Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Big Thoughts About Discrimination in Charlottesville
I sent out a couple of tweets about what happened in #Charlottesville, but when I did, I realized that my thoughts on bigotry just kept coming. I then read this positive piece about the events in C-ville and our approach as citizens working toward a civilization of love (a la Pope John Paul II) .. And, my ideas just kept swirling, until I discovered that I had to write a post about my thoughts!
I read some Nietchze in college, whose atheist ideas were impactful on Hitler. It is shocking to learn that people like David Duke still live and breathe and walk around among us today, in 2017. I thought we all read the right books- Number the Stars, Night by Elie Weisel, and of course The Diary of Anne Frank. I thought we all visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. (!!!) This empty philosophy comes straight from the Devil, and it props itself up on atheism at its very core. But the truth is, white supremacy is somehow still alive and kicking, as we learned last weekend. #=
How do we respond to this as the Church? What should we say? What should we do?
The truth in this case, since it's my turn, is this:
1. Discrimination is inside all of us.
ex. in humility: Almost everyday someone tells me that I don't look old enough to have six kids. Just last week, a woman on the elevator at the mall asked if they were my kids, or if I was just babysitting.
When people treat me differently for looking young, I think about two verses: Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, and do not eat food sacrificed to idols.
Children are colorblind. They play with other children no matter their race. Racism exists because someone taught that it was ok to look down on someone for their differences. Often, we don't see the problem inside ourselves and the issue is that we simply need to wake up to the truth.
We all know the meaning of the first verse: we should stand up for ourselves if someone laughs at us for looking young. But taking it further, why are people so rude? #UGH
Food sacrificed to idols is anything that the Devil would put his stamp of approval on. Anything that raises a red flag in our minds and hits our conscience all wrong. Of course this includes David Duke's uncivilized inhumanity. Does it sow division? Is it nourishing a nasty idol? Cut it out and throw it away; cut off that hand. If something ...or someone* is making you resentful, set up boundaries. It might be a nasty TV show or a book or a store at the mall or *an organic grocery store.* Food sacrificed to idols is that which should be rooted out. It isn't necessarily any of those things. But if it is... then try to work on those areas...
2. Discrimination is more common than we think.
When someone rubs us the wrong way, we may revile them simply because of the culture like an American might scoff when Canadians boast of their culture. If what is "en vogue" contrasts with a person right in front of us, we should choose the person every time. Love, no strings attached, no fingers crossed behind our backs. #livebythespirit #holiness
Discrimination is like the sun laughing at the moon for its size. It's unfair.
Do you discriminate against the young, the overweight, the handicapped? Then suggestion: maybe stop judging racists and instead repent and then seek healing in your own heart. #division
3. The Church is intolerant of division like this.
That being said, the Church is absolutely intolerant of racism. Just the fact that this is still an issue makes me sick to my stomach.
Catholic means universal.
Perhaps we say we aren't racist, but we still make comments about "white trash" or we make fun of someone who talks differently: with an accent, with an inflection, or "ghetto." We sing their songs only to make fun of them, not to respect them. This attitude is empty.
This prejudice arises from self-loathing more than anything else. We condemn to relieve us from being self-aware. We don't have to address the things about ourselves and our own culture that we hate.
Charlottesville, Virginia is a beautiful town. I lived there for a semester during college. It has some of the best coffee shops and bookstores in the states, and the leaves of the Fall are simply put, gorgeous. UVA is a very good school offering a fantastic education. Ask me how I know!! :)* It breaks my heart to see this stuff coming out of one of the greatest small cities the U.S. has to offer. The air up there is very clean.
We can do better. Stuff (Heather Heyer's um, death) happens to wake us up and help us to stand up for what is right even while arrogance, violence, and hatred brews in many hearts.
May it never be.
Perhaps what is even worse than racism is hypocrisy... we judge racists as evil, but we cannot see the evil and the sin living right inside our own bosoms. #bodies #humans #abcsofevil
See your form of racism and the intolerance inside your own heart, before you go around saying this makes you sick, you can't believe it. The Church is the only answer; the Scriptures and the words of Jesus our only hope.
What we do next, what we say next.... is everything, but what we say *especially about racial division* has to spring from a place of love. I choose unity over jealousy... Discrimination in absolutely any form is /harmful.\ And reading books - the right books- is so very serious. May we seek that which unites rather than that which di.....vides.
*My Dad went to UVA for undergrad
cross-posting at the ACWB