“Don’t judge lest you be judged by the same measure with which you have judged others.” “If there’s a speck in your brother’s eye how can you see to remove it when you have a plank in your own eye…first remove the plank and then you will be able to assist your brother with the speck.”
These sayings originate within the context of the Bible. “Church Folks” are infamous for quoting scripture when faced with social, treat political or real life dilemmas that challenge them and the beliefs on which they “say” they stand. Many are not fully prepared to put their faith and belief system on the line when faced with social, thumb political and ethical questions. During the Civil Rights Era, the Church was a central platform for organizing, marching and protesting the unjust and unfair treatment of citizens of this great nation who suffered violence, injustice, and discrimination in all areas of life simply because of the color of their skin.
Although bigotry and prejudice vehemently opposed them, they continued to push onward in order to move this nation beyond its entrenched beliefs, divisive, and destructive practices. They demanded that, as a nation, we fully embrace the platitudes on which we stand. The United States of America “hold(s) these truths to be self-evident that ALL men (and women) are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Church and its “folks” were warriors in the battle to hold lawmakers, the judiciary system and citizens accountable for upholding the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for ALL people. “All means All.” I’ve heard it said in church as a matter of fact!
Back in the day, “Church Folks” spoke up for the basic civil rights of the disenfranchised and oppressed. They stood in the gap and stood up for those who were not recognized as Equal citizens under the law with the same rights and privileges afforded each and every “other” citizen of the United States of America. What in the world has changed? The battle for Equality for the LGBTQ (Q) community has raised the question: “Does ALL mean ALL or not?” This question tests the very ground on which “Church Folks” say they stand. People always engage in situational ethics… and false equivalencies… do as I say not as I do platitudes. Often, no one is more guilty of this than “Church Folks.” Some of whom live their lives by the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law. The law, as it is written in the Bible, the manual by which many if not most Christians live their lives.
“Church Folks” let everyone be convinced in their own mind…you cannot shove your religious beliefs down the throat of other folks who don’t believe the same things you do or the same way you do. How other people live their lives or conduct themselves in the privacy of their own homes and bedrooms should not be anyone else’s concern unless they are causing harm or danger to others or somehow affecting the rights and privileges of others. Civil Rights belong to ALL people, no matter what they believe, what color, gender or orientation they are, and no matter what God they worship even if they worship no God at all. Think about it!
Up Next week: Change: the Behavior, the Mind, and the Circumstances