Sunday, January 16, 2011

Unjust discrimination

We went to church last evening and I was one of the two lectors. In reading through the prayers of the faithful, one item mentioned blessing all those who stand up against unjust discrimination and honor the work and life of Martin Luther King, Junior.

So ... is there any discrimination that is just? The phrase unjust discrimination seems redundant to me. But I suppose just discrimination would include not admitting a man to an all-women's club or not allowing a girl to enroll at an all boy's school.

Interestingly, I just Googled "unjust discrimination" and it returned 420,000 results. Googling "just discrimination" netted 109,000,000 results. Wow. In skimming some of these latter results, it focuses mostly on the necessary discrimination of placing children for adoption with suitable parents and there is a lot of writing about discriminating between heterosexual versus homosexual people for marriage. I'm not interested in a debate of that nature although I do believe in same sex marriage personally. It was merely the words that gave me pause.

John and I both have a love of words and how they're used. Such as business names that make you wonder: Superior Painters -- would you really want Mediocre Painters to work for you? or Economical Plumbers -- again, would you hire a company that called itself Expensive Plumbers? It was in this context that I read and reread the words "unjust discrimination" and wondered about them. So many commercials and ads string words together in an attempt to persuade people to do something or buy something. Yet if you think critically about the words they use, they don't really make sense. Such as "a savings of up to 20% off." That's a double-worded statement. You either have a savings of up to 20% or the thing is 20% off.

Was MLK Jr. only about abolishing unjust discrimination or did he fight against discrimination of every kind. I believe he was against any type of discrimination.

No comments: