Out of the Mouths of Babes

I've been pretty frustrated the past 24 hours with a situation at work.

I have been very excited to start a pen pal program with my second graders. I signed up at Epals an online pen pal service for schools around the world two days ago. They seem pretty excited too, telling me which countries they'd like to have pen friends in. So yesterday in my excitement I was pointing on the map the various places I was considering contacting a school. I have many possibilities in the UK, Australia, India, Japan, Russia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, France, Egypt, Norway etc. Even Uzbekistan, Romania, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

What really upset me was when I mentioned Russia my most outspoken charge says, "Eww they're bad people". I then tell her that there are bad people everywhere even in the US. "No there isn't." She's dead serious. When I mention Zimbabwe she says "They're evil." She probably hasn't even heard of Zimbabwe before! And about the Russia thing, this isn't the Cold War! I was shocked. I explained how I felt that there weren't any bad countries in the world just bad people. They seemed less than convinced.

So I thought it was time to break out my Unicef books. They are a wonderful set of books depicting children from around the world. One deals with celebrations, another with children's lifestyles and families and the last is aimed at older children and shows the living, schooling, working conditions of children throughout the world. The photography is stunning and shows things as they are.

Of course my friend Nicholas immediately launches into those people from India are funny looking. I try to explain that people from different cultures look and dress differently from us and that we'd probably look funny to them. He didn't believe me that his light blond hair and blue eyes would be weird to them.

Then things just get better. *smell the sarcasm* Religion was just a mess. They were not retaining anything (Fridays *sigh*). I asked them if the Church and Jesus except everyone? We had been talking about how anyone is welcome to join the church. Alexa then blurts out, "Not people from Iraq!" I ask her, "God doesn't love people from Iraq?" "No they're evil."

I could have cried. You hope as time goes on that people are actually changing, that they are learning about the world. What ever happened to loving each other? For God's sake isn't the Christian way to accept and love others as Jesus would have done? Why am I finding more and more Christians to be so closed minded and condemning. Frankly, Jesus would be ashamed of them. I wish they would realize that. They are what he fought against.

I love everyone regardless or race, religion, or nationality, I don't care if you worship monkeys. It's all the same God in my opinion anyway. The state of today's America as I have said before sickens me. All this nationalistic crap. All this flag waving camaraderie of we are right and they (every one else) is wrong. Bullshit. Iraq isn't evil, Russia is not evil. Sure they have had rulers at times that have been evil people but why don't we look inward and look at our own government? Do we have clean hands? Are we without sin? I should think not! If they are evil so are we and so much more so.

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