In our society, prejudice causes just as many problems as it did in Jesus’ day

This story is all about a small rich man Zacchaeus who is a tax collector. One day when Jesus was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus was curious so he tried to catch a glimpse of a man named Jesus who he had heard so much about. Due to Zacchaeus not being a very tall man he could not see Jesus because of the large crowd which had gathered. So he ran ahead to a place Jesus would go and climbed a sycamore tree.

When Jesus got to that place he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “hurry down Zacchaeus because I must stay in your house today. Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy but all the people in the crowd started grumbling saying “this man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner! ” The people who said this are being hypocritical because everyone is a sinner except Jesus. The crowd were said this because they despised Zacchaeus because he was a tax collector. He cheated people out of money while collecting taxes by adding more onto their tax so he could keep some for himself. He was a social outcast amongst his own people the Jews because he worked for the Romans collecting their money.

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The Jews hated the Romans and therefore hated anyone who worked for them that is why they were prejudiced against Zacchaeus. This story shows Jesus’ great courage in overcoming prejudice when everyone else around him hated Zacchaeus and despised him. It would be hard for Jesus to stand up to everything the crowd said but with courage and determination it can be overcome as Jesus showed in this story. A result of the crowd’s grumbling and Zacchaeus meeting Jesus he said to the Lord “Listen sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone I will pay him back four times as much. Then Jesus said to him “salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, a descendant of Abraham. The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. ” This shows that no matter what you have done, God will forgive you if you repent and show it, then you can have salvation. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past as long as you are truly sorry for what you did. Also this story shows prejudice can be a terrible thing but with great will like Jesus had it can be beaten. Prejudice against lepers In Jesus’ day a very common disease was leprosy.

Leprosy was impossible to cure so to stop it spreading they made sure lepers were kept well away from healthy people. To do this they set up a separate leper colony on the outskirts of the town where the lepers lived and went about their daily jobs. Any person who had leprosy must wear torn clothes, leave his hair uncombed, cover the lower part of his face and call out “unclean, unclean. ” They have to do this for as long as he has the disease. The disease affects mainly the nerves, skin, eyes and nose and if it is left untreated it causes loss of feeling which may lead to a person accidentally damaging their body due to not feeling pain.

People back then may have been prejudiced against disabled people because they might feel that God is punishing them for some sin they have committed. The affected people will be judged as being unclean and not worthy of anyone speaking to them just like many Jews who unluckily had this contagious disease. Back in Jesus’ time there were ten lepers Prejudice Today Prejudice still happens now and it is a regular occurrence in all parts of our community, even in the places you would least expect it. Prejudice against Addicts In this day and age one of the main problems in our society is addiction.

People can be addicted to many things such as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling and many more. When people are addicted to something it is psychological so their brain makes them think that they need it and therefore the person with the addiction will do almost anything to get what he or she wants. One of the main addictions is alcohol because in Britain especially, people go to pubs and bars to socialise. It can turn into a habit going down to the bar every Friday or Saturday night and when you are in bars the only thing to do is have a drink.

Alcohol can help people to relax and it can in some cases make the person who is drinking more confident. If a person gets drunk they can become violent and they may cause some damage to other things and even cause some damage to themselves. When people think of alcoholics you would normally associate them with down and outs, the kind of people who are unemployed and homeless. They are being prejudiced by thinking this because in actual fact only 5% are down and outs, the rest are just average people. This shows us that people are very stereotypical and as soon as they see a homeless person they automatically think that they are an alcoholic.

A fact that I found out where that 15 million working days are lost a year due to heavy drinking, just think about how much work could have been done during this time. I think a good idea would be to ban alcohol because it would save lives and also the country would be in better shape instead of people staying off on sick leave. Many people are also addicted to drugs such as heroine, cocaine, LSD and cannabis which are all highly addictive and these are the drugs which people think of when they mention the word.

