The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By LeRoy Schoot

Where do we turn?


The editor of The Sentinel is correct in naming the abuse piled on a black female clergy recently. There is much for us to learn from this sad and deplorable situation.

Discrimination against those perceived as “other” is a daily occurrence here in our hometown, and it has been so for a long, long time. “Other” includes women, LGBTQ persons, people with skin tones darker than our own, not to mention Muslims and liberals!

Hatred and fear of the “other” is so pervasive, both in our hometown and in hometowns across our nation, that our eyes are blind to it, and by our inaction we become complicit in it.

Where do we look for the way out of this dark place in the forest? Voices clamoring for our attention are everywhere—political parties, organized religion, social and electronic media in general all shout at us incessantly.

First, we can dismiss all things related to partisan politics. Politics, as practiced in the USA, is inimical to social justice.

Should we look to our churches? After all they have had 2,000 years practicing what Jesus commanded! The most successful churches (by their numbers) in our hometown are among the greatest causes of the isolation necessary to the viral spread of fear and hatred. Church insiders are exclusively qualified to determine the “worthy ones” qualified for membership in the elite environment of the true believers.

Is it any wonder that something like three quarters of our people find “church” to be irrelevant?

If the churches and politicians are unable to lead, then who?

As always, it is me and it is you. It is us, the community, the people who live here, who must take responsibility for moving out of the dark forest of fear. It is only you, me, and us who can refuse stereotyping, end “worthiness games,” and reach out to everyone who breathes the same air we do.

If we keep at it, truly persisting, changing our churches, resisting the banality of politics, becoming increasingly wise about allowing the media to infect our brains with trash, there will finally be created an environment in which fear and hatred will no longer have an audience.


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