Believe it or not: WASP is Beautiful

WASP! Bah! Prejudiced White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. They hate the Blacks, despise the Latins, and fight the Catholics.

They think that pure America is white and that is how our good country started. They believe that the Blacks came to America later and cause the trouble America is having today.

The WASPs think that the Anglo-Saxons made America great. They say that in the beginning the U.S. did not have a lot of Southern Europeans coming over here—Greeks, Italians, Frenchmen, and Jews. These prejudiced WASPs enacted strict immigration laws that made it difficult for the swarthy, lower class European laborer to come to pure America. When they did come, they caused the ethnical problems of our city shuns.

And as for Catholics, the WASPs feel that they never really belonged. After all, there were no Catholics on the Mayflower: the passengers were fleeing persecutions in Europe. It’s true that a little group of Catholics got started in Baltimore, but by and large American greatness in its early history from the Puritans to the War of Independence, from Boston to Charleston, from Philadelphia to the frontier—is tied up with Protestant fortunes.

So, a pock on the bigoted, prejudiced WASPs. The United States would be better off without them.

Against such a sentiment, two immediate and obvious responses need to be made:

1. Most people who indulge in such thoughts as the above are guilty of the very thing they decry in the WASPs: prejudice. They ridicule—that is why they chose the acronym—people of a certain race, color, and creed. They may he WASPs themselves, who are living out of a guilt feeling—a feeling that they have had wrong attitudes toward other races. And a popular—but not helpful—way to soothe their guilt feelings is to blast away at the institutions that they belong to: the WASP institutions. Having vented their emotions, they feel better, and are able to continue their prejudices for a while longer.

Others indulge in this name-calling because they have been discriminated against. As Blacks, non-Anglo- Saxons and Catholics, they have experienced discrimination, and so they sophisticatedly poke fun at their antagonists by calling them names.

Regardless of the motive, the remarkable fact is that most people who use the label WASP are engaging in the same kind of discrimination and hostility that they deplore! Human nature is the slime everywhere. The victims of bias and prejudice are just as biased and prejudiced as anyone else and given an opportunity to express it, they will.

2. Believe it or not, WASPs are beautiful: the Whites, the Anglo-Saxons, the Protestants.

Black is beautiful. So is red and yellow. And believe it or not, white is beautiful, too. Each color has its own distinctiveness, and should not try to become something different. God made us all different—and even white has its beauty: the whiteness of the lilies, the cleanness of the snow, the brilliance of the stars, the purity of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and the fair skin of a white man.

And a Protestant! What a beautiful person he is—not because of himself but because of Jesus Christ. A Protestant is really ugly. He is a deformed sinner, who by nature hates God. He is a rotten, stinking corpse that has no spiritual life in him (Eph. 2:1 ff.). There is nothing in him at all that would ever attract a single healthy human being or God. No virtue, no holiness, no truth, no love, no kindness. Rather, he is a depraved, syphilitic, cancerous, damned sinner.

Yet, by the grace of God he trusts in Christ. He does not boast, and because of his sin he hardly dares to look at the holy God. He realizes his unworthiness. He knows that in himself there is no good thing; but God is changing him. His hope is not in himself but in Christ. He is now alive—no longer stinking dead. He actually starts to love God—even though it is only a beginning. But it is a beginning. And some of the time he even thinks about his neighbor’s welfare, and actually loves him in deed as well as word. Gradually he is becoming like Christ—not because of his native ability, but because Christ is living in him. One day he will be like Christ: he will have no more sin, but will be filled with love toward God and his neighbor.

Yes, Protestant is beautiful—all because of Christ.

So, if you’re a WASP, be proud—in the good sense of pride. It is good to be white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant.

Yes, believe it or not, WASP is beautiful.

Edwin H. Palmer of Wayne, New Jersey, is the executive secretary for the Committee on Bible Translation of the New York Bible Society.