Friday, May 29, 2009

We need another protected class of citizens!

This is probably going to sound ridiculous but bear with me for a moment. In recent months, there has been an unprecedented attack on people of faith. In the past, whenever a group of people is discriminated against, "someone" steps up and says "there should be laws to protect these people against attacks, discrimination, bullying, etc." Am I right?

While our nation began as a Christian nation over 200 years ago, in the last 50 years (at least), the elite have pushed and pushed to rid us of that particular notion. Prayer in schools, Ten Commandments on public buildings, nativity scenes in the public square, etc. That was bad enough and ridiculous in the extreme but now, people of faith are targets for bigotry, bullying, name-calling, vandalism and worse. So, I call upon our law-makers to write new laws to protect us! People of faith. Not just Christians either...but anyone religion that takes a "conservative" view of culture such sex within marriage only (how archaic, right?), protection of the unborn, marriage between a man and woman (to each other - lol) only, modest dress, and so on...such as Muslims, Jews, and other religions. Those of us who believe in "moral" behavior must now have the same protections that other protected classes now have.

You think I am kidding? I am not! Recently, in Alameda County, hundreds of people came to school board meetings to protest the new curriculum that teaches children as young as kindergarten about homosexuality. There were at least three meetings. Those who spoke against this curriculum were called names, when these folks spoke, those who supported the new curriculum shouted so that those who were protesting could not be heard and THEY were the ones being accused of bigotry and discrimination. In spite of the hundreds of parents and groups that spoke, the school board voted to use this new curriculum and told the parents who were against it that they couldn't even opt out their children...that their values had to be left at home.

How about that for narrow-mindedness? We are accused of it? How ludicrous! What happened to peaceful, respectful discussions in the public square? Unless you think and speak politically correct, you are treated disrespectfully and given no voice. For these reasons, we must have laws to protect us from discrimination in the work place and for our children in school. I wish it weren't so but as my mother used to say, "if wishes were horses, beggars could ride."

Listen, those of you who support morality, if you think you are the minority, you are wrong. Even if we are, please remember a small percentage of the colonial population wanted independence from England. We must take a stand if America is going to survive. It starts with you and me. We are where we are today in this politically correct stuff due to a small percentage of people (let's say a generous 10%) put their shoulders to the wheel and worked to see that their way became the "in thing". We have to push back. I am not talking about violence or name-calling or bullying or hate or anything like that. We win when we respectfully and forcefully speak the truth; we win with loving our opponents and praying for them. We win with each individual who becomes our friend but disagrees with us. It doesn't have to be ugly, folks. We can only do this in love.

Jesus taught us to "love our enemies". People that disagree with us are not our enemies, I hasten to add here, but the point is that THEY think WE are their enemies so love is the only thing that will change minds and set the tone for a respectful discussion. No more hate - again Dr. Martin Luther King's statement comes to mind...let's make our goal to judge a person by his/her character not the color of skin, what they do in the bedroom, not their nationality, not their choices (even if that choice is not one we'd make). Come, let us enter in a spirit of understanding and let the dialogue begin.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Progress of Hate

When I graduated from high school in 1963, I lived in Toledo, Ohio. I was amazed when I started school there to find the bigotry there. The school population at that time was predominantly Polish Catholics and blacks and Jewish kids were barely tolerated. I went to four different high schools mostly due to moving around with different family members. Two of the high schools were in the south (Virginia and Georgia). In Georgia particularly, the Jim Crow laws were still in effect. If you don't know what they are, here is a brief run-down: the black children went to their own schools, there were "colored" and "white" restrooms, drinking fountains, etc.; The blacks had their own part of town in which they lived and never ever had a house in town. Blacks were sent to the back of the bus. This really happened, folks. If a black person was in line at a grocery store in front of me, I was helped first.

It was a shock when I first saw all this. I had lived in Cincinnati, Ohio until I was 9 and although there was bigotry, I am sure, it was not as blatant as it was in the south, particularly Georgia. I started college and totally supported the Civil Rights Movement. I could never understand the thinking that went on then: a black woman could raise a white woman's child and nothing was thought strange about that or that this same black woman couldn't have the same respect and rights that the white child would enjoy.

I really believed that Martin Luther King was a hero and I was proud to hear Hanna (my 8 year old granddaughter) tell me the story of Rosa Parks. I had optimism and faith that the hate would stop in my lifetime. Sadly, that is not so. We seem to be more divided than ever. In the name of tolerance and diversity, we are making our differences more important than those things we share that are the same. In the name of "choice", abortion clinics abound in black communities and more black women abort their babies than any other race. To me, it is a subtle way to "ethnic cleanse" our nation. The idea behind equal opportunity caused more division and, frankly, made any other nationality seem a little more "dumb" or "slow", thus we have to bend the rules for them. If I had skin of a different color than white, I'd be insulted!

Oh, the hate isn't as obvious as the colored and white restrooms, but it is there nonetheless. Our society and media are not promoting harmony and celebrating our humanity but rather how different we all are. I still agree with Dr. King that we should be judging a person by his/her character rather than the color of our skin. When are we going to do that?