Baptist

Baptist: (n) a member of a Protestant Christian denomination advocating baptism only of adult believers by total immersion.Dictionary B

Baptists believe a lot of other things, too, besides dunking people in water.

If their only stance was immersion, then the endearing notion of being born again by the action of bathing in righteousness would be beautiful.

But Baptists often find themselves in the position of defending ideas which congeal the Old Testament and the New Testament in an uncomfortable and unfortunate gelatin of purposes.

Christianity becomes so much easier when you stop being Jewish.

If you insist on being a good Jew who follows the testament of Moses, and a dear Christian who pursues the philosophy of Jesus, you will often find yourself personally confused and incomprehensible to others.

On the other hand, simply to view Baptists as spiritual Neanderthals and socially retarded is to miss the blessing of simplicity that these folks often bring to an overly complex world.

For I will tell you, it is amazing what many Southern Baptists can achieve with a few moments of prayer and a platter of chicken.

So what am I saying?

I am saying that if you’re going to be a Christian, you must be willing to abandon Judaism while still loving the Jew.

For I do not believe in the Koran, nor Scientology, or even the teachings of Olympus … but still happen to love Arabs, Hollywood stars and Greek folk.

 

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Arab

dictionary with letter A

Arab: (adj) of or relating to Arabia or the people of Arabia

I grew up in Ohio.

My formative years were spent in a small village in the Buckeye Nation, surrounded by bigoted people.

They did not like black people–not because of proximity or personal contact. It was simply a tradition that had been passed down from one generation to another, and even though some of their ancestors fought to free the slaves, they didn’t especially want these “freed men” to live in the same neighborhood.

I was surrounded by intolerance. My family would probably argue the point, but only because we love to rewrite history once it’s been corrected.

But truthfully, the average person living in Central Ohio in 1965 believed many erroneous things about “colored folk,” including that they smelled differently, they were less intelligent, and they certainly should not date sons, let alone daughters.

Here’s an interesting fact: that isn’t true today.

The reason it isn’t true is that gradually the minority of the people who were more loving and giving wore down the intolerant, or else they buried them in the cemetery or changed their minds.

But as long as we believed that there were more “good Buckeyes” who were color blind than “bad Buckeyes” who were not, no progress was made.

The same thing is true for the Arabs.

They are experiencing a very strong backlash to extreme fundamentalism in the religion that they hold dear.

Here’s a fact: until the good ones who love people outlast and eventually outnumber the ones who don’t, and take the words of their holy book and punctuate the verses that are more inclusive, they will be characterized, universally, as dangerous.

There’s no way around it. If my close neighbor who shares my mosque flies airplanes into buildings, I become a suspect.

In my community of 1,500 people, having 60 folks who were open to having black people living in the town was not sufficient to warrant referring to our citizens as open-minded.

Truth had to win out.

So here’s the conclusion, and I speak this joyfully and hopefully to my Arab brothers and sisters:

Wear down your bigots and outnumber them.

It’s the only way to regain the beauty of your cause and an acceptance of your true mission.

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Anti-Semitism

dictionary with letter AAnti-Semitism (n): a hostility toward or prejudice against Jews.

It is the duty of those who have suffered to make sure that they are not the perpetrators of suffering on the lives of others.

This is why the United States still struggles with the issue of race–because of our horrible history of slavery. It is our responsibility to make sure that we never allow such idiocy to reign supreme in our populace again.

And it is why the people of Germany have made it illegal to propagate any form of Nazi doctrine within its borders–because of the atrocities they committed against the Jews.

There are undoubtedly groups of people, even among Christians in our world, who have a hatred for the Jewish nation. There certainly is a conflict among the Arabs and Jews concerning rights to Mesopotamia.

Balancing this situation out in our society creates hypocrisy rather than understanding. Some people are so strongly against the Jews that they have no perspective on Hebrew rights and feelings. Others are so pro-Israel that they place no responsibility on the children of Abraham to show mercy on the other children of Abraham.

What is anti-Semitic, and what is merely challenging a group of people to be fair-minded?

It’s learning how to delineate between truth and opinion.

Here’s the truth:

The Jewish Council were the ones who brought Jesus to Pontius Pilate for crucifixion.

Here is also a truth:

The Jewish community, over the years, has been instrumental in discoveries, intelligent progress and humane endeavors.

Here’s a truth:

The Jews were granted the land of Israel after WWII by the English so they could have a homeland.

Here’s another truth:

The Palestinians are human beings and need to be given consideration for their rights and purposes.

It is not anti-Semitic to ask our Jewish brothers and sisters to accept an equality which welcomes peace on Earth. But it certainly is anti-Semitic to blame the Jews for things that have nothing to do with their journey or actions.

It is a political nightmare, a spiritual quagmire and the makings of a social faux pas.

But I love my Jewish friends enough to believe that they have the intellect to live up to the quality of humanity which has marked their fairness, their pursuits and their heritage.

 

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Anti-racism

dictionary with letter AAnti-racism: (n) the policy of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

It is cruel, insane and useless to walk up to a man having a heart attack, lying on a gurney and proffer, “You shouldn’t have eaten so much bacon.”

Warnings have to come at the right time, or they are either petty bitchiness or meaningless babble.

Anti-racism is similar to this. We all grew up in households where preferences were promoted. So it is ridiculous to think that we’re going to ease our way into a world where color doesn’t matter.

We must stop arresting the neighbors who live next door to the Bodega that was vandalized and start looking for the actual perpetrators.

What causes racism?

1. Too much emphasis on culture.

Matter of fact, I’m not comfortable with any emphasis on culture. When I begin to believe that the Chinese, the Africans, the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans have different ways of looking at life, I am setting myself up to feel arrogant over my rendition.

2. Take away the stigma of loving who you want to love.

Even though we are willing to accept that the chimpanzee or ape is our ancestor, we are not able to procreate with one. Yet there is no human being of any color or ethnic origin who cannot pair off and make a baby. What a piece of hypocrisy.

Many people would be more willing to accept a gorilla as a neighbor than they are an Hispanic.

3. Be clean.

Start off on the basis that all of us were taught a certain amount of prejudice, which can explode into full-fledged bigotry.

The misconception in America is the belief that we have racism under control because we elected a black President.

First of all, President Obama may not be any more black than I am, since he had a white mother.

Secondly, what we choose to do publicly does not determine our soul. It is the truth that lies on our inward parts–our private notions–which carry the heart of our true beliefs.

When we realize that racism is just another piece of our immature nature which needs to be addressed and abandoned, we will actually go forward.

As the great writer once said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, but now that I’ve become a man, I have put away childish things.”

 

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