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:
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!