Prejudice is an attitude. Discrimination is an action.
God's gratuitous presence Every authentic religious experience, in all cultural traditions, leads to an intuition of the Mystery that, not infrequently, is able to recognize some aspect of God's face.
On the one hand, God is seen as the origin of what exists, as the presence that guarantees to men and women organized in a society the basic conditions of life, placing at their disposal the goods that are necessary.
On the other hand, he appears as the measure of what should be, as the presence that challenges human action — both at the personal and at the social levels — regarding the use of those very goods in relation to other people.
In every religious experience, therefore, importance attaches to the dimension of gift and gratuitousness, which is seen as an underlying element of the experience that the human beings have of The conflict theory expounds discrimination and prejudice in society existence together with others in the world, as well as to the repercussions of this dimension on the human conscience, which senses that it is called to manage responsibly and together with others the gift received.
Proof of this is found in the universal recognition of the golden rule, which expresses on the level of human relations the injunction addressed by the Mystery to men and women: Against the background of universal religious experience, in which humanity shares in different ways, God's progressive revelation of himself to the people of Israel stands out.
This revelation responds to the human quest for the divine in an unexpected and surprising way, thanks to the historical manner — striking and penetrating — in which God's love for man is made concrete. According to the Book of Exodus, the Lord speaks these words to Moses: These become historical action, which is the origin of the manner in which the Lord's people collectively identify themselves, through the acquisition of freedom and the land that the Lord gives them.
The gratuitousness of this historically efficacious divine action is constantly accompanied by the commitment to the covenant, proposed by God and accepted by Israel.
On Mount Sinai, God's initiative becomes concrete in the covenant with his people, to whom is given the Decalogue of the commandments revealed by the Lord cf.
Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the acknowledgment and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extraordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law.
They describe universal human morality. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the rich young man that the Ten Commandments cf.
There comes from the Decalogue a commitment that concerns not only fidelity to the one true God, but also the social relations among the people of the Covenant. These relations are regulated, in particular, by what has been called the right of the poor: All of this applies also to strangers: The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: The gift of freedom and the Promised Land, and the gift of the Covenant on Sinai and the Ten Commandments are therefore intimately linked to the practices which must regulate, in justice and solidarity, the development of Israelite society.
Among the many norms which tend to give concrete expression to the style of gratuitousness and sharing in justice which God inspires, the law of the sabbatical year celebrated every seven years and that of the jubilee year celebrated every fifty years  stand out as important guidelines — unfortunately never fully put into effect historically — for the social and economic life of the people of Israel.
Besides requiring fields to lie fallow, these laws call for the cancellation of debts and a general release of persons and goods: This legislation is designed to ensure that the salvific event of the Exodus and fidelity to the Covenant represents not only the founding principle of Israel's social, political and economic life, but also the principle for dealing with questions concerning economic poverty and social injustices.
This principle is invoked in order to transform, continuously and from within, the life of the people of the Covenant, so that this life will correspond to God's plan. To eliminate the discrimination and economic inequalities caused by socio-economic changes, every seven years the memory of the Exodus and the Covenant are translated into social and juridical terms, in order to bring the concepts of property, debts, loans and goods back to their deepest meaning.
The precepts of the sabbatical and jubilee years constitute a kind of social doctrine in miniature.Another theory that tries to explain the origins of prejudice is culture theory, also called cultural transmission theory, which says that prejudice is part of a culture's norms, or rules, and that prejudice is transmitted through culture (hence calling it cultural transmission theory).
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