Racism, prejudice, and hate; three of the moral cancers in our country.
- The KKK, in full costume, marching around the city square, in 1993.
- The racial jokes, and the laughter, told on the front steps at church.
- The first black family to join our church, met with opposition.
- I remember a church in Alabama with a tract in their tract-rack entitled,
“Does A Black Man Have A Soul.”
An Ancient Attitude
Hate isn’t new. Cain killed his brother. Discrimination victimizes the different. Bullies brutalize over religious preferences, sexual orientation, or skin color. When kids rope a gay teenager to a tree and throw rocks until he’s dead, then hate still lives.
It’s difficult because it’s hard to arrest and convict people based on what they think. Law governs behavior, not ideas.
Jesus In Samaria
When Jesus went to Samaria he was going against the grain. Jews and Samaritans had been fighting a race war for 500 years.
He entered a town and offered salvation. Yes, they looked different and had different customs. They were the descendants of those who at one time were pure blooded children of Abraham, but that changed, and it changed everything, for everyone except Jesus.
The Greatest Command
Jesus said to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and that it was the first and greatest commandment. The second was to love others like we love ourselves.
- Love is the greatest command.
- Love triumphs.
- Of faith, hope, and love, love is the greatest.
- Love is the most excellent way.
I received a text from a friend. My friend is educated, well credentialed, and highly respected, and happens to be black. Some won’t like it, some will be saddened by it, some will think about it. Here it is:
“I have been dealing with the fact that many Christians I know voted for the current President. I tried to rationalize it as a misguided political decision steeped in fear of the illusory loss of white privilege in America.
But I am now dealing with an even deeper wound that folks could actually support the racist behavior and support the symbols that go with those white supremacist movements. I’m not quite sure how to manage my own feelings of disgust or how to stand in love for someone who has such low regard for me and others like me.
I’m just saying, church folk can be quite hurtful.”
“I Feel Your Pain?”
Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Those in the majority may fail to grasp the pain the minority feels as they struggle to love the hurtful and the hateful.
Politics and politicians come and go. Political parties rise, fall, and rise again. As they do, some rejoice, some rebel, and some get deeply discouraged. Such is the way of a free society. Unless, or course, you are the boy tied to a tree, swinging from a rope, or severely beaten on a playground.
Love is the greatest command. If only we believed it.