“I’m a strict segregationalist”

jesus faces

“When I am lifted up [on the Cross], I will draw all to myself,” said Jesus. But the “strict segregationalist” says that Jesus, who is in the least of the brethren, can just go to hell, adding that we don’t want those kind of people here among us.

Jesus asked Saul about the persecution of the new Christians (in Syria):

“Why are you persecuting me?”

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

And, just to say, about that bit about Jesus going to hell, well, you have to know, Jesus did go to hell. That’s part of the creed we recite every Sunday. He preached to the fallen spirits also about the persecution of the least of the brethren, and that that is why they will be in hell forever.

Still today, ever since original sin, ever since heading out right around the world from the Garden of Paradise, ever since the dispersion after the Tower of Babel, ever since we were arrogant, entitled brats who smash others down to lift ourselves up…

  • … people are still congratulating themselves that they are better than all others, better than all in the past, including Jesus, better than those around them…
  • … people are still protesting, even at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament –with them, for instance, not being Jews, and Jesus, the Divine Son of the Living God, God Himself, being a Jew — they are still protesting that they are supporters of “strict segregationalism” (a technical phrase that, incorporating all the violence of the crucifixion of our Lord). Go ahead and Google “strict segregationalism”…
  • … people are still being entitled brats, who are the only ones who exist, are the only ones who are important, are the only ones who are the only ones… How to say it?

Instead, Jesus is the One, the only One, who would unite us to Himself as members to a body, He the Head, as Saint Paul says, and we the members. See the painting above. There are a zillion passages, but how about starting with this one (Colossians 3:1-17)? (Can you think of others?)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,  forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Saint Paul asserts that, though he is the Jew of Jews. He follows Jesus, the Divine Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, Himself a Jew, who nevertheless says that “Salvation is of the Jews,” that is, for all who want it, which is not at all contradictory of what Saint Paul says of the Jews:

“They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)

In other words, those who have all the rights to be “strict segregationalists” (before Jesus came) are not to be so as regards salvation. But, let’s be real about this. What actually happens with us now that Jesus has come among us?

Anecdote time:

  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a couple came to get married, and so I got out the premarital investigation forms, which, I noticed, on the second page at the top, there was box which small print in it explaining that if was a mixed marriage, the wedding was not to take place without the required permissions of the Vicar for Black People. That’s right, “mixed” didn’t mean something like Catholic and Hindu. No, no. This was “Black” and “White.” I had to look at that a half dozen times, and then I called the Chancery and asked them what the hell that was all about. Then I wrote them a fierce letter like I’m sure they’ve never seen from a priest. No, after that, they weren’t expecting me to contact any Vicar for Black People.
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), any number of people asked me to build a church for the Black People because, you know, like, yeah, you know…
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a “nice” elderly lady came up to me and described a “N***** who lived just down the road a piece.” She went on and on about how no one is racist because “we treats them N****** just as if they was real people.” I asked her if she understood what she was saying. She tried to her best to look bewildered and all innocent, but could not hide her wry and cynical smile telling me how much I myself was hated for not despising those not just like the “nice” lady.
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account)… well… you get the idea…

Just guessing, but if any of that kind of BS goes on at the gates of heaven by any of the people lining up to get in to those pearly gates, so that “strict segregationalists” are trying to smack down actual believers, throwing, if they could, the true believers out of line, in that case I think the walls around heaven will grow even taller, even more insurmountable, to keep out all those who are proud to be “strict segregationalists.” The believers will be brought in, protected from the “strict segregationalists,” who will find themselves in hell. Ah yes, irony of ironies.

Mind you, it’s not actually that they will so much be excluded as they will not then want to go into heaven, what with all the non-segregationalist attitudes going on there. Hah.

norman rockwell golden rule

Another anecdote:

  • When I was a deacon in another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), I noted that, in the old coal mining town I was in, there were eleven Catholic churches. The churches hosted impossibly different languages of the newly immigrant coal minors, such as Polish and Lithuanian and German and Italian… on and on… But this is not segregationalism, strict or unstrict. It’s just a matter of convenience for languages regarding the provision of the sacraments that would involve preparation and discussion such as with Marriage and Confession. Mass was in Latin for everyone of course. But if anyone from any of the churches would go to any other church… that would be just fine and dandy. It wasn’t about segregation. Not at all. Zilch. Zero. Zip. NOT THAT.

Let’s try it again. Another passage from Saint Paul (Ephesians 2:13-22):

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

2 Comments

Filed under Ecumenism, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Racism

2 responses to ““I’m a strict segregationalist”

  1. Jeannie

    Where I grew up there were 3 Catholic Churches in my town: The Italian Church, the Slovak Church and the Irish Church. I was baptized in the Slovak Church but went to school and made my other Sacraments at the Irish church. Some of the nuns did penalize you if you didn’t happen to be Irish or from a well off family. The Italian Church is now the Marian Church, the Slovak Church was closed a few years back and the Irish Church now has a large Hispanic population! It is not referred to as the Spanish Church! But the Protestants do have a Korean Church (says so on their sign!)True story!

  2. Monica Harris

    Wow, that is a very powerful Ephesians reading from St Paul, like a reverse Tower of Babel, in Jesus Christ.
    Thank you.

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