Text Box: 	    The VOICE 
“Working together to make the difference that matters.”

Text Box: North Eaton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
35895 Royalton Rd.                                                                                                                                           Grafton, Ohio 44044
Address Service Requested                

Minister: Dr. Paul H. Durbin
Licensed Minister: Judy Ponting
Christian Ed. And Youth Director: Polly Tallos
Secretary: Londa Blaine				
Pathways Counseling and Growth Center: Dr. Ralph Thompson
Choir Director: Kyle Vander Schrier
Pianist: Carla McElhaney
Grafton, OH 44044
Permit No. 8
Text Box: Paul’s Place—–May 2007
	As I write this article, there is considerable discussion going on about Mr. Imus’s comments on the public airwaves.  As of now, I believe he has been fired.  The reactions to his comments were immediate.  At first, the racism issue was identified soon to be followed by the sexist nature of the comments.  
	As a child, growing up in the 1950’s, my brain was assaulted, violated, polluted, and  stained with racist, sexist, and anti Semitic comments, jokes, and name calling.  It has been a challenge to heal the violence done to my brain with such words.  I know the words.  I know them better than most.  I am convinced that I will never be able to remove them.  
Some of the discussion has been about when it might or might not be appropriate to use such language and who might be able to use such words.  A rap artist might be able to use such words to violate the brains of the young, because it comes from his heart and soul. I believe that was the reasoning of someone named “Snoopdog.”  A person cannot use the racist/sexist words when they are broadcasted on the public airwaves.  However, they can assault and stain the brains of listeners with such words “if the listeners pay for it.”  That comment was the reasoning of someone interviewed.  None of that makes any sense to me.  It certainly cannot be right.
	I am guilty.  I am certain that I can find all kinds of things to say to justify it.  It comes from my heart and soul which means I can say what I want, just like that snoop dog person.  I only say such things in the privacy of close friends and family.   I only let my  comments be heard in the silence of my heart when I feel they are appropriate to the race and gender of the person nearby.  None of that makes it right and indicates my failure as a Christian. It is the result of a polluted mind and stained soul.
	As our national church has embraced the challenge of becoming an anti-racist/pro-reconciliation body, I have thought a great deal about it.  I differ from the regional and                        national emphasis in my approach, but I am pleased that we are facing the issue. The major issue for me is one of dehumanization.  Racism/Sexism/Anti-Semitism, all dehumanize              people.  People become labels and not people.  Every expression that treats a person as a non-person is sin.  It is not exclusive to race, sex, nationality, or religion.  When people are no longer thought of as people, it is sin.  When we give human beings a label that enables us to think of them and treat them differently than we would a “real” human being, it is sin.