Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is it Christian to bear racial hatred?

No. It is not. There is nothing in the Bible (old or new testaments) that condone such behavior. As a matter of fact, one of the tribes the Jews were allowed to mix and marry with, is a native Ethiopian tribe.

But, it is especially evil and repugnant when it happens at a sporting event at a so called Christian school. I have hesitated to write about this, because it is an issue which strikes very closely to home for me. Dear hubby is bi-racial, hispanic and caucasian. My brother is bi-racial African-American and caucasian. I have watched both be treated with disdain in the deep South. I have heard otherwise well meaning people spout hatred in Jesus' name due to them. And, I can honestly say that I have not, nor will I silently watch that type of behavior.

Christ was color blind, but bigotry is alive and well in the deep South and it flows in all directions. Whites have no monopoly on hatred, nor does any other group. I refuse to see only bigotry that flows in one direction while ignoring it in others. It is all wrong.

Our school had an away football game last weekend at a "Christian" school in Winder (Barrow County), Georgia. Our school and our team are racially mixed and work together as a team.

Now, I will openly admit that I didn't attend this game (and I am grateful that God spared my children being exposed to that situation). However, my parents attended this game (my father works for our school as the computer guru and webmaster, he has no children or grandchildren that participate in our sporting programs in any way) because my father has gotten to know the kids and wants to show his support. This was a long drive, and with gas prices being sky high, was a big show of support! I trust my parents when they report to me what they personally experienced. I also trust what I have learned through the husband of our Athletic Director and from our own Headmaster (who I have worked with and for during the last 5 years).

These are just a very few of the "Christian" things that I am aware of that happened during that game.

1. Parents from the opposing school yelling "nigger" from the stands. Also, the variation of "get the nigger."
2. Parents telling their children not to play with or play near the children who came from our school (including a 2 year old sibling of a player on the team) because we're "nigger-lovers."
3. Referring to said 2 year old child as a "nigger" in front of both him, a white playmate of his, and our Headmaster.
4. Repeatedly grabbing face masks of players on our team and trying to sling them around by the neck (a dangerous and illegal move) while the referees couldn't see it (even when shown by video tape.
5. Singling out kids to gang up on during the game and when they get tacked, keep hitting him, saying "I guess you got what you deserved, nigger!" This, incidentally was caught on video tape.

If this is what constitutes Christian behavior, is it any wonder at all that so many of our youth are opting out? This behavior is apalling at a public school event, but even more repugnant at a school where, by virtue of their religous leanings, are doing all of these things in Jesus' holy name.

Our Headmaster sat and cried from the damage that she saw in the eyes of these players and the other kids who are their friends and would defend them no matter what. When our coach tried to hurry kids to the bus so that violence wouldn't erupt, some of our parents were indignant that we didn't shake the other team's hands--ostensibly because it wasn't Christian behavior. HELLO! The kids safety should be first and foremost. Secondly, the ceremony of shaking hands is a way of saying, "good game, thanks for playing fair with us" which simply did not occur. If I had a kid on that field, I would forbid them from giving the impression that what that other team did was on a standing with fair play and Christ-like behavior.

It breaks my heart to think that if this game had happened last year, that my brother would have been on the cheerleading squad (I guess he'd be a "faggot" too) because he is just not built to play football. If my kids had heard epithets and insults hurled at him, it would have hurt them so deeply. I am grateful that it didn't work out that way.

It's not about keeping up appearances, people. It's about the heart. It's about respect for a Savior who is not a respecter of persons. It's about standing up for what is right. It's about not going along with the crowd.

I guess that's hard to do when folks can't seem to figure out right from wrong. Just a hint: check your Bible. The answers are there is anyone would bother to read it.

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