Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day Thoughts

I have friends who are Muslim, Hindi, Sikh, Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Hispanic, African-American, Asian, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, and probably some other identities of which I am not even aware. Some have lived under great oppression, some still do. Some live with family histories that include horrible stories of how they were treated. America isn't a Christian church or even a Christian nation, it's a free country. I grew up here in Greenville where people who weren't "like us" were treated as if they had no right to be treated with dignity, no right to live in my neighborhood, no right to belong here. Somehow, our mindset was that this land was our land - not your land, that God shed His grace on me - not thee, that all men are created equal - excluding you. That's the South where I was raised. That is not America, and I will continually point out the good that is among us and decry the evil that cloaks itself in religion or in tradition. That evil causes division and is founded on a baseless pride. I have no right to be proud to be a white Southern male Christian if my sister has to hide the fact that she is an immigrant Sikh. I do not believe this only applies to my region or my generation. We are all susceptible to these thoughts unless we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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