Reconciliation’s Nemesis: The Pecking Order

Utah Pulse

Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate means there will be no Protestant on a major-party Presidential ticket for the first time ever. By Bryan Schott

There seems to be a human fixation on dividing and categorizing people. The unfortunate thing about it is that along with categorization comes human nature’s tendency of creating a pecking order. Once we put a tag in an individual’s culture as anything more than their characteristics; we enter into a slippery slope of prejudice which attempts to determine value of character according to characteristics.

Let’s take a moment and think about how we are attempting to Build the Bridge of unity in our churches and in society in general; however many times our language is anything but that of unity. This is most notable when it is spoken from the dominant ethnic group in comparison to the so-called “others”. In church pulpits around the country, how many times will we hear seemingly well intended descriptive phrases  that are used in narratives such as; “I met the nicest older Black Woman“, “the most polite little Mexican boy”, “that friendly Indian family” or “that helpful Asian man” etc. No matter how well intended; language like this is divisive and operates out of the presumptive caste system that taps into societies structural nature for placing value on persons based on their skin color or ethic group.

Suppose we take a walk in the shoes of these aforementioned groups. We must ask, is the message that is being communicated; they aren’t normally nice, polite, friendly or helpful?  This is not a surrender to political correctness but whether someone is in the School House, the Job,  the neighborhood even the Board Room of the corporate world or church, we must check ourselves and our structures at the door. Are these groups really so oblivious to the mincing and slicing of the pecking order in these mindless phrases that they cannot see the obvious.  As leaders attempt to ether pridefully display their multi-ethnic portfolio i.e. street cred with such phrases or maybe frame “the others” in a caste to separate and thereby reinforce the pecking order. This will not grow an atmosphere conducive of Building the Bridge Together.

“At that time the disciples came up and asked Jesus, Who then is [really] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]”. Matthew 18:1-3  Amplified Bible (AMP)

It is amazing that two uninfluenced, ethnically different children can play together regardless of skin color. Children are only looking for a playmate. And our desire as Christ’s followers should be  about building trust, walking in Humility along with showing love and forgiveness. Galatians 3:28 says :

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Nowhere is there any number two mentioned; only the number one of unity and equality, absent of the pecking order.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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