Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

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Location: England, United Kingdom

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All With The Same Brush

‘All Arabs are gun–toting, homicidal, extremists,’ or ‘ Blacks are nothing but a bunch of foot–shuffling lazy people on welfare,’ or ‘All Irish are thieving, lying, alcoholics,’ or even ‘Jews are conniving, money–grabbing people who are taking over the world.’* Take your pick, not only are the above quotations particularly odious, they are patently false!

But what happens when people who have an opportunity to change such preposterous and inflammatory prejudices and work for a common good, simply don’t? What happens when the press become tainted with the same brush, to an extent that the only view allowed or shared, is the prejudiced view they create?

Britain is proud of its diversity, just as are many countries. Demographically, there is no other city in the world that hosts such vast diversity than London. Its residents live in an adaptive and harmonious society. As a consequence, one of Britain’s greatest strengths lies in our tolerance and respect for all faiths and cultures. That’s not to say that it has always been this way–far from it, but we’ve worked hard to evolve.

But while we would like to believe that the prejudices, as quoted herein, are of an era past, sadly, this is not the case. Prejudice and discrimination raises its ugly head every single day.

It may be that someone is excluded from a potential job because of the colour of his or her skin, or cultural attire. Clubs and organisations create deliberate barriers to prevent people from joining. And what I find to be most repugnant, people’s places of worship, homes, or cemeteries are attacked merely because of the fact their faith is different.

I came home to find a terse note from one of the many religious newsgroups to which I subscribe, saying that I had been dropped from their group; All because I had written in my blog regarding a friend of mine, who happens to be Jewish. I read through the groups regularly and it helps me to understand many of their challenges. Sometimes, it helps me see how the roots of misunderstanding can begin.

What surprised me most is that this group is based in Canada and that the founders of that group are learned individuals who had presumably come there so that they could share their freedoms of speech, their diversity, and their cultural and religious beliefs.

But my blog was never submitted to the members for review, nor was I asked to offer any explanations or amplifications regarding what I wrote: not that I feel there is any need to. But I’m deeply saddened because the group, that apparently attracts a large number of international subscribers from various faiths, has an opportunity, if not a moral obligation, to help in the promotion of a fair and unbiased society. Certainly, more than ever, it is crucial that we teach our children that there is no place for prejudice or discrimination.

But to exclude people, whether it be in a newsgroup or an open society, merely because they respect the individuality, culture, and faith of every individual, without judgement; can only dramatically narrow your own personal and spiritual growth.

And perhaps, saddest of all, it can only serve to continue to fuel misperceptions others may have of them.

O Muhammad, tell the unbelievers [of Islam]; O unbelievers[of Islam], I worship not what you worship nor do you worship what I worship. And I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you worship what I worship. You have your religion and I have my religion. The Koran: Al-Kafirun, 109:1-6


*Found at the website of a rightwing supremacists group, exercising their 'rights' of 'free' speech.

A Simple Exercise

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't say who 'they' are, did you? You didn't need to!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way I forgot to say we love your blog!

Blogger Father Bill Haymaker said...

Those quotes came from a well known supremacy group. It find it appalling that they can publish such seditious comments. But just like other groups, they are relying upon their right to say what they wish in a 'free society.' With our freedoms, there needs to be accountability!


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