Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, August 07, 2006

On Bigotry

I've been away a while. My wife had to stay home a week because of her tendinitis (yeah, I always thought it was spelled "tendonitis," too--logical reasoning, which is alien to the English language in its spelling), plus the grief over her cousin's murder. When Diane is home with me I don't go on-line except for a few specific things, and she is usually with me at the time.

Anyway, on with today's post.

I just read Leonard Pitts's column on Mel Gibson's bigotry. He made the point that we all have some bigotry at our core. I agree. It's human nature. We're afraid of the unfamiliar.

As I've grown up I've outgrown most of the bigotry I learned growing up in the segregated South. I have learned to think rationally about the fact that there is no scientific, genetic basis for the concept of "race." I understand that God created everyone in His image and He loves us all equally.

But there is a dark place at the center of my heart (my gut, I guess would be more accurate) that reacts when I see an interracial couple. I am learning to look past that, and I intentionally treat everyone the same.

But I also react negatively to bigoted statements by family members, co-workers, or members of the general public. Statements like that crawl on my skin and I want to wipe them out. So I'm growing. I give thanks to God for that.

I want to learn and grow more. I want to get rid of any trace of bigotry within my heart, soul, gut, mind--everywhere in my being. I ask God to help me get rid of all negative feelings I may harbor, secret even to myself, against my fellow human beings over superficial things beyond any human control.

God bless all His people, and God help me grow into His mindset.


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