Collateral Damage

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on June 29, 2008

Back a war or two ago, a phrase entered the vocabulary. The expression was collateral damage. This referred to civilians killed in a combat action. It sounds a lot nicer than dead women and children.
To hear the war supporters tell it, the enemy was causing this. The terrorists would move women and children into areas they knew were going to be attacked, so they could be killed. The terrorists would get sympathy for their cause when this happened. To the war supporters, it was a cost of doing business.
The past few days, there has been discussion at this facility about speaking out when you hear something you don’t like. People say it is bigotry and hate, which sounds a lot worse than something you don’t like. Just like collateral damage sounds nicer than dead children.
When people put on their warpaint about to fight bigotry, there is frequently collateral damage.

There was an incident that illustrates my point. This was when I was at Redo Blue, working with the Bully for Jesus. I will use the initials BFJ.
One day BFJ heard someone make a comment using the phrase “your daddy said”. This comment was made by a white person, referring to another white person. BFJ is a black person, and the comment offended him.
BFJ decided to vent his feelings about this comment. Since he was working on a rush job across the room from the white person, he made his comments in a loud voice. This way the white person across the room could hear what he said, and BFJ could work on his rush job.
Towards the end of his speech, BFJ made the comment
“when your mother and your father forsake you, you still have your father in heaven” This is supposed to be in the Bible.
BFJ was staring at me and shouting when he said this. Later, he said he had not been talking to me.
This comment pushed me past my limits. BFJ conducted a ministry on company time, and he had a nasty temper. I don’t know if this was a bigoted comment or not, but I had to say something. Sometimes, you need to stand up to a bully. And you best be prepared for a fight, which is exactly what the bully wants.
Someone said once that you should never wrestle with a pig. You will only get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.
I left a note on his desk saying that
” My mother and father have not forsaken me” We proceeded to have a closed door meeting. He argued with everything I said, admitted no wrongdoing, and chewed me out repeatedly for what the other white person had said. When I was at the point where I thought he was the lowest scum on the planet, BFJ said “Jesus made me what I am today” .
We continued to work closely together for another three years or so. I witnessed a few hundred more hours of his ministry. One day the manager called me into the office, and told me not to come back.
The point of this story is, when you “Stand Up” against “bigoted comments”, you might need to be prepared to mud wrestle with someone who thinks he is building his faith. You should learn the difference between bigotry and being too sensitive. It is best to keep things between you and the person who offended you, and not cause collateral damage.

2 Responses

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  1. Susie said, on June 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I come across your posts on APWBWGTTD. While I’m sure you take a lot of time to select the multitude of artwork and photos that accompany your posts, while reading them on an aggregator such as the Atlanta Blog site, I think casual readers would really appreciate the use of jump cuts so as to not have to wait for so many objects to load. Thank you!

  2. Collateral Damage « Chamblee54 said, on June 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

    […] post was originally published four years ago. In the intervening forty eight months, many women and […]

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