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The Rifleman
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Parables from North Fork
The Rifleman Bible Stories

The Rifleman: The Queue — Episode #110
 

 

Theme:

Prejudice

Prejudice is not merely a statement of opinion or belief, but an attitude that includes feelings such as contempt, dislike, or loathing. It stabs at the very heart of a loving God.

Key Verses:

John 1:46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.

James 2:1-4 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

Key Idea: Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Introduction:

In this episode, a Chinese man and his son fight prejudice as they try to open a laundry in North Fork. This episode borrows from American history, as The Southern Pacific Railroad brought the majority of early Chinese immigrants to the area as cheap labor when laying down the new railroad. The Southern Pacific Railroad brought the majority of early Chinese immigrants to Tucson. The Chinese had been brought to Arizona for the back-breaking task of extending the railroad through the desert. From these wages the Chinese were also expected to pay for their own board. While the railroads originally brought the Chinese laborers to America, they never intended these workers to become permanent members of American society. Instead they planned to return them to China when their usefulness was past. While many Chinese did return to their homeland, others remained and helped build our Southwestern communities.

The queue style of hair involves the front of the head shaved, while the back grew long and plaited (braided. The queue originates from the Manchu people, who started the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911). Originally, the Chinese men were forced to adopt the queue as a sign of submission and loyalty to the Ching dynasty. It fell out of fashion when the Republic came into being in the early 1900's.

The racism they faced was intense. The Arizona Weekly Star ran an editorial in 1879 portraying them as "an ignorant, filthy, leprous horde." The Tucson paper, El Fronterizo, described the Chinese in 1892 as "the most pernicious and degraded race on the globe," and in 1894 as "a fungus that lives in isolation, sucking the sap of the other plants." This racism, and the fear of having to compete with Chinese workers for jobs, eventually led Anglo and Mexican laborers to violence. Chinese workers were attacked in railroad camps and mining towns. Instead of taking a stand against prejudice, the railroad and mine managers chose to phase-out Chinese laborers as a "solution" to the violence and unrest. By the early 20th century, the Chinese had been driven out of Arizona's mines and railroads.

Teacher Reminder: Preview episode before class!

LESSON PLAN

Hook:

· For Osama Bin Laden, non-Muslim Americans are the main target of prejudice, and his hatred is so great that he would like to see all of us die. He gave this appeal to Muslims in February 1998 and in a videotaped statement in the fall of 2001:

“The killing of Americans and their civilian and military allies is a religious duty for each and every Muslim....We--with God's help--call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill Americans and plunder their money whenever and wherever they find it.”

Q. Do you remember discriminatory remarks being tossed around during your childhood, in school, your community, or your home?

Q. Do you think there is more discrimination today or in, say, the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s? Explain.

Book:

(You can have the better readers in your group prepare to read the verses below as you go along)

No Bible text attacks the sinful actions of the heart like the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” - Matthew 7:12b

Q. What did Lucas tell Mark to do when Mark talked about his new friend’s appearance?

"Now Mark...the next time you’re near a mirror, take a good look at yourself. Then you figure out what you'd look like if you lived in China."

- shows an attitude of open-mindedness, acceptance.

Q. What did Fergus say to the Marshall when he was leaving town?

Fergus said he was “glad to be leavin' this crummy town and it's crummy people.”

- shows a closed heart, an attitude that says, “It’s all about me.”

John 1:46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.

Ever wonder how many times Nathanael "kicked himself" for making this comment about Jesus when he was first told about him by Philip? Ever wonder how many times the other disciples reminded Nathanael of this indiscretion?

Q. Share a time in your younger years when you “pulled a Nathaniel.”

An Anglican Priest from Australia, Christopher Heath may speak for all of us when he states, “There are many times in my life when I look back and realize how, quite unintentionally, I have "put my foot in it". It is not just that I can recall these times - it seems they come back to haunt me of their own volition, with all the sharpness of pain undiminished, years later. It is not that I feel that I've sinned and not had God's forgiveness - the pain is that I may have hurt someone else, and I've spent the ensuing years "kicking myself" over what others might consider a trifle. Indeed the other person may have brushed the incident aside as irrelevant, for in many instances I don't know the effect my actions or words had anyway. The pain is not lessened by not knowing, but magnified.”

Look:

"The good book says that everybody's the same...it doesn't matter who you are," said Mark.

James 2:1-4 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

In a famous study, Sheriff and others (Sheriff & Hovland, 1961) designed a boys' camp to study relations between two groups. The boys did everything with the same group, soon friendships and group spirit developed. Then the psychologists had the groups compete with each other in tug-of-war and various games. At first, there was good sportsmanship, but soon tension and animosity developed. There was name-calling, fights, and raids on the "enemy" cabins. Anger was easily created via competition, but could the experimenters create peace? The psychologists tried getting the groups together for good times--good food, movies, sing-alongs, etc. What happened? The anger continued. The groups threw food at each other, shoved, and yelled insults.
Next, the psychologists set up several situations where the two groups had to work together to get something they wanted. There was a break in the water line that had to be fixed (or camp would be closed). The food truck broke down and it took everyone's cooperation to push it. When they worked together on these serious, important tasks, they didn't fight. Indeed, friendships developed. Just as competition led to friction among equals, cooperative work led to positive feelings.

Took:

Ask yourself: When did you last work cooperatively with the people you view negatively? Wang Chi and his son settled in North Fork because some people cared enough to look out for them. See the differences in people as learning opportunities, and you will have captive audiences when it comes to sharing the good news about Christ!


Thanks Pastor Stan for these Parables!