Monday, May 14, 2007


A few days ago someone came to my Babycenter LDS board and put up a poll question:
Are there minorities in the LDS church? Explain.
The poll answer options were yes and no.
So as soon as I read it, red flags go up everywhere in my mind. There were several ways to interpret that question, and most of the responses had traps ready to spring if used. If nothing else, 4 years on Babycenter boards being goaded by "trolls" has taught me about people being trapped with their words, so I responded thus (typos and all):

ummmm Wow, interesting question.
If you are looking at numbers, then by "race" (who made up that dumb term anyway? We are all human.) I'm fairly certain that "whites" come in second behind "hispanics," "blacks" and "asians" I have no idea which would rank next in the numbers. In the USA "whites" are the majority, in Africa "blacks" are, in Mexico and South America "hispanics" are the majority.
I think we tend to concider ourselves a collective people. Personally I would class us as a minority in and of ourselves.
We also have different perspectives on the origins of various nations because of what our religion teaches us, so if a huge portion of the planet is of the house of israel... then what does any minority definition matter?

So here are my questions: Who ISN'T a minority? What defines what a minority is? Who defines whom is a minority? Why do we let these distinctions define our relationships with each other? When are people going to start looking beyond one dimensional classifications? Why do we even have a term for this when in one way or another it can be applied to everyone?

I'm white, for some that's the end of the story. I'm white, so supposedly I know nothing of suffering, nothing of persecution, nothing of bigotry unless I'm the one dishing it out. People look at me and see red hair, stark white skin, and they see nothing else. By that I am judged "safe" by some, and "a risk" by others.

In reality I am a member of several minority groups. My people have been driven and slain and oppressed at different stages throughout history, and mostly by each other. I have Native American blood, I have Jewish blood, I have English blood, I have German blood, I have French blood, in short I have good old American mutt blood. I am the product of generations of people who struggled to survive in a lifelong battle against oppression, poverty, and politics. You name a form of bigoted persecution and it's been done to my people, even slavery.

That's not what really makes me a minority though. People didn't throw rocks at me because my last name was Germanic, or because of my obviously Native American facial structure. No, they threw rocks at me because I'm LDS. I'm a minority in open persecution season.

My point is this. We are all minorities, therefore there are no minorities. We all come from the same roots, each branch of the vine just took a different path up the wall than the others. No matter how you trace it, religiously or scientifically we all come from the same place, we are all human. Sub-divide us as you will, we are all basically the same.

Whom among us doesn't long to be loved? Show me one person who wasn't teased as a child. Bring me one person who has no burden. Search the secluded places of the world and find me one person who has never made a difference in another person's life.

I think these lines that are drawn to divide us are as stupid as exiling all the knitters in the world to some empty rock to avoid the click-clack of needles.

People are people, worthy of love, respect, and assistance, no matter how much or little melanin they have in their skin or what their perception of the divine. There is one race, the human race, and the sooner we all accept that the better off we will be.

So Mrs. Staats, whomever you are, there are no minorities in my church. Thank you.