You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

I am disappointed and frustrated by Tennessee’s support of the hate amendment. I know that I am supposed to call it the fear and ignorance amendment, but it is not that benign. Legislation that hinders my children’s ability to live happy, healthy lives is not stupid, it is deliberately spiteful. Every few months I visit my father’s church because it gives him great pleasure when I attend his church (as opposed to attending just any church, because he sees a difference). Several months ago, I attended church when the only point of the sermon was that good Christians are obedient sheep who do not question their leaders. In case we weren’t paying attention or maybe because the congregration is slow, the point was made repeatedly. Be sheep. Do as you are told and do not think for yourselves. In the weeks following the sheep sermon, the congregation had sermons on the evils of gay marriage and less than subtle advice about how to vote and who to elect. Looking at the results of yesterday’s election, I see the power that prejudice has in Tennessee. Although racism and misogyny are still thick in some areas of this state, I thought that we were making progress out of our dark caves. When my nemesis, bitterness has my heart clenched tightly in its’ vile claws, it is hard to find a toehold toward hope.

4 thoughts on “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

  1. I agree with you Cathy. I was so optimistic yesterday when I voted and now today a lot of that is gone. I think fear has kept a lot of people from really understanding what a true christian is suppose to be. Someone that doesn’t judge and loves all mankind. We are a beautiful and great state with beautiful and great people. I hope one day we will see the light.

  2. Can I guess that this was a Baptist church?

    One of the reasons I like the Methodist church is that the church, as a whole, takes a stand on social issues and writes that down in our Book of Discpline. The Book of Discipline is open to being debated, changed or rewritten every few years, which I like. And while the church can take a stand on an issue, it does not say to the body of the church–this is how you should vote becuase the church told you to do so.

    Maybe you should give another church that is a bit more loving and open-minded a try…

  3. BY SUCH A HUGE MARGIN.
    Geez.
    I have nothing to say. I didn’t realize that the state was just friggin chock full of people who just want to kick somebody when they’re down.
    Dammit.

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