Thursday, September 23, 2010

Questions. Hard questions.

I'm in the second week of facilitating a discussion among a diverse group of wonderful people about the important issues of our day and age. We're going to be tackling at least a few of the following questions tonight. It sets us up for a continued, honest dialog about such things as race, ethnicity, privilege, power, and class.

As you know I believe that unless we figure out ways to really talk together instead of hurling slogans, rumor, innuendo, and hate around ...we're in a deep pool of water with no way out. Hard questions among people desiring to come to some common understandings is one way to bridge the gaps in today's culture. Feel free to use them in your own journaling, in a home group or Sunday School class. If you can bring together young, old, rich, poor, white, black, brown and yellow the discussion will be richer.

The first time I realized there were people different from me in the world was…

What does the current economic recession mean to the rich?

What does the current economic recession mean to the poor?

If you consider yourself a person of privilege how does that impact the way you look at the world?

How does racism manifest itself in today’s world?

Talk about how you think class divisions and racial divisions in our country are impacting people.

Is social justice really part of the gospel message of Jesus?

Can someone truly be a follower of Christ if they don’t care about people who are on the margins of life? Who's on the margins?

What does racial reconciliation mean to you?

When you drive through a ‘city’ neighborhood and see a group of young men on the corner wearing white t-shirts what runs through your mind?

Have you ever felt you’ve been denied opportunity because of your race or ethnic background?

How has a relationship with someone truly different from you impacted your life?

Do you ever get confused as to why people of another ethnic or racial group act the way they do?

When people you know say ‘times are tough’ what do they mean by that?

It’s said that ’10:00 Sunday is the most segregated hour’ of the week. What’s the problem?

When you pass by a gated community what do the gates represent to you?

How has the amount of money you have or the lack of money impacted your life?

Do we live in a society where there is equal opportunity?

Many people who drive into the ‘inner city’ for the first time find themselves feeling apprehensive? Why do you think that is?

Have you ever felt you were being watched or targeted because of your race or ethnicity?

When someone points out that ‘so and so’ lives a life of privilege what do they mean?

When someone points to someone else and says ‘that person feels entitled’ what do you think they mean?

Is life more fair for some than it is for others?

When Jesus talked about the ‘least of these’ what was he talking about?

When you ask the average suburbanite about the ‘inner city’ what are they thinking?

When you ask the average person who lives in the ‘inner city’ about people who live in the suburbs what are they thinking?

If God called you to ‘give away all that you have’ in order to follow Him what would that mean to you?

What does ‘living the good life’ mean to you?

Would living in a diverse neighborhood appeal to you? By diversity we mean diversity of class, age, color, sexual identity, religious faith and educational achievement.

What ‘stereotype’ of you bothers you the most?

Have you ever thought that your race, ethnicity or gender ever got in the way of opportunity?

Do you think you’ve gained opportunity because of your race, gender or ethnicity?

In what ways do the people you know exhibit fear of people who are different from themselves?

What do you think being poor means to someone who is rich?

What do you think rich means to someone who is poor?

In many urban neighborhoods schools are not good, food is hard to get, there are safety concerns, and jobs are hard to come by. What causes such things?

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