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God, Family, Country

Is There a Hidden Meaning?

By Elesha BennettPublished 11 months ago 5 min read
God, Family, Country
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Small county towns in south Mississippi have the appearence of a certain type of charm. Everyone knows each other. Most of the citizens are five or six generations in. People are pretty friendly. My hometown is no different.

The marketplace was closed at 5 pm daily. Wednesday nights were for midweek Bible study. The busiest nights were always Friday. High school football was everything. Church and football were the glue that held the community together.

On the surface, my hometown was a very good place to raise a family 👪. The schools were among the highest ranking in the state. There was a church on every corner. Sounds perfect. Yet there was an undertone when it came to the races.

For the first years of my life, I didn’t know anything about race. My family on my mother’s side worshipped with an interracial congregation. It appeared we were all family. The pastor was Caucasian and 30% of the congregation was of African descent. Later, I learned that was a false sense of security.

I used to hear people say faith, family, and country. This was the motto for all of the citizens regardless of background or ethnicity. As I reflect on the meaning, it appears everyone’s definition of this phrase was not and is not the same.


A person’s belief can be based on biblical principles or family traditions. In the south, there is a little bit of both. Often times people quote things thinking it’s biblical only to find out later, that great-grandpa was the one who said that not God. This is why one can hate another person based on the pigmentation of the skin or because of their religious belief.

For example, there was/is a belief that it is ok for a white person to have a sexual relationship with a black person as long as they do not marry. By the way, this has been taught in certain churches. The Bible says any sex outside of marriage is a sin. Therefore, this is false teaching.

There is a belief that certain people are better than others. The appearance of a person, education level, or the amount of gross income in each household makes one more valuable than the other. However, the Bible says there should be no partiality shown among the brethren. If you are a believer in Christ, your fellow believers are sisters and brothers not folks beneath you. By the way, love your neighbor as yourself is what Jesus of the Bible said.


From the beginning, a family consists of a father, a mother, and at least one child. However, there are extended family members (uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, and close family friends). A group of people such as a church congregation or simply the body of Christ is a family.

Family traditions in south Mississippi can be a little tricky. In most homes with a father that grew up in the area, the father teaches his son to hunt. He buys his son his first gun at an early age. They may or may not join a hunting club with some of their fellow church members or coworkers. On the surface it sounds pretty innocent, the father is teaching his son and sometimes his daughter how to survive.

Here is the problem. These clubs are different based on race or ethnicity. In the black community, the young folks are taught to hunt for food at all times. In the white community, the young folks are taught to hunt for food and sport. When you hunt for sport, that can lead to hunting humans. That is the reason a father, son, and neighbor can get together, hunt, and kill a black man in broad daylight and think it is ok.

Nowadays we hear family over everything. This is not a new saying. These are the type of phrases folks used to say when I was a child. I personally believe in loving my family enough to put them first. However, there are people that talk in codes. When they say family over everything, the family is much broader than one that is not in their customs and traditions may think. It’s the same as making America great again.


“This country is a white country. Go back to Africa n…. r” is what a white lady said while my boys and I were watching the news about two years ago. She was supporting former President Trump. I was not surprised some people would make such a statement. I like my mother, grandmother, and other black folks in their generations hoped my children would live in a better environment.

Remember earlier I said that my first church gave me a false sense of security. When I became school age, my life changed. I was now surrounded by more people that looked like me. However, the school was predominantly white.

I had never been called out of my name. One day all the children in the second grade were at recess. It had been raining. There were mud puddles all over the place. I spotted the swing. Apparently, this other girl must have spotted it as well.

I went over and carefully got on the swing and started swinging faster and faster. So, I remember I will call her Kelly, but I know her name. She came over to the swing area and told me to get off the swing. I said, no I was here first. She looked at me and said, “You n… r get off that swing.” I had never heard that word before. Somehow, the tone in her voice made me feel like she was insulting me. So as children do, we had a fight. I got in trouble. She did not.

When I got home, I told my mother what happen and that was the first time we had the- talk about race in this country. Even with all of its problems we black folk love this country. We have only tried to be counted as humans and equals. America is in some folks' eyes a white country.

If this is a white-only country as some say, why do we have so many people of color fitting for peace, safety, and democracy of this country? In my family alone, my father, stepbrother, brother-in-law, 2 stepdaughters, 2 cousins, and grandfather all have served this country. The company I work for builds ships that defend this country.

The idea of this country is to be a melting pot, so my generation was taught. This means different people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions... come together under one country learning its customs and traditions. Were we taught wrong? Was it all a smoke screen? Are we to believe the Constitution of the United States of America is for us all? Where do we go from here?

Thanks for reading


About the Creator

Elesha Bennett

I am a Christian, wife, mother of 3 sons, Electrical Manager, thinker, blogger, and lover of chocolate who loves to write about life, family, and current event.

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