There are other types of drugs like solvents(glues, petrol) which are sniffed to inhale the fumes to try and get high and have a quick buzz. With almost all drugs the good effects only last for a short while and after you can feel worse than when they first started, so to feel better they keep on taking more and more until everything they do is geared to drugs. Some people to keep their addiction going they have to resort to stealing for money. The public would think of drug addicts as ‘junkies’ and would have nothing to do with them but they need help to overcome their addiction.

It takes great determination and will power to do this and help the addicts overcome their addiction because it is very difficult to stop people with addictions. One way that would help you to overcome addiction would be to go to a rehabilitation centre like Carlisle House in north Belfast. It has helped many Ulster people beat their addictions once and for all and because it is so good there is going to be another rehabilitation centre, Grays court. The people who are addicted are allowed to stay in these flats for up to a year while they adapt to normal life again after many years of addiction.

One person very glad of going to Carlisle House is Amelia Fenton. She was an alcoholic for ten years and she used to have a couple of bottles of vodka a day. As you can imagine it had a bad effect on her children and her marriage collapsed due to it. I’m sure it was very hard for her friends to fight the prejudice and it would also have been a long battle to beat the drink. Her story had a happy ending though she has stayed of the drink and recently she celebrated her 40th birthday at Gray’s Court and because she didn’t have anything to drink she had one of the best nights of her life.

Maybe her neighbours or people she met would be prejudice against her and they may say bad things about her behind her back. Maybe even her friends were prejudiced when she went into the rehab centre because they had an idea of what it was like and they would think only “good for nothings” went there. From what information I have got I found out that addiction is a very powerful thing and that people who are addicted to something are looked down upon by society.

I feel sorry for the people who are addicted to something because it fools their mind into thinking you need something and it must be very difficult to stop. So therefore I think the world would be a better place if all addictive substances where removed as there would be less prejudice and more healthy people able to contribute to the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929 eldest son of a Baptist minister also called Martin Luther King. He like his dad became a Baptist minister at the age of 17.

Graduating from Crozer Theological Seminary as class president in 1951, he then did postgraduate work at Boston University. After all of Kings studies it led him to explore the works of the Indian nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi, whose ideas influenced kings own philosophy of non-violent protest. While in Boston he met Coretta Scott of Marion, Alabama. They got married in June 1953, and the following year king was appointed as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1955 Martin Luther King Junior received his Ph. D. degree was asked to lead a bus boycott in Montgomery.

The city’s black leaders had organised the boycott to protest against enforced racial segregation in public transport after the arrest of Rosa Parks, a black woman who had refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. The boycott lasted for 381 days and during that time king was arrested and jailed, his home was bombed, and many threats were made against his life. This must have taken great courage especially after the bombing when his family was very nearly killed. With so many death threats Martin Luther King must have been tempted to stop the whole thing but he carried on despite this.

Showing just how determined he was and how much he wanted equal rights for black people. In 1959 King visited India and while he was there he got a better understanding about Gandhi’s principle of non-violent persuasion which was King’s main weapon of social protest. The next year he got more involved in the civil rights movement but he was still carrying on with his non-violent protest even though other leaders thought differently about the subject. King was not only good at protesting but he was very good at making and delivering speeches.

Everyone knows his “I have a dream” speech and in 1964 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. King continued with his work during which he suffered near exhaustion from stress. His speeches increasingly alluded to his possible death. For example on April 3 1968 he spoke about “been to the mountain top and seen the Promised Land”. The following day King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. Some 100,000 people attended the funeral and the person that killed him was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Overall what Martin did was very brave because most white men at that time would have been in some way racist.

There were many people who at the time would have thought what Martin was doing was illegal. Also it would have taken extreme bravery to actually do that because at the time what he done would have shocked most people. He showed real courage when he carried on after the death threats and especially after they actually attempted to carry out these. In some ways he was pre-judged in similar ways to Jesus because most people wanted to bring him down and in the end they were both brutally murdered but what they did helped so many others.

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