In sin and squalor”(309). This shows hypocrisy

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, it tells us a story of prejudice and inequality in the town Maycomb, Alabama through the unfair trial of Tom Robinson. While the women of Maycomb have a missionary tea, they express their feelings and thoughts that they are truly good people with valuable morals. But then almost immediately after, display their enmity and ignorant hypocrisy towards certain ethnic groups which shows how prejudice and bigotry hinder equality.Mrs. Merriweather’s hypocrisy is shown when she says that she has seen an African tribe called the Mrunas and has watched what true sin and poverty look like. When Mrs. Merriweather is talking about the tribe she says, “Jean Louise, you are a fortunate girl. You live in a Christian home with Christian folks in a Christian town. Out there in  J. Grimes Everett’s land, there’s nothing but sin and squalor”(309).  This shows hypocrisy because a Christian knows that there is sin everywhere even in Maycomb and every other place on earth. The repetition of the word “Christian” emphasizes how Mrs. Merriweather is “placing herself on a pedestal” because of her religion and is subtly saying that because the Mrunas are not Christian, they must have horrible morals, are surrounded by poverty, and live in sin. Mrs. Merriweather believes that because she is a Christian, she is a better person than everyone who is not of the Christian faith. But being a good person has nothing to do with your religion, it has to do with your actions. Treating other people with kindness, respect, and honesty without knowing how they will react back is how all people should work to become better individuals. People do not have to believe in any certain religion to exercise these actions. Believing in the Christian faith doesn’t stop you from living in severe poverty either. Many Christians families live in poverty in Maycomb such as the Cunninghams and the Ewells, the great depression has put many families in poverty. It is an absurd idea to have the perception that all Christian families are financially stable. Being a Christian does not make you a good person nor does it stop you from living in squalor. Mrs. Merriweather talks of how she is annoyed her black maid being upset and how she is sulking because of the trial. This shows hypocrisy and how her prejudice and lack of sympathy makes it hard for her and her peers to understand the black community. While Mrs. Merriweather is annoyed and is speaking to her peers in the room she says, “Gertrude, I tell you there’s nothing more distracting than a sulky darky. Their mouths go down to here. Just ruins your day to have one of ’em in the kitchen. You know what I said to my Sophy, Gertrude? I said, ‘Sophy,’ I said, ‘you simply are not being a Christian today. Jesus Christ never went around grumbling and complaining,’ and you know, it did her good. She took her eyes off that floor and said, ‘Nome, Miz Merriweather, Jesus never went around grumblin’.’ I tell you, Gertrude, you never ought to let an opportunity go by to witness for the Lord”(310). Sophy, her maid is undergoing the realization that African Americans have not the slightest chance in this world when their word is placed up against that of a white person even if all evidence suggests innocence. Sophy has every right to be sulking at this moment for it is a very heavy topic to comprehend. One Christian value is that all people must be compassionate and must sympathize to understand what another is going through. Mrs. Merriweather claims to be the “most devout woman in the town” in a group setting, but then when she is alone she loses her Christian way with the snap of fingers. When Mrs. Merriweather uses the credibility of God to persuade that Sophy’s sulking is unchristian, the other women must agree because if God holds a view, there is no arguing with it. The woman must believe Mrs. Merriweather or they would be considered unchristian too for not agreeing with she says to be the word of God. Mrs. Merriweather and others have not considered in the slightest bit how members of the African American community are feeling right now in response to the trial of Tom Robinson. This lack of compassion leads to inability of the white people in Maycomb to sympathize with the African Americans. It blinds them to see the evil of their own ways and truly understand how their discrimination is immoral. Without compassion and sympathy, injustice and bigotry just gets perpetuated. While discussing Tom Robinson at the missionary tea Mrs. Farrow stereotypes all African American men as being rapists. Mrs. Farrow while talking about African Americans in Maycomb says, “We can educate ’em til we’re blue in the face, we can try till we drop to make Christians out of ’em, but there’s no lady safe in her bed these nights”(311). Christian values say that all human beings are equally created in the image and likeness of God. The Bible describes those who discriminate as “judges with evil thoughts.” Therefore no one should be able to stereotype any group and consider themselves to still be following correct Christian values. The harsh syntax of this phrase used by Mrs. Farrow works very well in her favor because it puts a sense of fear into any woman and further persuades people into believing that living all African Americans are dangerous and can not be trusted. It’s also important to understand at this stage in history, if a white woman’s word was up against one of who is colored, the white woman will always succeed. This makes it so that when Mrs. Farrow has the audacity to make the ludicrous statement that all African American men are rapists, it has a lasting effect on the reputation of the black community; If one white woman says that “all African American men are rapists” then almost the whole of the white community will believe them. Tom Robinson was aware of this while in jail and had no optimism for the outcome of his appeal, he believed that he was better off to take matters into his own hands and try to escape from the prison which ended up costing him his life. This whole conversation between the women of Maycomb is infuriating because these women can’t see how hypocritical they are, they claim that they want to help and support “down on their luck” people like the Mrunas all over the world through their missionary, but then cannot recognize their racism towards the people that live in there own town. The hypocrisy in these passages is maddening, these women’s racism and prejudice are far removed from the Christian values that they claim to have. The statements said perpetuate racism, prejudice, and hinder equality. They make it near impossible for society to move towards a “colorblind” mindset when interacting with others.