Let Freedom Ring | Teen Ink

Let Freedom Ring

August 19, 2008
By Anonymous

Lust, pride, sloth, wrath, gluttony, greed, envy... all of these sins grip our lives and our culture. But there is one sin which is not on this list whose giant hand is fixed firmly around the throat of the foundation of this country, and that is INTOLERANCE.

All blacks are criminals. All Muslims are terrorists. Those with mental illnesses and learning disabilities are freaks. God hates homosexuals and unwed mothers.

These are attitudes that poison American minds, warping the lens through which we see our fellow men and women. Instead of equality and brotherhood, we're taught to hate one another because of how we worship, who we love, and how our bodies and minds and souls are made. And every day, it's paraded across our television screens and carried down our streets it's shouted from our car radio and whispered from the mouths of those we respect and admire.

Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, you have done it unto me."

Would you cross the street to avoid your Savior the way you do when you encounter a black teenager on an empty street at night? Would you eye Him suspiciously at the airport the way you do to the Arab gentleman standing in front of you in the security checkpoint line? Would you have rolled your eyes at His mother with that self-righteous expression with which you would look at any other unwed teenage mother?

Because, in your heart, that's precisely what you're doing. When you shove a special ed student into a locker, or make it even harder for a homosexual classmate to break the silence about her sexuality because she's terrified of how you'll react, or yell some snide remark at an overweight person, or assume a friend who cuts herself or has an eating disorder is doing it for attention.

You're not only undermining the Bible and the Lord's teachings; you're undermining the principles this country was founded on. Prejudice and bigotry are shaking the foundation of this so-called safe haven, this so-called land of the free. And every word of hatred is contributing to that destruction.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry," proclaims the proud statue. But I believe she speaks not only to the crowded ships full of immigrants, waiting to stand on the shore of Ellis Island. There are huddled masses yearning to breathe free who were born on American soil too. There are men and women waiting to hear their freedom ring who were born right here, at Mary Black, at Spartanburg Reigonal, right here in our city. They are yearning to breathe free of racism, of homophobia, of stereotypes and bigotry that pollutes the air of every city in America. Let freedom ring, for them, for all of us, that we may all embrace what it truly means to be an American.

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This article has 3 comments.

mplo said...
on Jan. 27 2016 at 7:36 am
Yes...this is an extremely well-written essay, which cuts to the quick, if one gets the drift. Unfortunately, however, closed-mindedness among people often persists into adulthood, thus continuing a vicious cycle. When people are reared from an early age, in households where this kind of prejudicial thinking presides, the cycle often continues, and it's a difficult cycle to break. Not that it can't be done, because sometimes people who've been brought up with this kind of narrow-minded thinking can and do change their minds, but, all too often, that's not the case.

S M Wells said...
on Oct. 14 2010 at 4:08 pm
 I think this is a mind opiner. I have alwase thought of poeple who marry and, Court, so to speek, there own sex. As odd. This could easily,perhaps corectly, be construde as predjudice. I am not sure If I will ever find it posibal to feal otherwise. But it is sertenly somthing I had nver stoped to ponder on and deside if my point of veiw  was intierly unpredjudice or not.

sup01 said...
on Apr. 6 2009 at 2:35 pm
Alwesome job it was well written. I agree totally the majority of homosexuals have to wait until colledge because of the close minded people around them. the majority of the time though the most close mined people are their parents.Agian great job