Some things that bother
me I can usually think them over, discuss them awhile with God
and I can put them on a shelf and not worry about them anymore.
Other things can REALLY
bother me and they are not so easily sidelined. Let me tell what
I've been thinking about.
I went to see the movie
"Titanic" this last month and I knew pretty much how the story
went. A boat full of people hits an iceberg and sinks into the
ocean, and a lot of people die.
I never really thought
about all the ramifications of this particular tragic event. The
injustices and prejudices of that time period were of no consequence
to me, and I must admit I had never really realized the impact
prejudice had and still has on society today.
According to the movie,
and experts have stated that this movie is very accurate to circumstance
and the distinction of class or rank in society played a huge
part in whether someone lived or died during a shipwreck and especially
one of the magnitude of the ill-fated "Titanic."
There were first class
passengers, who paid more for their passage, had the more opulent
staterooms, with private sundecks, had separate dining rooms and
generally were treated like royalty.
Then there were the second-class
passengers who didn't pay quite as much as first class for their
passage and their accommodations reflected the fare paid.
Third class passage staterooms,
if you could call them that, were far below decks and were generally
separated from the other passengers. They dined separately and
were most often left to entertain themselves during the voyage.
I have not been exposed
to the snobbery of the upper classes, at least directly, and also
had never realized or ever thought about this aspect of society
during that time period.
I assumed everyone was
happily raising their families, and every family had a Mother
and Father who worked and all the needs of the family were being
The movie "Titanic" brought
home to me, in a brutal way, of how snobbish and judgmental the
human race can be. The first class passengers were not checked
for lice as were the second and third class passengers.
After the iceberg hit
the ship and it was a certainty that the ship was going to sink,
the movie depicted the third class gates being locked until the
first and second class passengers had time to be loaded into the
The lifeboats were filled
according to class also, and first class passengers did not wish
to be in a lifeboat with second or third class passengers. Therefore
lifeboats were loaded with far less passengers than they could
lives of women and children could have been saved except for the
selfishness of those who considered themselves superior to their
fellow human beings.
I once thought
prejudices were held only to racial matters and had never thought
about any other implications or circumstances.
Was I naive?
Maybe so, once upon a time. Did I - and do I - still turn a blind
eye toward others? I must face the hard fact that I do and not
even realize that I do.
more recent incident raises more questions for me to think about
and meditate upon.
you probably have read about or seen on TV the Texas Death Row
inmate, Karla Faye Tucker. Karla was a pretty woman, 38 years
old, and very articulate.
to be a born-again Christian, and I believed her. She widely proclaimed
Jesus' Grace and Love and shared with all her testimony. The 700
Club, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and even the Pope pleaded
that her execution, scheduled for February 3, 1998, be commuted
to a life sentence.
wrote letters asking George Bush, the Governor of Texas to commute
her sentence and the Pardons Parole Board met and denied her appeal,
as did the Supreme Court of the United States.
Tucker was executed as scheduled. Many of the people gathered
around the Huntsville Prison cheered upon news of her death, many
sang Hymns, many said the world was a better place, and many cried.
of your views on the death penalty, Karla is now in a better place.
All that is left to do is for the News Reporters to hash and rehash
her case, interview family members and discuss the merits, pros
and cons of the death penalty.
statements that the only reason the world at large "knew" about
the Karla Faye Tucker case, was because she indeed was an attractive,
articulate, white woman, and seemingly was a different person
than the one who had committed the violent murders, for which
she was executed.
already judged by man for her evil qualities . . . capital murder.
It's funny that prejudice often works in reverse . . . she was
also judged by some for her "seemingly good" qualities also.
a minister on the radio tell this story: A young boy at a local
beach walked up to a young woman lying on a towel, sunbathing.
The boy asked the young
woman if she believed in God, to which the woman replied yes.
Next, he asked her if she was a Christian, to which she replied
asked her if she went to church every week and the young woman
told him that yes she did. Finally he then asked her if she would
hold his quarter for him while he swam in the ocean.
are held, by and large, to a higher standard than "ordinary" non-Christians,
although I feel we should hold ourselves to a higher standard
. . . Jesus' standard.
ALL. No matter the color, gender, class, poor, rich, dirty, clean,
moral, immoral, convict or saved. He simply loved.
asked in her final interview that we remember others in prison,
just like her. There are five more executions to take place in
Texas in the month of February. There are people in this
world who need the message that Christ wants us to take to them.
Are we ready? Can we put aside our feelings of prejudice, no matter
in what form, and do the work set for us to do by Jesus Christ?
I want to
say yes! I think I can . . . but how do we accomplish this great
task? With God's help, that's how. Only He can be truly unbiased,
impartial and full of LOVE. He does not see "class." Arenít you
Please God, rain down
more love upon your people so we can do your work.
I think I have a lot more
to think about . . .