foreigner, no Greek or Barbarian”.

Moabite, in the version I read, but very apropos since that puts her in the family of David – which for Christians is the family of Jesus.

Of course, some foolish elements will then claim that “Edomite, Moabite, Israelite, it’s still the same race” to which we can then bring up the fallaciousness of “race”.

I pointed this out but, as you may have guessed, my parents are not the brightest or most open-minded folk on the planet.

WHERE in the Bible does it say I cannot marry another human being unless they are of my “race”? I don’t even recognize the concept of “race” as scientifically valid. “Jane” may be a homo sapien. As for race, this may be dubious. What if “Jane’s” mother is a honky, and her father a Zambian? What would be the race of “Jane”?

I’m sorely tempted to have that engraved on something and given as a wedding present during one of the showers when my mom’s around.

It is really sad when people use Christianity as a blunt object with which to pummel those who are different than them.

Ask you mom how much she thinks Jesus loves her son. Then ask her how much Jesus loves his hispanic fiancee.

She will probably answer that He loves them both the same, and will follow that with a big “BUT!”…

Jesus had an hispanic fiancee?

Ai, He-soos! :stuck_out_tongue:

Dear Og. You are going to hell, and I’m going with you for laughing at it.

Notice the small “h” in “his”.
But that is pretty funny… ;j

Well, Fionn, if your mom really wants to know exactly where in the Bible it is, there’s a list here.

You might mention to her that, as already noted in this thread by nearly everybody, these were prohibitions that applied to the Children of Israel, and you might ask her whether in her opinion the Old Testament guidelines that applied to the Children of Israel ought to apply to Christians living under the New Covenant. And if she says yes, then ask her whether Christians living under the New Covenant should also still be forbidding husbands from having sex with their wives for two weeks every month, going to a priest to have odd skin conditions diagnosed, and refusing to eat pork and lobster.

…and wearing multi-colored garments or blends (Lev19-19).

There’s a Jewish teaching that God just made Adam, instead of a whole bunch of guys, so that no one could say that their race or ethnic group is better than others, because deep down we’re all one family.

It didn’t work. :smack:

I’d never really paid much attention to Nave’s Topical Bible, but by this citation it appears to be even worse than the Scofield Reference Bible. Using specific commands to Abraham and Isaac to refrain from marrying Canaanites as a rationalization to prohibit “miscegenation” is the worst sort of manipulative (and dishonest) interpretation.

Of course, some could view what follows as an endorsement of mixed marriage (note that sources I found said “Ethiopian” means “Cushite.” That may be more illuminating to you than it is to me.)
Numbers 12:1 through whatever (KJV):

**And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. ** 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9** And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. **
**10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, ** white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

**Yes, I KNOW that God seems a lot more pissed off at their snarkiness and envy toward Moses than at the fact that they are prejudiced. ** But given the fact that God isn’t exactly shy about letting Moses know when he thinks he’s screwed up, I’m guessing that if God had had a problem with the marriage, he would have said so.

Oh – hope I’m not out of line with the lengthy quote, since the KJV isn’t copyrighted.

I’ll add my concurrence: there is nothing in the Old Testament, at least, prohobiting marrige between two people on the basis of some physical charavteristic, such as what we moderns call “race.” It does prohibit marriage based on differences of belief, but that’s hardly “race” based.