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Words Aren’t Action – Religion and Politics

Once upon a time, there was a man known as Saul of Tarsus. In his younger days, he at least stood by and assented to the stoning of a Christian man (and it’s rumored, so much worse). That man later came to be known as Paul the Apostle. People can and do change. It may take some pretty extraordinary circumstances and events, but that’s how life is. Have you said and done things you probably ought not have put out there? I know I have. Will you admit that as well? I would hope so.

Just this morning I read an article on a right-leaning web site that talked about the fact that a black professional basketball player apparently used a derogatory expression towards a white player from Europe.

To begin with, I didn’t even bother to look to see if there was a video clip, much less watch it if there was one.

I don’t agree with, nor would I make a statement remotely similar to the one the black player was accused of making—about anyone. That said, I have a take I think more folks should adopt on this.

Before moving on to my feelings on the matter, I should make it plain I don’t watch any team sports whatsoever. I consider them all boring, but if I didn’t, the recent fashion trend of professional athletes playing various team sports in the United States, towards trying to make me feel guilty for things that I don’t support, much less do or say, makes me weary beyond reasonable measure.

In short, if I ever had watched team sports from the U. S., I’d be pretty much over them by this point.

Your job as a sportsman, is first to excel in your sport, and second, to entertain those watching you; a thing too many high-priced primadonnas appear to have long since forgotten. That’s right, you are an entertainer, much like those who sing, or act. If you fail in that facet of your being, perhaps it’s time to find something else to do.

And let’s be clear, you’re not on some melodrama, or a radio shock jock, people expect you to entertain them by your actions on whatever playing surface you inhabit. The preference is that you accomplish that by being good at what you do.

My main point though is this, I’ve literally been called a racist for treating a black person in the exact same way I would’ve treated a white individual in the same circumstance.

Forgive me for so saying, but if I’m treating you as I would someone of my own race in the same type of situation, I have a hard time seeing how you consider me a racist for what I’m doing. You can call me rude, ignorant, arrogant, antisocial or any number of other things of that sort. I don’t believe any of those apply in these cases, and will work to deal with everyone with respect, due or not.

What I don’t see, is how you can call me racist when I treat you the same as anyone else.

This is a starting point for discussion.

What really matters, is my response to the statements of those who chose to paint me with that brush. My simple way of dealing with things has been to realize the truth and move on. That may mean some soul-searching and correction on my part, or not.

There was no need to go to some commission on human rights. I didn’t file some sort of defamation lawsuit. I didn’t pull my gun or knife and dispatch the person in question. To some, I did respond with words, but as expected, that was pretty much pointless, since the folks in question routinely weren’t listening.

Had I known the individuals spoken of, on social media, I saw and see, no need to have tried to, or now attempt to, wreck their very existence on the rocks of my ire. Even assuming I had been recording the events that transpired, I wouldn’t have done so.

The sad part? With some sort of video or audio evidence, or none at all, folks’re besmirching others on such Internet accounts and potentially destroying them in the process.

“Well,” you say, “don’t they deserve it?” My answer is probably not going to be pleasing to most folks out there. Even if they did what they shouldn’t have, the likely answer I’d give is a simple, “No.”

I’m not saying you don’t have the right to put evidence of such things out there for others to see. I’m not implying either, that folks don’t have equal ability and authority to respond. Though neither of these things is on my mind to do.

You’ll forgive me though, if I don’t support either knee-jerk reactions—those of people who really have no idea the context of what’s being said or done—or overreaction.

Maybe in the heat of the moment, someone said or did something he or she didn’t really mean, and he or she wouldn’t have normally uttered that thing or acted in that way.

Maybe it does imply some sort of internal bias; maybe not.

None of us is perfect. Implying we won’t express and certainly that we won’t have such biases—some of which will be entirely inappropriate—is the very soul of foolishness.

You heard somebody say, or watched them do, something that wasn’t particularly harmful; something that seemed to put some piece of their internal compass on display for all to see? To begin with, maybe it was based on something they really don’t believe, that happens.

Perhaps there was more to it. Possibly they really believed what they said. Time will tell

But to immediately consign them to the lower reaches of Hades is not the answer.

If a person has spent a lifetime, or even an extended period of time, acting or speaking inappropriately in some way, it’s understandable that you castigate them, or take some other more serious course.

For someone once or twice ever slipping, and saying something improper though, don’t you think you’re overdoing it by decimating their life as a result? I certainly do.

Remember too, that there’re folks out there who’ve spoken hurtful and problematic words; who have taken less than loving and reasonable paths. Though you look back and see this is the case, you may also look at the same human today, and potentially see massive changes in who they now are.

Once upon a time, there was a man known as Saul of Tarsus. In his younger days, he at least stood by and assented to the stoning of a Christian man (and it’s rumored, so much worse). That man later came to be known as Paul the Apostle. People can and do change. It may take some pretty extraordinary circumstances and events, but that’s how life is. Have you said and done things you probably ought not have put out there? I know I have. Will you admit that as well? I would hope so.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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