THE MESSAGE OF THE $5 BILL

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

In my book, the rejected always return as heroes or heroines forcing the culprits who spurned them to apologize on bended knee. Unfortunately, such justice may be generations in the coming. Consider the story of classical musician, Marian Anderson.

In 1939, Howard University officials requested use of Constitution Hall, the auditorium at the headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), for a performance by Ms. Anderson. Because she was black, the request was rejected.

This denial so enraged Eleanor Roosevelt that she arranged for Ms. Anderson to perform instead at a desegregation rally at the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, Ms. Anderson sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” before 75,000 people and a national radio audience. Her performance became a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

Ms. Anderson, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr., will soon grace our country’s $5 bill, while the DAR web site carries this apology: “Our organization truly wishes that history could be re-written, but knowing that it cannot, we are proud to note that DAR has learned from the past.”

Here’s My Take: From a biblical perspective, God always sides with the rejected: “The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 29:19)

Perhaps we could help God in this effort and avoid embarrassing apologies on our web sites by spending less time rejecting and more time respecting. That’s the challenging message of the $5 bill.

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