Response to the tragic fire that damaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame is an excellent example of our double standards. Millions of dollars’ worth of pledges are pouring in, thus assuring restoration and reconstruction of this majestic structure. Yet, three historic churches recently burned up in Louisiana, and response hasn’t been nearly the same.
As I reflect on that during Holy Week, I can only conclude that similar things can be said, similar comparisons can be made, about our treatment of people.
While millions of dollars get committed for the cathedral, people in Puerto Rico still struggle to get hurricane relief, and Flint’s little kids still struggle to find clean drinking water.
We righteously quote the Constitution:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Except Native and African Americans.
Except gays and lesbians.
We piously quote Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female…
Except those struggling with sexual identity.
Except those with differing religious beliefs.
Yet, I think it’s undeniable that the Jesus, whose death and resurrection we remember this weekend, not only gave us guidelines, but also gave us personal examples insisting on fair and equal treatment for all. In his preaching: As I have loved you, so you must love one another. In his teaching: the good Samaritan, the rich man and Lazarus. By example: dining with a tax collector, showing kindness to a prostitute.
Praying for a change of heart is a beginning. But, it’s time now for us to make an Easter resolution: From now on, equal love; equal compassion; equal treatment---equality for all people! No exceptions. Not even prisoners.
Then, as “Easter People,” we can all proudly sing with Avery and Marsh:
Ev'ry morning is Easter morning from now on! Ev'ry day's resurrection day, the past is over and gone! Goodbye guilt, goodbye fear, good riddance!