The Lenten season must be the start of members of the different races banding together to stamp out prejudice in all its forms.So said RC Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon during the midday Ash Wednesday service at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, Harris Promenade, San Fernando on Wednesday.Harking back to the 1970 Black Power movement, when Afro- and Indo-Trinidadians banded together against racial discrimination, he said that moment had “reset” the class/colour divide in TT.“In 1970 there was one moment when the African community and the East Indian community actually came together and acted in solidarity together. It was one moment when that difference in race didn’t make any difference, and that’s the country we need to become, where race and class and gender are no longer dividers why we treat others special or bad.”The archbishop said 1970 was “a very special moment in our nation…”We benefited because 50 years ago, people were courageous enough to say that colour discrimination cannot continue to pervade in this country we call TT, and we can’t tolerate that any more.”He said prejudice of any kind, including colour prejudice, is a sin, as everyone is created in the image and likeness of God. “Colour prejudice is sin. All kinds of prejudice is sin, and if you have prejudice against somebody because of the colour of their skin, because they are male or female, because they have money or don’t have money, that is sin, that is a terrible sin.
“Why is it a terrible sin? …Because each person was made in the image and likeness of God and to treat people less than that is to treat God less than that. So this Lent also I want us to look at prejudice.”He said people should instead be treated on the basis of their character and “based on who they are and based on the fact that who they are is a child of God and therefore they deserve to be treated well.”Gordon said Lent is a time when believers are called to “give up something, take up something and give away something” as they prepare for the holy Easter season.
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