Admiral of Morality: That old time religion: the Christian heritage and inconvenience

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

That old time religion: the Christian heritage and inconvenience

"At one time, church leaders had a lot to say about justice, but now there tends to be an emphasis on the virtues of unity and refusal to assert oneself. If some people feel contaminated by the presence of other ‘types’, especially if those trying to maintain ‘purity’ can quote verses from the Bible to rationalise this, should not those who it is feared might ‘pollute’ the church keep a low profile for the time being? Sooner or later, change will of course occur; cannot those already on the inside who feel unsettled by the presence of the ‘other’ be gently persuaded to rethink, rather than pressured? It can be tempting to go to great lengths to avoid offence to those whose privilege is threatened.

Patience is of course needed, and the wisdom to choose when to move slowly and when to move fast. Yet there are serious risks in accepting the human-made barriers and hierarchies which keep people apart. Apart from the harm done to those who are excluded, the spiritual harm people do to themselves when they marginalise or stereotype others should be considered, given the close connection between love of God and love of neighbour."

Read the rest of Savitri Hensman's piece at Ekklesia.


Anonymous D Smith said...

This brings back memories of growing up in Austin Tx in the late 1950s. Austin, then (and now!) was a "liberal" bastion in some quarters but by no means all.

a newly-married couple (Roman Catholic, incidentally)) moved into the apt across the hall from the one in which my mother, grandmother and I resided. The young woman was basic Caucasian; her husband was of Mexican descent - not the "Tex-Mex' that most folk looked down upon (and i am pleased to say that my family did not so do) but of an "aristocratic" descent. Nonetheless, the resident manager considered them to be a "mixed marriage" -- the equivalent of a black marrying a white (and worse, since the woman was caucasian) and so placed them across the hall from us since my mother 'liked n******".

I'm not writing this to extoll my mother or to put her forward for sainthood! What came to mind secondly is that we have all come a long way - at least according to Tx conventions....and, I think it useful to remind one another that history is not 2 generations ago, but within living memory (well, at least mine!). I pray that we all continue to move forward in our minds and our hearts.

10/03/2007 10:58:00 PM  

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