The “B” Word
Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem;
it is a deep-seated evil within our society.
You might be a bigot if……
You judge, are intolerant, or prejudice against someone because they:
1) Dress differently than you
2) Think differently than you
3) Have a different skin color than you
4) Are a different ethnicity than you
5) Have different religious beliefs than you
6) Have a different sexual orientation than you
7) Are a different gender than you
Let’s not beat around the bush here…
Bigotry is self-idolatry!
You might be wondering, “Who is she to even dare write a blog on bigotry?” A recipient of it…that’s who!
I was a pregnant teenager at the age of 17 years old. I got evicted from my apartment, which led me to find housing at BETA House. BETA is a maternity home for women. When I moved in there I was living on welfare, WIC, and foodstamps. Coming from a middle class upbringing my system was shocked on many levels!
My first taste of bigotry was directed at my growing belly. People looked at me and shook their heads. Saying things like, “We know what kind of girl she is…” and “She’s just gonna be another one of those baby makers on welfare…sucking up tax payers’ money.”
Shopping at the grocery store was a nightmare! People standing behind me would suck their teeth in disgust. Or say, “It’s a shame that “they” eat better than hard working people.” I hated the stares from other customers when I had to pull out cash to pay for some items. If felt like they were saying, “If she has cash to buy things why is she on WIC and foodstamps?” So, I went to two different grocery stores…one to pay with foodstamps and one to pay with cash.
The worst bigotry I experienced, at that time, was from the other pregnant teenagers at BETA. Everything was fine until I decided to place my child for adoption. Then all “you know what” broke loose. I became the pariah of the house. The other girls started stealing my food. They trashed my room. I was verbally threatened. Then I was physically threatened at knife point. The staff protected me the best they could, but it was finally decided that I would have to go live with a foster family until my child was born.
My experience with bigotry is tame compared to many. But the emotional wounds I got from it weighed heavy on my heart. I was hurt, angry, and terrified at the same time.
I got to walk away from the bigotry in my life. When I gave birth to my daughter and placed her for adoption I was set free from the bigotry that had been following me through my pregnancy. However, I will never forget the pain. Nobody should ever be exposed to that kind of treatment…NOBODY!
When I became a Christian I thought for sure that I would never run into the “B” word again. After all, we are told that the most important thing as a Christian is to “love the Lord God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all of your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
For the life of me I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says, “But you don’t have to love that person whose skin is a different color than yours, or that person who has more than two kids and is on welfare, or that person…”
We are called to love! Period!
Bigotry begets bigotry. It is a learned behavior that is passed down from generation to generation. It is a direct contradiction to the foundation of being a Christian. Yet, more people who come to the Healing Ministry have been wounded by people calling themselves “Christians” than any other people. There is something wrong with that…sinfully wrong!!!!
And it really makes me angry! So much so, that I prefer to call myself a “Follower of Jesus Christ” versus Christian.
If we love Jesus we need to take a stand. Stop bigotry in its tracks.
Don’t laugh when someone tells a joke that degrades another person. Don’t pass on e-mails that stereotype an individual or a group of people. Don’t judge someone because your friends are judging them. Don’t strip people of their humanity by using the words, “they” and “them” in a perjorative manner.
Just love our neighbors as we love ourselves…that is truly loving God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind!