Prejudice And Discrimination Coursework Essay, Research Paper
PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION:
Prejudice and discrimination can be shown in many different forms such as colour, race, gender or discrimination. I will be looking at what Roman Catholics´ attitudes are towards prejudice and discrimination and how I think they might support victims of this type of crime. I will be referring to the bible to aid my answers and what fellow Christians have to say on the matter. The recent example I will be looking at is Martin Luther King´s work in opposing racism; which is a colour issue. In the Southern states of America in the 1950´s and 1960´s discrimination and prejudice against black people was very common indeed. People in the black community feared that the situation was going to escalate and become like that of South Africa where black people´s earnings were only about half of those of whites. Many blacks did not have the right to vote and certain public places were said to be for “whites only” Martin Luther King was a Christian campaigned endlessly for equal treatments of blacks and whites. He refused to support the idea that white people were all evil, as some black radicals believed. Instead, he taught that Christian love was the way forward. “Love,” he said, is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Jesus was Martin´s inspiration; King supported non-violent protests and said that it was the way forward. He famously spoke about non-violence and I quote
“ If he does not beat you-good! If he beats you…you develop the inner conviction of accepting the blows without retaliating”
Martin often stated that non-violence worked for Ghandi, the great Indian leader, in getting the British to leave India and this is why he consistently said that the black community should not fight back no matter how much they were provoked. In Montgomery black people could only sit at the back of buses and even the old had to give up their seat if a white person asked them. Martin Luther King organised a “bus boycott. This movement became known as the Civil Rights movement and in 1960 Martin Luther King became its leader. In 1956 the government passed a law making it illegal to segregate people on buses. This is an example of King using a non-violent method to get his point across and as you can see it worked as the government passed a law. One of the most famous speeches Martin Luther King said was and I quote. “ I have a dream that one day God´s children, blacks, whites, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the black people´s old song “Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” In 1968 a white man called James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King dead in Memphis, he was only 39. The example of Martin Luther King is a colour issue because as you have read above, black people were treated very badly and were discriminated against in a very bad way just because they have a different colour of skin. You could compare the black people who were treated badly to leprosy sufferers in the time of Jesus. In the bible it says how the lepers were sent away and left on there own in an isolated area where they were cut off from the rest of the world and were treated badly. Jesus went to the leprosy sufferer´s houses and healed them and this suggests to me that Jesus treated everyone the same and thought as everyone whether a different colour, race or gender completely equal. WHAT ROMAN CATHOLIC ATTITUDES TO THIS MIGHT BE? Roman Catholics are supposed to take their views from the bible therefore when I make a statement about their attitude I will try to back up my claim from the bible. God´s people including Roman Catholics have a special responsibility to treat people of other races or colour in the right way, for in the bible it says “Do not ill-treat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would a fellow-Israelite, and love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus) 19:33-34) Roman Catholics believe no one should look down on anybody else because of their status in life and all should be treated equally. For in the Bible it says:
“I now understand… that God has no favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts10: 34)
Paul´s letters in the bible rule out racism altogether. He told the Galatians that what matters is faith. It is not the Jews who are Abraham´s true descendants, but those who have faith in Christ. “So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free men, between men and women, you are all one in union with Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:28) “There is no longer any distinction between Gentiles and Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves and free men” (Colossians3: 11) Christians and Roman Catholics alike would say that, if there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free men, men and women, there is no distinction either between black and white! Jesus often taught that God´s kingdom was open to everybody. It did not matter whether or not you were Jewish. What mattered was how you responded to Jesus´ invitation to God´s kingdom. Roman Catholics and Christians would apply this teaching to whether a person was black or white. They believe that everyone is equal! Jesus teaches that everyone is your neighbour. For in the bible it says, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself ” Love knows no boundaries or distinctions. The story of the Samaritan´s compassion is a model for everybody. Racial origins were