That Great Theologian: Garth Brooks

I must have been absent the day they passed out the rule book.  Stay with your group.  Stay with the people whose skin matches yours.  If you are smart; stay with the national merit scholars.  Leave the athletes and the musicians alone.  Choose a musical preference and don’t hang out with people who listen to something different.

Years ago, Garth had a big hit that was all about tolerance and when we all agree there will be Peace on Earth.  It won’t happen.  If everyone’s right; no one is and I’d rather deal with someone who can admit to my face they differ with me and feel sad because they think that if I don’t get my spiritual ducks in a row I’ll come back in my next life as some organism that feeds on urine, than someone who just won’t be troubled to think and just believes whatever the news tells them.

Believe me, Chief, if there is a minority to take issue with, we got one in my family.  Black People, Asians, Native Americans, Caucasians. ‘Christian’ Denominations that think the other guys are going to hell (yes, even within a family); got some.  Murderer; got one.  Pedophile; got one.  Addicts; honest to God, you can’t “swing a dead cat” we have a few. GLBT; got some.  Yeah.  I love all of them.  (No really I don’t.  I don’t know what to do with pedophiles. It just makes me mad.) But because of Jesus Christ, I have to see them differently.  As people who are…people.  When we say, “I’m not perfect; I am only human.”   We are admitting the need and even reaching out for grace.

Grace, by definition, can only be dispensed by the offended party.

So again.  We are back at the plain and simple fact that humans disagree.  As a Christian.  I am to love humans.  In the book of James, the writer tells them to stop putting rich people in the good seats and making poor people sit behind the pole, at the back of the room, on the floor.  That really does describe EVERY type of discrimination there is.  Cheerleaders and AV Aides…same lunch table!!!  Democrats and Republicans…same pew!!!  Biker Nuns and Fashion Designers…same lifeboat!!!

There is a “good” side of town(West) and a “bad” side of town(everywhere else) here.  I live on the “bad” and shop on the “good”(seriously, that’s where stuff is).
My children have brown skin.
When I shop with my children, I am ignored by staff and my method of payment is subject to excessive scrutiny.
When I am alone, I can find help easily from friendly, concerned staff.  I can pay however I want and get on with my day.
Yes, America.  I get profiled.

It is not limited to my shopping in nice stores.  It happens at church.  With the kids.  I started out taking this up with the parents…”That will not be tolerated in our home.  I teach my kids to be color blind.  I see your kids as white.”

~sound of record scratching~

They aren’t white, Jackass.

It is easier for you to choose not to see them as 100% of who they are.  Because you don’t have to teach your kids the whole of what racism is.  Like this joke: “They said we’d have a black president when pigs fly.  When Barak Obama became president, Swine Flu.” — as told in Sunday School.

Need I go on?

If we didn’t have other cultures, we wouldn’t enjoy the rich texture and blended flavors of life.  Denying your prejudices is as backward as the ubiquitous rebel flag on bumper stickers and wearing apparel available in our region.

Come on.  Just say it.  “I can’t see my own prejudices.  I think I don’t have them, but I don’t have any real relationships with people who aren’t like me.”

Believe it or not, there was a point to bringing up Garth Brooks. The following is probably my misguided, mistaken, misinterpreted understanding of how life is supposed to be lived.

It is not okay to possess prejudices, but we can’t help it.  We are human and at our very best will still tussle over who gets to be first in line.  What is really NOT okay is to not deal with the difficult piece and confront and demolish wrong attitudes, behaviors, and character.  You can’t take a pass.  It will be a lonely walk. You will feel wild and free.  You will feel the touch of grace.

This post is linked to…Let’s Start a Movement@

Momma Made It Look Easy

Let’s Start a Movement.





Comments

  1. Just so… awesome. And true. And wonderful. That whole last part is right on. I think I might cry. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am so sad that you get treated poorly by store clerks. I have had the opposite experience 🙂 Thank goodness. I choose to see good in the world and I believe 100% that when people act like that it is because they just don't know differently. The more love we can show them the more they will change : )

    Love that you are changing the world one person at a time!

  3. One only has to look at kids playing together to know kids are color blind. Parents teach them to hate and discriminate…but that sort of thing comes from generations of ignorance. Their parents taught them to think that way.

  4. Thanks for dropping my blog! Thought I'd return the favor.

    This is such a beautiful post and a great song to tie it all together. And I agree about "colorblindness." It's sad that it's so much easier to teach others to ignore differences than to tolerate and embrace them.

  5. Hi Maggie, I'm still making the rounds following my SITS day traffic. Thank you for stopping by! This is an interesting post. Such a loaded topic. Prejudice is irrational.

  6. I totally agree with you about kids being color blind. Our Pastor always says that if you only look at the cover of the book you are missing a whole lot. We pride ourselves on being a international church. If there is one place where color should matter it should be in the house of the Lord. Look forward to reading more from you. I am also new to blogging. Check out my blog http://downingdelectables.blogspot.com

  7. it is hard to admit to stereotyping and prejudices but recognizing and admitting to these thoughts and feelings helps you to not act on them, helps you realize how silly they are and helps you to combat the prejudices themselves. Our mind tried to affirm patterns it sees. If we see a pattern (people who drive a junky car are poor or smell bad or whatever) we will notice lots of things that affirm this belief, subconsciously cementing it in our mind as true. The facts that go against our "pattern" get dismissed as exceptions and we look for reasons why they do not fit our model… so that our model can remain true.

  8. WOW! awesomely said and very true. I think the election of a black president has made a lot of "non-prejudiced" people feel things they used to pretend not to feel (that sounds convoluted. I think what I'm trying to say is people are not prejudiced as long as the minorities stay in the boxes where they are put.) Sad but true.

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