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Ethnocentrism is the act of making judgements about other ethnic groups based solely upon the social mores and practices of one's own ethnic group. People with an ethnocentric worldview tend to believe in the superiority of their own race and the inferiority of other races.

Ethnocentric people also tend to be bigots and xenophobes. Not to mention ignorant.

Biblical ethnocentrism[edit]

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Richard Dawkins, the God Delusion

Expressions of ethnocentrism in the Bible – in particular the Old Testament – are extremely prevalent. While Judaism teaches that the Jewish status as being a "chosen people" and the like does not preclude the fact that God may (and does) have relationships with other peoples, the perceived claims of some sort of superiority are often seized upon by antisemites in order to make a distinction between the Old and New Testaments, Leviticus 18:22 notwithstanding. A choice selection are as follows:

  • Israelites are a "chosen people" by God above all the other peoples of the world.[1]
  • Israelites boast of genocide against whole peoples and kingdoms.[2]
  • Israelites are commanded to murder all the people of the lands where they intend to live and to kill all the people of foreign nations that do not submit themselves in slavery.[3]
  • Israelites are forbidden to make slaves of their own people, but are encouraged to enslave non-Israelites whom they may pass down as slaves to their descendants forever.[4]
  • Israelites are forbidden to intermarry or "mix their seed" with other peoples.[5]


See also[edit]