My business life is an open book. I'm transparent about my struggles and I will not shy away from that here either. This blog has been on my mind for years. If you are offended easily, sorry not sorry. Feel free to go watch some pole videos. <3 I will say this right now, being raised a certain way will NOT define me.
My entire family is/was Southern Baptist/Evangelical. It's all I grew up knowing. Church was hell, fire, brimstone preachers. I internalized every bit of it living terrorized that hell was inevitable. #EmotionalTerrorism
In the late 1960's I spent quite a bit of my time with my grandparents in rural Missouri.
My grandparents spent time at the kitchen table reflecting on the news from good ol KFVS Channel 12. The world news followed and talked about the Black Panther party. It talked about the Civil Rights Movements as well. This was very upsetting to them and the Baptist Church we attended.
One of the most vivid memories I have was my grandparents wringing their hands and saying ,
"The world has gone to hell in a hand basket."
They told me the Black Panthers were coming for us and we had to be afraid.
My grandmother and great aunt were shaking.
Because I was little, I was terrified to go outside. I feared actual black panther cats would get me. I visualized playing by the creek and being eaten up.
My great aunt kept a shot gun by the door for rabid dogs, wolves and Black Panthers. No one was getting in. That shot gun would keep them all out.
I saw her shoot a wolf.
I believed her.
One particular day, my grandparents were so distraught that my grandma knelt and prayed that God would keep the blacks from getting rights. They went to prayer meeting and prayed for it there too.
"It's just not right." they said.
"They are coming for us". The preacher preached.
As I write this..
I am ready to hear from those who will say,
-It was just the time.
-That's how it was back in the day.
-They didn't know any better. They lived in the country.
-That's how they were raised.
- They were saints. They were of the Lord.
-They were devout. None better. They lived their lives walking with Christ.
Apologies. Apologizing. Apologists.
How dare you?
I believe with all my heart, that in those same exact moments, this was happening elsewhere.
Other people were in their own churches praying for God to deliver them from discrimination so they could find safe housing for their families. They might have also prayed for safety for their loved ones. They prayed to be afforded the most very basic of human rights. They were probably also afraid. Maybe their children and grand children felt fear of people like our family. Maybe.
Who wins? Who's side was God really on? My complete views on religion for this blog are not important. I will share with you, that I spent a large portion of my life living under the thumb of that religion. I'm not new to this. I'm fully aware that you can pray for whatever you want. My point of this blog is that if you are praying to your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to deny others the opportunity for their very basic needs to be met, you are not following the true Christian example Jesus gave.
My grandparents were what they were. They were racists. I couldn't tell you if they knew that word but I do. I know what that rhetoric sounds like. It's disgusting and disturbing. Each person on this earth has value. I won't listen to those who hide behind Christ to belittle or deny other human beings.
This time of my life feels a lot like what I grew up hearing. It's unsettling that 49 years later, people can still feel resolve in praying for the destruction of other's lives.
Being raised a certain way doesn't excuse any of this. We can all be better and be open to other's needs. We can evolve. None of us are perfect. We can do better. If praying is the effort a person gives, would it be so wrong to send thoughts and prayers for safety and peace? Or even to just pray that others could have what they needed. Where we came from should not determine where we go from here. If those voices resonate within a person, with real introspection, a person could become empathetic towards others. Prayers for safety and peace for all , not just 'certain' folks. We can all grow.
Peace and growth.