From the Pastor's Pen


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A Message from Pastor Marylyn Doyle



September: You've Got To Be Taught:

 

You've got to be taught to hate and fear,

You've got to be taught from year to year,

It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear

You've got to be carfully taught.

 

You've got to be taught to be afraid

of people whose eyes are oddly made,

And poeple whose skin is a diff'rent shade,

You've got to be carefully taught.

 

You've got to be taught before it's too late,

Before you are six or seven or eight,

To hate all the poeple your relatives hate,

you've got to be carelly taught!

 

     Rogers and Hammerstein in their Broadway play South Pacific remind us that we learn hate, fear, discrimination, stereotypes toward people who are not like us.  We may be taught by our parents, grandparents, friends, schools, and yes, even the church.

     This country has a history of ...isms.  We have seen some of these challenged, yet some just won't go away.

     We have witnessed the tearing down of Confederate statues, statues once erected to remind people of who is on top and who is not.  Recently we have witnessed hate groups raise their ugly heads in Charlottesville, VA.  The saddest picture I saw on Facebook was a 2 year old child dressed in a KKK costume toucing a calm policeman's shield.  What does a 2 year old know of hate unless his parents teach him?  We have to be carefully taught.

     I am part of the second generation of clergy women.  Yes, there were spotty attempts by denominations before the 1970's to ordain women, but when many denominations opened all positions in their churchs there was an increase in the number of women serving churches.  But stereotypes would not go away.  In my first church, a senior citizen said to me, "We don't want a woman there."  She did everything to convince me of that, but I persisted.  Even to this day, sadly, I encounter this, but not here.

     It is our job to counter prejudice wherever and whenever we see it.  To be silent only allows it to continue.  As church faithful, it is our responsibility to say, "No, that is not Christ-like" every time we encounter it in our famillies, our workplace, or our community.

     There is no place for hate or prejudice withing the chruch. Jesus opened up his teachings to all who would listen and follow.  He ate with tax collectors, non-Jews.  He railed against the privilege of wealth, position, and pomposity.  Paul continued to open the Good News to anyone.  So must the church speak out against injustice.

     As followers of the Prince of Peace, it is our duty to create communities where people with different points of view on political and religious issues learn to respect those with whom they disagree and have authentic dialogue together.  We need to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.

     We are called to be who God created us to be....loving all we encounter.

 

~~~Pastor Marylyn

 

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