By John J. Duncan Jr.
Many years ago, when I was a young lawyer and unmarried, I was asked to speak to a singles class at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church.
In preparing for that talk, I came across some material at my parents’ house that included a card that my grandfather, Papa Duncan, had made for a sermon he gave called the “Ten Characteristics of a Christian.”
Papa was primarily a farmer and carpenter, but he was the, I assume, unordained preacher at the Helenwood Presbyterian Church in Scott County.
My grandparents never owned a car and never went on vacations, so Papa didn’t miss a Sunday for 63 years. The little church died after he did.
At the bottom of that card, Papa had written “My favorite Bible verse – Micah 6:8.”
That verse says: “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Since the day I found that little card, that verse has been one of my favorites, too. However, I have several favorite verses and may write a column on those someday.
Micah 6:8 is very simple theology but certainly one of the most important verses in the Bible, especially now.
I felt good that in my 30 years in Congress, I was able to get along well with everyone there, both Democrats and Republicans.
Now, looking at it from a distance, it seems that the two parties almost hate each other and the general public, too, seems to be more sharply divided than any time other than during our Civil War.
What we need now, almost more than ever, is more simple human kindness, one to another, more fairness, and much more humility.
The demonstrators of Antifa and Black Lives Matter groups, in their youthful arrogance, seem to believe everyone but them is a racist. They certainly need more humility and far less hate.
In my last column, I mentioned a Gallup Poll that said race relations were at a “new low.” The survey covered only the preceding 20 years, and I hope and believe it was not really accurate.
But when two respected football coaches, a New York City teacher, a popular hockey announcer, and possibly many others I don’t know about are fired for saying that all lives matter, it does not help race relations in this country.
When Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrations end up in riots and looting and burning with no one being punished, it does not help race relations in this country.
And when Black students at some universities demand black-only graduation ceremonies or black-only sections in dorms, it does not help race relations in this country.
A video with Ty Smith, a Black man with two medical degrees, criticizing Critical Race Theory has been viewed more than two million times. He and many other Black leaders say this propaganda will teach Black and White kids to hate each other. But you won’t see Dr. Smith or others like him on MSNBC or CNN.
I think it would help race relations in this country if some organization would start a program in which a Black couple (or family) would share a meal with a White couple (or family), in each other’s home once a year. And vice-versa.
If every couple (or family) would invite a couple (or family) of the opposite race into their homes once a year for food and fellowship, it could be a beautiful thing.
I figured out a long time ago that everyone gets hurt by life and everyone needs help. And while life is filled with many more good times than bad, almost everyone is going through some great difficulty right at this moment which would cause you to be much kinder to them if you knew their full story.