|My County Court House Water Fountain - 50's|
As I child I was very aware of established and sanctioned discrimination. There were race divided lunch counters, bathrooms, movie theaters and signs reading "whites only”. Even the churches of the same denomination had separate building and congregations.
While attending church with my grandmother, I literally had a front row seat to a religious freedom discussion. Time - the early 60's. Blacks under strong leadership were exercising their rights and letting the Jim Crow south know that discrimination was wrong on many levels.
That Sunday morning the question put before the congregation was, what to do if a black person enters the church during a service and takes a seat? As it was called back then “desegregate” the church. The consensus plan was to sing the closing hymn and everyone stand and leave. Thus, not acknowledging the “intruder”. This was until my grandmother stood and stated that not respecting someone (any person) was not Christian. She then read to the congregation Acts 10:34-35:
(34) Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (35) but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right'. (New International Version -NIV)That ended the discussion and the church decided that day to welcome all entering with open arms. I have never been more proud of my grandmother and still am.
Maybe it time for today’s so called religious leaders, to reconsider what Jesus and Apostles really taught.
President Lyndon Johnson resolved when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Invidious discrimination is wrong. And it doesn’t matter why someone wants to discriminate."