Words from a Witch?

She wrote, in another forum:

When one labels others, that is prejudging, the root word of prejudice. A practice that I find abhorrent and somewhat at odds with the first part of the name of this forum but very in keeping with the second part since being contentious seemed to be the purpose of the post.

Over the years, I have encountered a bazillion people who have had something to say about "prejudice." Some simply repeated contemporary platitudes when they encountered the word. Others, apparently burdened with an excessive load of self-righteousness, appeared to only consider the word as having some pejorative quality.

In truth, to pre-judge is simply to discriminate - to choose from among alternatives. I confess that I practice discrimination several times each day. I admit that I am prejudiced in favor of dining on salt-water fish as opposed to a fresh-water variety. I admit that I am prejudiced in favor of wearing sandals as opposed to high-heeled, pointy-toed cowboy boots. I prefer my GMC Suburban over a minivan.

When I find myself with a group of people, I admit that I exercise discrimination when choosing those with whom I would most care to interact. In matters of literature, I prefer Robert Ludlum over Stephen King - and that is discrimination.

The word "prejudice" should be considered in context as, I believe, should most words or combinations of words. I find absolutely nothing wrong with being prejudiced in favor of San Antonio's Spurs NBA team in a match with a rival team. On the other hand, I believe that to be prejudiced against a person on the basis of nothing other than race or creed or gender or national origin not only to be illegal - at least sometimes - but also immoral.

I grew up in a time of war. When I was a child, America was at war with Germany, Italy, Japan and a few other places. Our government apparently used every device available to create angry, unreasoning prejudice against the people living in those nations. Some of that hatred was turned against people in our own country whose families came from those countries.

My surname is German. My great grandparents came to America in 1857. My own family was persecuted on the basis of national origin until we moved to a neighborhood predominantly populated by other families with Germanic roots.

America was at war, cold war, with the Soviet Union throughout my childhood and youth. In classrooms, on the movie screen and in printed media we were told that the Soviets and nationals of a few other Communist countries were evil, monstrous people. And I believed it.

While I was a teenager, America went to war against North Korea and Chinese troops. In the classroom, on the movie screen, in printed media and on the few flickering television sets in homes, we were taught that the North Koreans and the Chinese and Russian Communists were evil, monstrous people, and I believed it.

Throughout my childhood and youth, I lived in all-white neighborhoods. I never had a childhood friend or acquaintance of any color other than white. In my home town, though located in the supposedly liberal north, de facto segregation of people of color and Jews was in practice. And I saw nothing wrong with that.

I lived the first 30 or so years of my life bearing a strong bias against those people who at the time were called "Negro." I thought that was the way things were, for I had observed that people of other social, racial and cultural groups also had such prejudices.

I was on my second tour in Vietnam when Martin Luther King was murdered. At my base and, I imagine, other American military bases all around the world, it was as though a dam had burst and a flood of pent-up resentment and anger had been released.

When I was aggressively atheist, people who claimed to be Christians not infrequently exhibited the same kind of prejudicial attitude toward me that I had toward them. In the more than 20 years that I have been blessed to be a follower of Christ, I have observed that there are professing Christians who are decidedly prejudiced against cults and other pseudo-religious groups they consider to be inimical to God and the Christian faith. I believe that this is in line with biblical teaching and, therefore, neither illegal nor immoral – so long as such prejudices do not result in unholy or illegal activities. There are evangelicals who may consider those affiliated with other than evangelical communities to be "lesser Christians," or perhaps not at all Christian. While this surely cannot be seen as illegal, I leave it to the Lord to judge the morality of this view.

Certainly, there are many groups claiming to be Christian though their doctrines and practices demonstrate they have no right to make such a claim. I believe, however, that God has the power to call any person, regardless of where he hangs his church hat, to salvation. While one would hope that all such called and regenerated souls might separate themselves from their former heathen or apostate affiliations, some may not do so immediately or, perhaps, ever. I have observed a prejudice against such "stickers" on the part of more orthodox evangelicals that appears founded solely on the basis of what church, if any, they call home. It is my opinion that such judgments ignore the fact that the newly reborn believer may be taking his first baby steps in sanctification and may not have learned to practice biblical discernment. The same God who called him out of Egypt has the power to bring him along the path of sanctification also.

This person who wrote the words quoted above needs, in my opinion, to learn to select her terms on the basis of the context in which they are to be used, rather than on the trembling foundation of emotionalism.

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