The Hypocrisy of a Trading Village - Part 1
Well, these next two blogs are going to be unlike most of my posts. You could even call them rant posts.
So, the other day I was selling my books at a particular market, and I found out that I am not allowed to sell my books there. In their defense, it did say on their contract that “no religious or political” things were to be sold without permission. I was assuming they meant stuff like church flyers, or religious organization flyers and the such. I don’t really know if I got so offended because I felt like it was an attack to my livelihood (as I am working hard toward making a living off of my writing) or something else. One thing I do know, though, is that the hypocrisy of the owner is for sure what offended me. I say this because I saw a plethora of religious material being sold there, yet he said that he didn’t want any “offensive” material sold at the market. I will expound on this in great detail during part two of this post.
To digress a little, I have been a defender of American freedoms, and I hate the hypocrisy that comes with certain people group, even Christian groups. I used to comment to posts on Facebook regarding these issues, however, have recently decided to quit commenting on there, mainly because most people don’t care to discuss, but rather to have demeaning arguments back and forth. One particular example of this was when I saw a post about a public-school system allowing a satanic group to hold meetings on campus (kind of like fellowship of Christian athletes or the such) and all of these Christians were posting how this should not be allowed in school. Now I do not disagree with them that it is a bad thing to have a satanic group influence our young people…. but some would say that about Christian groups. Anyway, I commented something to the effect that we Christians get upset when Christian groups are discriminated against, but we don’t want other faith-based groups allowed in schools. I then was indirectly accused of being a non-believer because of this.
I am a firm believer in religious freedom for all groups or no religious freedom for any group, including Christianity. I feel I must add here because I get that many of my blog posts mentions the “bad” things about Christianity. I don’t want to come across as a “hater” of Christianity, but I have lived my entire life surrounded by Christians and have been in the Christian world for pretty much 40 years. I have seen all of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe I should write a blog post about the good, the bad, and the ugly, explaining my full opinion on we believers and our practices. Anyway, back to the main point of this post.
Now, I have many times been on the end of being allowed to “be a Christian” and “do Christian things” (like prayer and the such) and seen “the other side” from afar, but never have I really been discriminated against for my faith or beliefs…until the weekend of 10-5-2018. This sheds some light on how those who do get discriminated against really feel. I can now identify – in a small way, at least – with other people groups who have felt discriminated against, whether it was based on race, religion, external appearance, etc. I’m not talking about being made fun of at school, or in the neighborhood. That is just part of growing up. Every religious person has at one time or another been made fun of because of their faith. Every person has at one point or another been made fun of based on their nationality or skin color (though it may be friendly jesting of close friends – which we deem acceptable). Everybody at one point or another has been made fun of based on their gender, and even their gender preferences. This is completely different than discrimination.
Discrimination for such areas of life would fall under not being allowed to be at certain places or do certain things. Discrimination happens much less often than being made fun of, but it happens quite often on small scales that never get noticed. Maybe it's not being allowed to sit at a table with other kids at lunch, or maybe it's not being invited somewhere, or maybe it's being kicked out of a place for no “real” reason. We see this last one all the time on the news and social media.
This is what happened to me. I was discriminated against because of my religious beliefs. It was extremely infuriating, and wise counsel explained I was just to be angry, “righteous indignation,” he called it. But he also explained that pursuing any form of legal action – which I probably had just cause to pursue – would not be something that would benefit the kingdom of God. He explained that Jesus had every reason to show vengeance, or get justice for his own murderers’ actions, yet he healed the ear of one of the men who came to kill him. This wise counsel also explained that as a Christian author it may not be in my best interest to sue, given that my goal in writing is to see the salvation of souls through my fiction. OH MAN, I REALLY WANTED TO GET BACK AT THIS OWNER. I wanted to pursue legal action. I had planned on contacting newspapers and news stations, possibly finding a lawyer, and I’ll be REAL HONEST. The thought had crossed my mind that pursuing justice in my “righteous indignation” might just give me the publicity I needed to “get my name out there” as an author. This wouldn’t have been good publicity, though. The thought also crossed my mind that I could get a lot of money for this and I wouldn’t have to work a part-time job, but I could focus on my writing full time. This was indeed very enticing. In the end, I decided not to pursue anything but this blog…so, I guess this two-parter could be my “getting even” with this place…. not very Christian, I know, but at least I have something close to home with a lot of people to write about now.
It also made me think about my true convictions on our American freedoms. I have always said I was an advocate for American freedoms and part of that freedom is the freedom to deny services to people…as unloving and un-Christ like that may be, it is our American right. It is also our American right to worship freely. But with our freedoms come responsibilities. Responsibilities toward our families, communities, and the world. Part of that responsibility is to be considerate of others, and though I support the right to deny service, I don't condone that right. Just like I support the right to own a gun, but I don't support the right to just go out and start shooting random strangers. There will always be people who disagree with you, and they are allowed to. They should also be allowed to deny service, however denying the service based on something so superficial as race, religion, and even politics is hateful and does nothing but cause strife and resentment AT THE VERY LEAST not to mention ignite more and more hate. So, I wouldn’t suggest anyone really exercise their right to deny service unless your organization is specifically affiliated with a certain religious group or gender group, or nationality. It is also illegal these days, yet people can be denied service for not wearing shoes, or shirts. The question is not where do we draw the line of legality, but where do we draw the line of morality.
I’ll talk more on this in next months post, but for now, I will stop…this post is already too long.
Hope you have had an interesting read.