The Spiritual Side of Ideologies (part II): addressing racism as demonic

Chris Nye
7 min readJun 19, 2020
Christopher Columbus…not sure it happened this way

Part I, which explores the issues behind the usage of the term “ideology,” can be found by clicking here.

Racism and white supremacy are ideologies that are abhorrent, wicked, and, as I will show now, demonic. There’s not strong enough words for the perverse nature of these dangerous ideas. These beliefs come from documents like The Doctrine of Discovery (1493), where European elites used theological terms to deem black bodies inferior to white bodies, thus carving a path for a guilt-free genocide and slave trade. These authors could never have predicted what would come after these atrocities — they already displayed their stupidity just in the writing of the aforementioned document. But what came next was a cascade of ideas about black and brown people that led to the systemic oppression of millions of human beings, a reality we’re still seeing the effects of right now: slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, mass incarceration, police brutality, and every other evil thing done to black people throughout this country’s history (this is all without mentioning the further atrocities done to Indigenous people and other people of color).

A system of ideas (racism and white supremacy) led to systemic injustice; ideology bred iniquity. Could it be true that while they could have never predicted it, an outside force could have? While the original agitators of racism couldn’t have organized it into such a lethal force, isn’t it bizarre that it has been organized as such a lethal force?

Racism is so evil and so pervasive across so many countries and points in history, it warrants a thought that perhaps this did not come from the inside of the world of “flesh and blood” only, but outside also. Human beings are culpable for the evils of this world (see more on this below), but it must be at least considered that an “ideology” like white supremacy comes both “according to human tradition” and “to the elemental spirits of this world” (see my comments on Colossians 2:8 in Part I of this series). Both history and spiritual warfare play into any ideology, but racism in particular should be seen through the lens of the two previous categories.

Christians believe we do not only live in a world of human action and God’s actions, but a world with human…

Chris Nye

Living in Portland, Oregon with my wife and son. Doctoral candidate at Duke University. Author of a few books: