Simply White

February 25, 2009
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My head snapped back in a fast double take. Has she really just said that? My friend's quick words were spiteful though I don't think she realized it. She'd been going off about the most unusual things lately but this was just too far. I tried telling myself that I'd misheard her; she couldn't have said such a racist thing. Eventually, I let it go without confronting her even though the distressing ordeal kept nagging at my heals.

Earlier that same week we sat in world history, a class neither of us was found of. However, today was different and I could feel it in the air. As the introduction to Islam began, her shrilly voice echoed lightly in my ear. 'Why do we even have to learn about other religions? They're all against God!' Turning around in my uncomfortable plastic seat, I gave her a good onceover. Questioning others religious beliefs has never interested me but this was completely outrageous. 'Uhm, no, they're not. How do you even know that your belief is right? Where's the proof?' She eyed me like I was an uncivilized bug that must be exterminated or perhaps a spawn of Satan himself, sent here to complete his dirty work. 'The Bible.' I rolled my eyes, exhausted with the argument. Her proof to me was an aged leather-bound book that had been tainted through the years to see eye to eye with the beliefs of the church? I shook my head, 'That's not effective proof. Anybody could've written and rewritten that.' From there she precisely informed me that I was extraordinary wrong and that she simply 'just knew'. Exasperated, I faced the front of the bland classroom and continued to drown out the teacher's lengthy lecture. How could someone be so narrow-minded? Did she truly believe, heart and soul, that a book was the answer to all of life's problems, that her limited knowledge out proved me? I had never claimed to her that I knew all there is to know about religion and the Bible but I knew for sure that the possibility of being incorrect about such things is huge.

That night I had a conversation with my mother about what had taken place. Overall, she seemed to agree with my views of the situation, saying that most religions have the same basic core but branch out. Another good point my mom made was that you almost always remain the religion you were born in to. This, to me, makes amazing sense. If you're born and raised in a Jewish family, why could you ever question that those beliefs could possibly be inaccurate?

The following winter weekend, my friend spent to night at my welcoming home. Several racial and orientation remarks were coldly dropped that caught me off guard. I couldn't wrap my head around what was taking place. Here was this girl that I'd become so close to and yet our perspective of things were in completely different galaxies. So here I am, not knowing what to do. Do I give her the worn out boot or act as if everything is fine and dandy? I don't want her to think that I am of the same opinion when it comes to her beliefs but I would also dislike to lose a friend.

There are some things I find completely intolerable. One is detesting other people for the color of their skin because it doesn't show who they really are and the other is not accepting people's religions because it's simply not the same as your own. My circumstance still hangs in the frosty air above me and the ordeal is still nagging at my heals but I am shy. I know the distinct line between right and wrong. However, I cannot make it as clear to others. She could easily be told that her train of thought was incorrect and heading straight into a dangerous collision but making her honestly believe it is an entirely different and more aggravating mission. So, for now, I sit in my cold plastic chair, waiting for one more slip out of her metalized mouth because it is not okay to hate. I'm willing to take on that extra task if that's what it takes to make her finally realize that the world simply isn't white.

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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

HannahM This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm
I am Christian also, and would just like to let you know that a lot of the time, we can be under the same misconceptions and make the same mistakes and sins as non Christians. It is our faith in our creator that makes us different. I wish your friend had acted in a better way so as not to represent our faith as something narrow-minded and faulty, but we all make mistakes =P And, as a sidenote, the Bible stands up very well against a series of tests used to guage the accuracy of the information i... (more »)
Stephanie W. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Hi there,

I am a Christian and I do believe that the Bible is the final authority on religion, but I am still utterly appalled about your friends behavior. My decision to put my faith in the bible came after years of research, reading, and praying. Saying she "just knows" not only is demeaning and unnecessary toward your religious views, but it devalues the hard work I put into understanding and trusting the Bible. It completely disguts me when Christian act like condescending kn... (more »)
Meagan said...
May 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm
I think she was more upset that they just weren't following HER God.
SaraB. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 2, 2009 at 9:12 pm
As a Christian, I feel I should appologize for your friends behavoir, it is over the top ignorant. But in her defense, it is hard to care about someone and not see them folloewing God. Give her a break.
Mango Madness said...
Apr. 28, 2009 at 3:31 am
I see no ignorance on this side. Only too many times has the bible been rewritten by kings and even the priests themselves to fit their wants. I quite agree with Meagan. :)
Meagan said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 1:22 am
Please do. (:
Yael S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm
There's a bit of ignorance on your side, too. If you want me to explain, I will.
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