Friday, August 04, 2006

I Just Don’t Understand


I just don’t get it…I don’t understand anti-Semitism. It makes zero sense to me. Not only as a rational thinking human being…but even more so as a Christian.

How can you be prejudice against Jews and be a Christian? After all…your Savior was a Jew. On one hand you hate Him because He was a Jew…and other hand…you love Him because He is your Savior. Your Savior…whose death and shed blood on the cross cleanses you from your sins. Sins like hatred and prejudice? I don’t understand.

Oh make no mistake…I know I am chief of sinners. While prejudice is not my sin of choice…I have equally ugly things within my soul. Thus…I am grateful each day for Jesus sacrifice on the cross for my sins.

But prejudice I never quite got. I guess in part I can thank my parents for that. Ugly racial epithets were not used in our household. When someone of another race or culture walked by…no one stared or made a remark after they passed by. They were just people…some good, some bad…just regular people.

Now my Grandmother on other hand…was not quite so untarnished. She was definitely prejudice. I remember with certainty…she was prejudice against black people. Not sure if Jews were another group of people whom she disliked…I don’t recall. What made it so odd was the fact that she was a Christian. A woman who loved God and tried to live a righteous life. But this was one area where she failed.

It was area where I felt disrespect towards her. The words hypocrite came trippingly off my tongue because I knew…even as a kid…long before I became a Christian…that prejudice was wrong. And you know how Satan likes to use whatever he can to keep us from coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. If he can stir up hatred and disrespect among Christians and family members…so much the better.

My parents were not prejudice. When they lived in Puerto Rico for a number of years…they adopted my two brothers Mike and Pat…two little Puerto Rican boys.

To a certain degree I attribute my grandmother prejudice to her being a product of her generation. She was born in 1893…not too awfully long after the end of the Civil War. Grandma lived during that ugly chapter in our nation’s history…where people treated people of color quite shamefully. Shameful and beyond…even to the point of committing horrific acts of murder toward innocent human beings.

Now Grandma would never treat people in an ugly manner to their face…or say something to them directly. Instead it was a comment after they left…or a look of disgust. Yet she and my Grandfather managed to raise my mom…who to my knowledge…is prejudice free with regards to race and religion.

What demons my Grandma must have struggled with…being a Christian…yet carrying the sin of prejudice. While prejudice was quite normal in the days in which in which she lived…she had to have known it was wrong. After all…you don’t whisper and say in private that which is good, holy, righteous and pure. But you try to keep those sins well disguised from the outside world. But it does come out…as it did with Mel Gibson during his recent arrest.

You might be wondering if it’s right and proper for me to be writing about my Grandma and exposing her flaws like this. But I must tell you…she is in heaven now. Not because of those sins…but because her Savior Jesus Christ died to pay the price for all her sins…even those sins that seemingly contradicted her Christianity. I’m quite certain that now…she wouldn’t mind exposing that ugliness…in the hopes that it helps even one person to repent of their sin of prejudice.

As a kid…when my Grandma would make a comment about a black person…I didn’t understand it. I thought it was ridiculous…just plain stupid. To think that a person is less of a human being because of their color of their skin…was ludicrous. I would think to myself…you have a pet that is black or brown…and you love that animal dearly. If it’s all about color…why wouldn’t you be prejudice against them?

But a human being created in God’s own imagine…it’s okay to think less of them because of their skin color, race, religion or ethnic background? Ah…I don’t get it.

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