Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Traditional Boundaries are Meaningless

By Charles Moncrief

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month has ended, maybe we can keep from allowing the public eye to close on this scourge. Here’s my contribution to that effort.

It’s a special treat to me when asked to give the Children’s Sermon because I’m far more likely to use props than when preaching to adults.

Several years ago I visited a hospital nursery with a tape recorder. (Yes, I know, I’m dating myself!) The nurses allowed me to record the crying of several infants, to get samples from different social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. The following Sunday, the children came up and sat with me in front of the congregation. First, I played a few of the samples with a one-second pause between them.

Then I played back three of them, pausing to let the children reflect on what they heard.

Then I asked the children to identify the little girl.

Then I asked the children to identify the Asian boy.

Then I asked the children to identify the baby from the rich family.

The children couldn’t tell which was which.

Finally, I replayed the three tapes and again asked them to tell me the difference between the infants’ crying sounds.

You’d think I scripted their answer: “We don’t know.”

Now please fast-forward with me twenty, thirty, or forty years. Put on a blindfold and listen to the outcry of a person suffering from abuse.

Did the cry come from a White woman?

Did the cry come from a Black woman?

Did the cry come from an Asian woman?

Did the cry come from a bride?

Did the cry come from a woman in poverty?

Did the cry come from a Middle-class woman?

Did the cry come from a wealthy woman?

Did the cry come from the wife of a soldier?

Did the cry come from woman serving in the military?

Did the cry come from a Debutante?

Did the cry come from a man?

Do you know?

Grace and Peace,


Anglican Priest, Charles Moncrief, serves up the issues of the day on a platter mixed with scripture, seriousness, and a sense of humor to create a ministry founded in love for his fellow man.

“I’m an Anglican Priest, disguised as a geek during the week. It’s REALLY tough to change my costume, since phone booths are getting hard to find!”

1 comment:

  1. As usual, Charles, a good point! Violence effects every segment of society, every color of person, ever is a universal ill from the time we first stepped out of the Garden of Eden.

    I was recently on a BBC show about how the families of violent offenders also suffer because of the crimes committed. How we are shamed if we cut off contact with the killers, and shunned by society at large. No one brings a casserole dish to the family of the killer. So the violence cuts both ways, and the crying is just as loud for the family of the criminal as it is for the families of the victims. Melissa Moore, the daughter of the "Happy Face" killer has written a book recently about how she suffered because of what her "daddy" did.


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