Friday, January 23, 2009

18 January 2008: 2nd Sunday After Epiphany

Deuteronomy 1:18-17:13

Coincidence or no, this lesson talks about justice and how it should be administered. There is repeated emphasis in Torah, Prophets, and the writings on justice. We are not to favour the rich because they are rich, nor the poor because they are poor. Both extremes have been found in society over time. By extension, we are not to favour someone because of skin colour. In other words true justice is justice with integrity. Martin Luther King (By the way, we do not celebrate his birthday in January, but the anniversary of his death), in one of his speeches, stated that he did not want his children judged by the colour of their skin, but by their character. It is a wonderful statement and one we should consider.

I am a product of Texas and of the south, and grew up with prejudice around me. Blacks and whites did not frequent the same restaurants. Whites sat in the front of the theatre, blacks in the back, and Mexicans in the balcony. How things have changed, in some ways for the good, and in some ways for the bad.

Remember what Martin Luther King said, we are to judge by character. Remember what the Bible says, justice, all should be treated the same. Even though there are still some people who are prejudiced, either consciously or subconsciously, it is time for affirmative action to cease. Everyone should be judged by their ability and their character. Yes there are differences in the way people live, but, if we look just at the children of unwed mothers, the differences between white, black, Hispanic, etc. virtually disappear. Unwed mothers children are more likely to be abused, not finish school, be on drugs, etc. Mothers regardless of race should not have children outside of wedlock, if they truly love their children. Unfortunately most of them love themselves more and do not consider the danger they put their own children in.

Let us be just, instead of assuming prejudice, let us look at the real systemic problems this society has. Some have predicted that the US, UK and some other countries will be no better than third world countries, if we do not deal with the problem of unwed mothers. There is no shame any more. Something that is gone, is the shame and stigma of having sex and children without the benefits of marriage. Our new President has commented on the biggest problem for black families is the absence of black fathers. Bill Cosby (unpopularly I might add) has been talking about this problem for years. But it is not just a black problem, although the numbers are higher among the black community. It is a Hispanic, white, etc. problem as well, a result of glorifying sex before commitment, glorifying pleasure before responsibility.

It is time for our society to develop morals once again, morals based on Biblical precepts, sex and marriage belong together, not apart. Marriage for two heterosexuals, only, not glorifying perversions. Men being responsible for their children. Media that promotes morality, not amorality, drugs and sex. We make the difference, when we turn the TV off, refuse to listen to things that are bad, refusing to rent some movies, and telling sponsors why we will not buy their product anymore, and yes, writing to your senator, representative, governor and President. It is also time for church to show the way again. Our daughters should be virgins before they marry. Our sons as well. For too long has society salted the church in the USA and Europe. It is time for the church to salt society.

Mar Michael Abportus, OSL

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