In the light of recent events there has been much discussion as to how much Islam and/or Muslims should be blamed for the events that have unfolded in Paris and Verviers. But in the long view of history how will this Christian, white male be judged?
Whilst modern-day Christianity would want to resist any suggestion that it is anti-Semitic, the historic record is less favourable. Again and again in Christian societies, the Jewish community was at best marginalised but often worse, and reached its horrific worst in the Holocaust.
For all that British society rightly proclaims equality for all, those of other skin colours still speak of inequality and discrimination. Too often the whites have falsely presumed, or worse still asserted, a superiority.
And as a male, I have to face the reality of one in four women experiencing domestic violence, and women being over represented among the low paid and under represented in higher management.
The judgement of history does not look good. And yet there is nothing inherent in being Christian, white or male that means any of these things need be this way. Neither is there anything inherent in being Muslim that makes acts of terrorism happen. But it also has to be recognise that it is possible to misuse being Christian, white or male and so bring about hurt and harm to others – and too often that has been the case.
Being Christian, white or male does not in an of itself make me to blame, nor does being Muslim in and of itself make anyone to blame. But every time, I fail to stand up for justice, ignore violence, don’t act for the good of my neighbour or am silent in the face of discrimination or inequality, then regardless of my religion, skin colour or gender, I am to blame.