This is a good time

THE OTHER DAY I heard about an eight-year-old named Allison who was enrolled by her parents in private school to protect her from the ridicule and rejection she was getting at her local school. I guess the other kids didn't like Allison because of her family's religious faith. But changing schools didn't really shield her from the abuse. The kids simply met her school bus each afternoon, harassing her and spitting on her as she walked home. Eventually her family moved away.

Why did this little girl receive such treatment? I doubt she had done anything to offend the other children. I suspect they just were mirroring, in cruel ignorance, the intolerance and prejudice they saw their parents express at home.

It's ironic that such acts of subjugation and hate are often done in God's name. Over the centuries, distorted interpretations of scripture have been the cause of much of the world's suffering. But love for God is not complete without love for each other. The Bible says, "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (I John 4:20).

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January 14, 2002

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