/* ----- ---- *?

Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

See one another as God sees.

All right, I'm going to vent. Be ye warned. Also note that I am not exempting myself from this; part of where this comes from is an awareness that I am in error as much as the error I see.

I attended the Community Forum yesterday, which purported to deal with the topic of institutional racism at Seabury. Up on the wall was taped a sort of timeline around the topic, developed (as I understand it) a year or two ago by the faculty as part of a grant project. It ranged roughly from 1995 to the present. We heard various faculty presenters discuss events and crises that have occurred over the years.

It was very illuminating-- brought home for me the fact that we continue to repeat the same things that were identified as mistakes, or badly handled situations. Native Americans who struggled through lack of cultural sympathy and support 20 years ago would find their experience mirrored by the African students' situation today. Students of color who were dismayed by the monochromatic altar party at a 1997(?) Feast of the Presentation service intended to celebrate diversity, would have seen very little progress if they looked at the liturgical ministers at yesterday's Anti-Racism Forum Eucharist. MC'd services continue to be very Anglo-centered; the few exceptions still occasion the rolling of eyes among portions of the student body, and proposed liturgies have been, if not discouraged, at least not encouraged, and (in at least one circumstance that I know of) preempted and not rescheduled.

And yet, when I brought up this issue in our small group discussion, it was ignored. Passed over, not dealt with at all.

So, we see the problem, but continue the same behavior.

Paul maintains that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” But we continue to erect walls, to build ourselves up by relegating others to second class status. We set standards, not by what Jesus is (or could be) in all of us, but by what we are that others aren't.

And race is certainly not the only way we fail to recognize God's gifts in one another with human double standards. Think about this: if it's not okay to dismiss one another as too young/female/gay/poor/redneck, then it's an equal error to dismiss as too old/male/straight/wealthy/citifed. There are two sides of this coin, and both bear the face of sin.

Isaiah's words echo here: "You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving. This people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."


Post a Comment

<< Home