The Truth Will Set You Free

Junior year Spanish Club secretary (normal high school club)

The English origin for the word truth is “faithfulness”

 

Luke 8:17 “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”

When I was a junior in high school, for the first time I experienced bigotry that changed my way of thinking. The instructor was  lecturing when his eye caught the attention of three Mexican boys walking in the hall. The teacher announced, “There they go, they will get their diplomas on a tortilla.” While the rest of the class of mostly white students laughed, I could feel the emotions stirring within me and heat reaching my face to change it to beet red. I got out of my seat and left the classroom, and ran to the office of Mr. Lopez, the guidance counselor. I told him what was said and he agreed how wrong it was. This was not bullying, it was straight out racism. I do not believe that  racist teacher ever suffered any consequences because years later, I would learn that he was promoted to principal at the same high school. This was the world we live in. I never hated the teacher for his ignorance but I understood that I would never make another human being feel inferior.

There was a Jesus movement at the time, and some of the non-Hispanic students from our school were spreading the, “Good News” but we  already had Jesus at Catholic Mass with his Mother Mary and his Stepfather Joseph. I had no understanding of this “new”Jesus but the kids that were involved were loving and seemed genuine, (more about that later).

UMAS activities director (where it all innocently began)

Protests against the war in Vietnam, the Black Panthers, and the Chicano movement were gaining strength in numbers and our high school was part of this. I got involved in UMAS (United Mexican American Students). We protested about every injustice, had a sit-ins at the school board demanding Chicano Studies. I can honesty say that no textbooks were written about this subject at this time, but somehow we got it into the curriculum. In my senior year I was voted president of MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) a more sophisticated name change for UMAS. We continued to separate ourselves to protect us from those that did not believe as we did. I look back on these years and can see how we were a part of the big picture of what is happening on our college campuses today. All it takes is a strong charismatic leader with good or malevolent intentions to misguide a young mind. Back then, as far as I was concerned, there were changes needed to take place to make teachers and administrators understand that not only one race could succeed.

In college, MECHA rallies were more intense and the organization was to round up as many kids, by the busloads, to spread the blanket of half-truths. Half-truths work in the minds of the youth. Preach how you were mistreated and how you can make the world a better place. With the exception of the racist teacher, our high school had wonderful instructors, but with half-truths they all fell into the bad category. I knew going into this movement that it was radical;  my oldest brother Robert warned me against MECHA, but I was not ready for his wise counsel. At the last rally I attended at Cal State Long Beach, the leaders were wearing brown berets that looked like the one that Che Guevara wore. This scared me because I had recently studied about him. He was the charismatic, Marxist revolutionary with a medical degree. Che Guevara had a strong following from many Latin American countries, and ours.

Homecoming Queen

In college, MECHA sponsored my nomination for homecoming queen. The victory was sweet but short lived because my beliefs had changed and I started dating a white guy. In a undignified way, I was excommunicated from the group because MECHA moved on to bigger fish.  I believe that many of these educated Black Panther and MECHA followers became the new wave of what is happening in campuses today. How did all this liberal movement infiltrate the minds of so many? I used to make homemade bread which needed just the right amount of yeast to make the bread rise. Sadly, social media is the distributor of the tasteless yeast. The truth is second nature, presented in a way of questioning doubt.

All this radical genre has spread like an unquenchable fireball of half-truths. I know this because I fell victim to this movement which started as a good cause but crossed the boundaries of uncharted waters and was no longer working for me.

Mike’s hippie days

God had other plans for me and I met Mike, my saving grace and husband of almost 46 years. Mike too was exposed to the radical movement, but he never caved in. He just educated himself by reading and finding his way to through all this purple haze.

Remember the high school Jesus that I placed on hold? Well, He came back to claim me. God created this passion in me for His purpose. My faith is what keeps me balanced and every time I get off track, the Lord gently guides me back to reality.  There is no color distinction with God; no race is greater than another, Jesus is alive today, just as he was when I was in high school. My troubled years had to be a part of the past to make who I am today. He created us equal and I no longer need a special organization to defend against any injustices because Jesus is the defender of all just causes. He stands for what is right and true, and asks us to follow His commandments. The ninth commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” which means don’t  lie. When we lie, our heart tells us by a slight irregular beat; that is God reminding you to stop!

One of my favorite scriptures and possibly my personal mission statement is from Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whoever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, wherever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

 

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