Monday, February 16, 2009

©Linda Wegner


For the past three weeks I’ve been a participant in Diversity Conversations, a pilot project designed to address discrimination in all its ugly forms. It’s been a challenging yet meaningful time as five of us, plus two facilitators, looked at our individual biases. The diversity of our backgrounds alone provided fodder for discussion: there were two Jewish participants, two government employees, someone from a mixed marriage and an evangelical Christian. Our discussions have been intense yet we’re unanimous in our condemnation of hatred and discrimination of others who do not look or believe the same as we do.

Yesterday we invited a few friends over for lunch following the morning church service. It was one of those unplanned but thoroughly enjoyed events. During the meal the conversation turned to global economic challenges (what conversation doesn’t these days!). That, of course, turned naturally to the election of President Obama, and quickly shifted to the matter of the election of an African American. Once more the topic of racism and discrimination became the centre of conversation and once again we talked about our individual roles in a society that so easily judges a man or woman by outward appearance.

Through all these times and events the threads of an old Sunday School chorus keeps running through my mind: Jesus loves the little children/All the children of the world/Red and yellow, black and white/They are precious in His sight/Jesus loves the little children of the world.

The questions the ancient sage, Job, asked remain the same: “If I have denied justice…what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account? Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?” (Job 31:13-15)

God despises injustice. We’d better do the same!

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