In Little Rock, Ark on a relatively calm September day in 1957 the all-white Central High School tries to blocked nine African American students from entering the school. Governor Orval Faubus tries in vain to stop the students from attending the school even though 3 years earlier Brown v. Board of Education deemed segregation to be illegal in public schools. It took the actions of The President of the United States of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower, with the help of federal troops and the National Guard to persuade Governor Faubus to allow these nine students to enter the school. The Governor was persuaded by his own, or others, prejudice to take action against these nine students, the court system and the United States Government itself.
Growing up as an African American I have faced discrimination, and prejudice but nothing that hampered me from accomplishing the things I have done and wanted to do. I could not imagine the travesties these and others went through to just to live and breath and just be who God made them.
Fast forward 50 or so years after The Little Rock Nine and discrimination is still disallowing children into schools. No. It’s not about the color of skin this time. It’s about the Flavor of Religion. Namely Mormonism.
Just yesterday my wife and her sister went to an alternative school fair. We are looking into getting our son into another school that would broaden his academic horizons. My sister-in-law asked on of the persons manning the table for a local Christian school:
Is being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a problem.
The lady at the table stated:
We highly recommend not even putting in an application to our school.
My sister-in-law said thank you and went on her way.
This is discrimination like I’ve never seen before. I’ve had police officers tell me to spread eagle, like I’ve done it a million times before, when actually it was my first time. Needless to say the officer had to instruct me in the art of Spreading Eagle. I have been pulled over just because of the color of my skin (the last time I was pulled over I was rideing a bicycle). I’ve had parents not want me to date their Caucasian daughters but this action takes the cake. My LDS son whom I baptized and confirmed cannot attend some schools in the area because he is a member.
That wasn’t the only school that discriminates against Mormons here in Anchorage. In Elders Quorum an instructor stated that he was told not to submit an application to a Christian school because of his religious affiliation. I just think of what President Henckley said one General Conference:
I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ, How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color, is ineligible?
If we broaden this statement to includes all followers of Christ and substitute the word race for religion and skin color to sect, I would come to the conclusion that of:
How can anyone call themselves Christians who practice such religious bigotry and hatred.
The answer is simple and plain . . . They Cannot. Not legitimately. My sister-in-law practiced Christ like virtues by turning the other cheek and walking away. I ask of you who was Christ like in this situation?