Who is Melvin Thompson and Why Do I Care?

Oh, how quick we are to criticize and deride other nations, religious groups and ethnic communities.

After all, we’re better.  We’re more progressive; we’re inclusive and we believe in equality!

Oh Really …?

Apparently, a Mr. Melvin Thompson, once the pastor of an eastern-Kentucky church, had a problem when the church’s secretary’s daughter visited one August with her African boyfriend.

What I mean is that he is not as white as Mr. Thompson.

 To make matters worse, the white daughter and her black boyfriend had the gall to SING in the church!  Mr. Thompson’s sensibilities were so disturbed by the sight of the two singing that he crafted a motion to bar mixed-race couples from the church.                                 

The motion read, in part: “The Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church does not condone interracial marriage. Parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services and other church functions, with the exception being funerals.”

In other words, they will recognize the mixed-race couple only if they are dead… how convenient!

It saddens me that 44 years after MLK’s death, people are still judged and rejected by the color of their skin.  At the same time I wonder how many of us still discriminate overtly and covertly because other people do not look like us, or sound like us, or share the same religion, party affiliation, ethnicity or birthplace.

Mr. Thompson has value because he reminds us of the bias residing in our souls.  Many of us are not aware of our own biases and bigotry; and when we are aware of it, we rationalize it.

But bigotry is here.  The Mr. Thompsons of the world walk among us, and sometimes we are the ones who do the walking.

We think that we don’t discriminate based on color.  Maybe so.  But, don’t we discriminate based on body size, education, money, upbringing, cultural affiliations and more?

Do we pay attention to the most important characteristic, which is:

KINDNESS?

The above-mentioned Mr. Thompson seems to have forgotten the words of his savior:

“He That Is Without Sin, Cast The First Stone” John chapter 8-verse 7

Of course, a little refresher wouldn’t hurt any of us.  So you see: Mr. Thompson is a welcomed visitor. He’s a reminder of how not to be.

So coming from an atheist (or agnostic, I’m not sure what I am anymore), I would like to say:

Thank you Melvin Thompson and God bless you!

Click here to visit my website for more info

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About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in Bigotry, Clergymen, Discrimination, Religion, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Who is Melvin Thompson and Why Do I Care?

  1. Stephanie Kirschner says:

    Unfortunately the world is full of ignorant and dangerous people. I do my best to surround myself with enlightened and tolerant people, and you are one of them!

  2. Barbara Cooper says:

    Personally, I am so sick and tired of racial bigotry especially when it is clothed in religious zeal. I have my own set of belief systems and yes, I’m certain that how I believe is right or at least as close to right as we can be without proof. But I have the utmost respect for anyone who has a belief system and walks the talk of how they believe. A Minister friend of mine once said, “All paths that lead to God are good” and I get that because each of us is on our own path in life. As I’ve noted before on this blog, I believe in reincarnation, and I think we come back as those we hate in this lifetime to experience what we have wrought to others. And karma is fine, but we still have to deal with the haters while we are here. I think the Bible has caused more hate than anything else. A book written thousands of years ago, and here’s the clincher, it has been translated and transcribed so many times that the original text is probably completely different than what exists and is read today. Ever play the telephone game when you were a child? Everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers something to the person next to them. Then that person repeats what is said to the one next to them and so on till the last person finally says aloud what has been whispered. By the time the last person speaks aloud, the original whispered sentence is long gone, and what is said is not even remotely close to the original sentence.
    Well, there are not too many people on the planet today speaking ancient Aramaic. And Rachel, just beneath the quote you highlighted from the Bible is a sentence that kind of proves my point. “Why, then, do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the rafter in your own eye?” Really? The rafter in my own eye? And people think they should take this literally? It’s absolutely ludicrous! I am reminded of a joke here about an old Catholic priest who was assigned the job of painstakingly researching ancient texts for any possible errors in transcription. He worked diligently for many years in his solitary task. After hours and hours of meticulous research he made a startling discovery that sent him running from the room in hysterics. “The “R”, he screamed, the “R”, they left out the “R”! A fellow priest told him to calm down and explain what he meant by the “R”. He said, “The word was supposed to be celebrate!”
    More wars fought in the name of God, more hatred inflicted because I believe differently than you. And I wonder, why do you care how I believe? Are you so insecure in your own beliefs that only having everyone believe the way you do will convince you that you must be right? And how can you read a book supposedly about love, “Love your neighbor as yourself” then turn around and hate someone because the color of his skin is different than yours? It is as hypocritical as the Christian who hates Jews- doesn’t the Christian see that their Lord and Saviour was born and died a Jew? We are all brothers and sisters, one human family. As for this man you speak of, Melvin Thompson, I wonder what would happen if he needed a transplant of some kind to save his life and the only matching organ that was available was from a black man? Would he take it?
    Enough, people. Enough hatred, enough killing, enough bigotry. Live and let live. And for goodness sake, let’s stop giving hate mongers a forum to spew their filth.

  3. Martha Carr says:

    Post-Script: The Good News:None of the parishioners agreed to it! They vehemently opposed his motion. The Pastor claimed it wasn’t based in racism! Really???

  4. Annie says:

    Seems folks are still knotted up about race in the South…wasn’t there a judge in Louisiana who recently tried to refuse marriage rights to interracial couples? Of course, it’s not just a southern thing. Bias is alive and well all over. So sad. Rachel, I love reading your blogs. I look forward to the emails alerting me to their presence. Thank you.

  5. Well being a Doughnut married to a Sweet Tart…I’m use familiar with the subtle and openly bias remarks, sneers and comments from the common folk. I must say though, I respect those who openly confess their feeling versus those who you find out their true feelings later…I can deal with proud ignorance…versus dealing with snooty ignorance

    It’s amazing that he is still a pastor…oh wait…there are churches dedicated to hatred of those who don’t believe like they do or worship the same higher being…Killing in God’s name is justified…if not rationalized…great topic…

  6. dlmchale says:

    Rachel…a brave topic and well presented. Almost makes me want to grab the first person walking by and tell them about my sex life. I think you have all the talent, content, and elements to make this a wonderful blog. Best of luck, and I will be participating. Also, thank you for your kind words when visiting my blog “Echoes Across Time” http://www.dlmchale.com Your kind words motivate me. Keep checking back before I pull all these poems for publication.

  7. mauricelabi says:

    You may want to explore your dilema whether you’re an atheist of agnostic in future blog(s).

  8. oren says:

    Great article Rachel – Thank you!!!

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