While some parents may see a cultural difference living in the house next door, the bumpkin sees his babysitters. A recent blog post by the wife of a Baptist pastor, Tyanne Perry, criticized her Muslim neighbor “for dirty hands, herb-stained teeth, and the waft of South Asian cuisine …. They have rules they must follow, food they can’t eat, times they can’t eat, ways they must dress, and consequences waiting for them in eternity for all the times they have failed. Oh, how sweet our faith in Jesus becomes in contrast to this system. Oh, how sweet…”
Without irony, Mrs. Perry’s Christian critique about her Muslim neighbors perfectly frames basic child rearing tenets we’ve learned in Christendom. After all, Bangladeshi and Americans surely agree that children have rules they must follow, food they can’t eat, times they can’t eat, ways they must dress and definite consequences for the times they fail. That’s universal childrearing.
We applaud Mrs. Perry’s confessional here, overcoming basic prejudices to accept a new cultural paradigm. She finally found that Christian love for her neighbors. Here’s a way to expose her family to something that can be very good in so many ways. And on that note, we don’t have to worship in the same temple to take advantage of mutually beneficial babysitting arrangements!