Rants, Musings, and Mental Meanderings of a former Conservative Christian Mother. Standing Strong against ignorance, preconceptions, labels and excessive housework. Celebrating original thought, religious freedom, parenthood, free enterprise and chocolate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unimaginable Grief

Many of you know I am a fan of the group Selah, although I only followed them until the sister (Nicol) left the group in 2004. I was browsing some music/news about them, and read that Nicol had lost a baby to SIDS only weeks ago. This is only 7 weeks after her brother lost a newborn child as well! If you follow the link, you can follow these stories on their blog. I cannot imagine the grief this family is going through, and since they have been such a spiritual inspiration to me, I wanted to share their story so you could pray for them as well. I know we don't know them personally, but we like to follow the mundane gossip of the latest celebrity that means absolutely nothing to anybody. So I think it is only appropriate that when someone is hurting that has given so much of their life trying to serve the Lord and actually make a meaningful contribution to humanity, we should take a moment out to say a prayer for them. Then take another moment to realize how fragile and sacred life is while we hug our own babies extra long tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Changing attitudes toward race?

I loved this article (Thanks to my MIL for saving it for me) and wanted to share it with you! I even posted it on my Facebook mini-feed, so if you read it there... it's the same article.

Rachel Lerman is the embodiment of melting-pot citizenry: Born in 1967 in Boston to a blonde, blue-eyed, Roman Catholic white woman and a black man from Nigeria, she was placed in foster care and shortly thereafter adopted by a white couple and raised Jewish.

This issue hits close to home with us, since we have adopted trans-racially (our daughter is Colombian and Mayan), and my sister is black. Okay, just kidding, she's not black, but her fiance is Caribbean and Portuguese. So yes, he's black. (Technically, dark brown, but you get the point.) And please stop with the "African-American" business. It is ridiculous to assume that all blacks are African, just as it is wrong to assume all whites are European. (I happen to half Caucasian, half of Mediterranean descent. It gets even muddier - the half Medit is actually Maltese, which is part Italian... so now I'm totally confused!!) We have had lots of discussions on interracial families, and what we find most fascinating is the difference in views between generations. Basically, the older you are, the harder it is to accept our multiracial society. Each generation seems to be a little more accepting, and although there are always exceptions and those just too steeped in ignorance and bitterness to let go of their racism, overall I think we are making progress. A lot of issues depends on individual confidence. A black person raised to be suspicious and bitter towards white people will interpret everything as "You're just doing that because I'm black." A multiracial child who is taught to be ashamed of one aspect of their heritage will shy away from it and struggle with identity issues. But we notice that people who are secure in who they are, or in the relationships they're in, can just shrug it off. Every once in a while it gets annoying, but overall you just roll your eyes.

I think it is important in racial issues (as with all areas of your life) to find BALANCE. I don't believe in complete assimilation of immigrants. Be proud of your heritage, keep your language, make your food, observe your holidays... BUT show us the same respect you want shown to you. Be proud of our heritage, our traditions, and learn our language as well. (I left out the food part, since I'm not a huge fan of American food. Hot dogs gag me and apple pie will send you to an early grave.) I think celebrating a separate culture is something done within your family and peer group, not something you force on your host country. I love experiencing other cultures, but I do get offended when they refuse to acknowledge mine. (Especially when they are living here.) NO, I don't expect complete assimilation, but I do expect respect. I love when my family does something specifically related to our heritage(s), but you won't see my immigrant grandparents with picket signs demanding they sing the national anthem in Maltese. We teach our daughter all about Colombia, but we also make her proud to be American. After all, that is what unites our family - we are Christians, and we are Americans.

So, what are you doing to improve the attitudes toward our multiracial society in your own family? How do you react to families of mixed heritage? Do you see them as impure mongrels or simply melting pot American? Do you still feel that staying racially pure is a moral issue, as believed for centuries? If you are a Christian, do you think your identity should be faith first, race(s) second, since the New Testament effectively lifted the race barriers? Come on, don't be shy! Let's have a discussion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just to clarify

I know I mentioned previously that I had been enjoying Molly's blog (Adventures in Mercy), and I know several of you mentioned to me that you had been reading it at my recommendation. While Molly has a witty and engaging writing style and we shared much of the same awakening experience, I just want to clarify that where we ended up are two very different places. This is in NO WAY disparaging Molly or her beliefs. I just want my readers to know that her beliefs are in no way a reflection of my own. (In fact, rather than take offense, she would also probably want to clarify that she does not believe like I do!!) Life is a long journey, and although you may meet people along the way that are stumbling or having the same struggles you do, that does not mean you will arrive at the same destination. Molly and I have arrived at very different places, andn I don't want to give a faulty impression of my own spiritual journey. Again, this is not to disparage those who I do not agree with, only to clarify that their beliefs and conclusions about Christianity are not my own. You know, that standard disclaimer most people have on their blogs! I love blogs that make you think and provoke you to do research. Molly's definitely does that!