irrelevant in this passage; the test was which one loved his neighbour as himself. Roman Catholics believe that Jesus made everyone how he wanted them to be and this in turn means that every single person is equal regardless of their creed, colour, race or gender and because Jesus created us all we are all children of his. For in the bible it says: “Every human being is made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-28) WHAT ROMAN CATHOLICS MIGHT DO TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF THIS SITUATION? In my opinion I would suggest to the victims of this crime to try and be positive on their outlook towards God and the human race in general. I would try and introduce them into a multi-cultural society to show them that there is no ill feeling in the majority of the population in the white community. As Jesus said when he addressed the Pharisees there is good in all mankind no matter what the colour of their skin is, or their beliefs or their race. As bible says, “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone” This basically means we are all sinners on some occasions and judge people wrongly because of the colour of their skin, no human being is perfect. I would also encourage people in the black community to use non-violent protests as Martin Luther King preached to his black community. Violence is not the answer for it does not solve any problem and is wrong in God´s eye. Jesus believes that all cultures, class, and creed should be able to live together in peace and harmony. As Jesus himself was not at all worried how other people judged him, he just did what he thought was right. In my opinion as a Roman Catholic and practising Christian it is my belief that no matter what the colour a persons skin is, we are all the same and God loves us all the way we are. Every human being is created in the image of God. God offers salvation to everyone, to all nations. As I have already stated before, God taught us to love are neighbour, be kind to those who hate you and to pray for those who persecute you. As a Catholic I would do all I could to help the black community to be accepted as equal citizens and have the right to work in high positions of authority along with their white counterparts. “CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEVER USE FORCE TO PUT RIGHT INJUSTICES IN SOCIETY”
Do you agree or disagree? I partly agree and disagree with this statement. While war is always regrettable it can, under certain conditions, be morally and spiritually justified. Since the time of St. Aquinas in the 13th century, however, there has always been a Just War tradition in the Roman Catholic Church. The Church teaches that a war is justified providing that it is in self-defence and that quite a few conditions are met. Below are a few of those conditions.
? The damage inflicted by an enemy is lasting and very serious
? All other means of putting an end to the aggression have been tried-and failed
? The bloodshed brought about by the war is less than that caused by the previous aggression.
? There is a serious chance of a war against the enemy being effective
The four main beliefs behind the crusade (Holy War) were
1. The reason for the war was a holy one
2. God will guide and lead the armies
3. The crusaders are on God´s side; the enemy are against God
4. The war must be carried on to the bitter end. On the other hand Christian pacifists say that violence is never acceptable and that it breaks the commandments for it says in the bible
“Thou shall not kill” It is definitely against the Christian idea of love. The early Church was mainly pacifist. Few Christians joined any army until the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity at the beginning of the 4th Century. Christian Pacifists point to a number of passages in the Gospels to support their views.
“But no I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek two. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of you´re Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:38-46)
In this passage Jesus teaches us not to take revenge and to love our enemies. Something that I am sure many of us find hard to do. This passage is something that Christian pacifists would be totally behind and committed to. “To love your neighbour as yourself is more important than to offer animals and other sacrifices to God” (Mark 28-34)
In this passage Jesus tell us about the two most important commandments. The second one is to love our neighbour. Christian pacifists would interpret this as not hurting a fellow human whether in war or other circumstances. At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that things had reached a crisis and uses the symbol of buying a sword to get his point across. They misunderstood him and drew their swords in the Garden of Gethsemene. He immediately told them to stop fighting and heals the high priests slave who had been injured.
The Christian pacifists would think that it is Jesus´ wish that there be no fighting or war because he, himself ordered the disciples to stop fighting even when he knew he was being led of to die. In conclusion I think that prejudice in any form whether it is racial, gender or colour is wrong. No person in the world should be discriminated against. The effect to overcome racism has become widely anchored in the human conscience. All discrimination must be opposed. The Church is completely opposed to prejudice and discrimination and wants to change the hearts of people and offer the Church as a place of reconciliation.