When you ‘other’ or ‘lump’ Someone Based on Presumptions or Biases
From the beginning of time, people have believed and they have fought over those beliefs. Empires have risen and fallen, slaves have been held and freed, women have been chattel and freed….
Yet thru the eyes of fear and prejudice, when you look at someone, your first reaction is to make assumptions based on what is immediately known to you. Sometimes based on what is taught to you, and sometimes based on what you have previously experienced.
Even when you know the groups you are personally involved in are disparate, you still do it.
I was raised in a crazily fundie group, that I knew was separated by many arguments and life differences, but joined by faith in a common spirit/man/prophet. The teachings of the new Testament on Christ.
I was taught as a youngster that the world was evil and we should keep ourselves separate from it. And there was certainly cause to support that. It didn’t stop our church from taking in refugees or helping in disasters. But it made the church forge it’s own way based on what Christ taught.
We were meant to be stewards of the earth and it’s people in a way that meant spreading love and justice thru it held to. But still as separate from it’s influence toward evil. Things like commercialism.
It was difficult not to understand that the church may have been the fruit of the teachings of Christ and his disciples, but it was broken. Humans now ran it, bickered over the meaning of what the Bible said and how we should live as a result.
I guess that meant that I learned the church wasn’t perfect. And having a family that had serious issues, but were still church elders really kept me from commitment to that.
But many reasons for the beliefs that I have now came from that rearing. I still believe that we are stewards of the earth and it’s people. That we should take in and help those in need. And Christ had a good message, that Buddha, Zarathustra, Confucius… Eastern and Western First Nation shamans and prophets had in common. That love will get us thru more than hate ever will. And we should try to work together for the good of us all.
When I am looked at, and say how I was raised, people presume things about me that just aren’t true though. Often due to bad examples rather than my own life and experience.
Even when they know that their own people were not homogenous.
It’s about fear judgments rather than getting to know someone. It presumes that the faith of my childhood is the same one I have now. Despite any evidence to the contrary. Even though they know their faith and experience have changed. grown, adapted.
I see this a lot on social media esp. It’s rubbed me raw during the pandemic, and the BIPOC protests and counter-demonstrations. How often these misunderstandings come down to people just not being willing to listen and talk.
It’s so much a fear response that is going to destroy, separate and possibly even cause a race war or civil war in the USA that may spread thru the world. Maybe it already has. And that really worries me.
I just wish I knew what to do or say to help people understand that this doesn’t need to be and to stop listening to the divisive politicians.
We all are people, we all have families and friends we care about. And if we could, we would all place love before hate. As our prophets have taught us.
And we all have histories where our forefathers have gotten things wrong. To the point where they should have been held accountable for them.
They weren’t all held accountable and their errors/sins weren’t the same, to the same people either.
Some of these sects were friends. Some were enemies. In the same era.
So how do we find a way to heal these wrongs and come together as people of the 21st century? Embracing the past, and learning the lessons, instead of accumulating hate and grief? Justified or not.
I wish I knew.
…. for eg the separations of the Christian church
+30,000 Christian organizations
there are more than 30,000 Christian organizations (groups, branches or denominations) worldwide, and more than 1,200 in the U.S. alone
There are major theological questions and eras that split the church. Like the Anabaptists and Jews for Christ.
And there are ways of life as well. Like the doctrine of separation from the world. Some conservative, fundamentalists engage in. Living in communities or communes rather than multi-belief cities or towns.
But has more often separated the church from each other, than the Church from the world. Or it’s evils. Esp as the population grows.