I have been briefly following the Paula Deen saga that has recently unfolded. I remember my initial shock when hearing the news as I am a Paula Deen fan. She is a really good cook and a great personality on the Food Network.
However my issue with the entire situation is the response of people rather than what she said. Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy with her, nor do I condone this type of language and it is truly unfortunate to see things unfold this way.
Nonetheless people seem to go off the deep end with things. For instance one news channel spoke with a Pastor “friend” of Paula’s (although he seemed to know her through a mutual friend, rather than have much personal time with her) and his main argument was “who hasn’t said the word”. He insisted to talk about how it’s not a big deal because she’s not racist. In fact many people have taken this route. They have decided to point out other people who say the “n” word and seem to be cheered on. They will testify that is it is ok for a culture to say then why are they turning around and stoning Paula.
The truth is it is not ok for ANYONE to say that word. What we see taking place is a culture trying to use a word that at one time was only spoken to tear an ethnic group down. We see words trying to be “redeemed” all the time. The same goes for young girls calling themselves (or their female friends) the “B” word. Here is another word that was used to hurt women, however they have tried to redeem it. NOW I am in no way, shape, or form, agreeing with this “word redemption” strategy but I do understand it.
See the problem is most people don’t truly understand racism/prejudice and its impact upon a group. So when something happens along these line people make comments and vent without understanding the other side’s perspective.
There is one thing that really troubles me a step beyond this. It is how many of my fellow Christians respond to such issues. Some believe that because we have freedom of speech we can truly say whatever we want even if it violates our covenant with God. Scripture is clear that we need to be mindful of what comes out of our mouths even if we have the liberty to say/do something.
If the early church can see people losing their lives at the hand of an evil government, or witness racial/ethnic discrimination everywhere they went, and yet refrain from tearing down others then I think we need to follow their example. No matter what we see our response is to be light during these times, rather than piling on more garbage…
Yet I understand we are all human and all make mistakes. Trust me I have made my far share (and continue to make many). So I am not without offense. But we are called to continue to walk worthy of the manner in which we are called. We have a responsibility to seek God’s forgiveness and live better next time.
I am truly saddened by the use of language in our culture and even more shocked by the response from my fellows brothers/sisters of the faith. Although we may not be cursing, we are still not building others up or leading them to a place where they will follow our example.
*Please note that many of these conclusions are from a broad perspective.*
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
One passion of mine is uncovering/discovering/working through/and re-evaluating the issue of racism/prejudice as well as its impact on the culture.