These two articles made my stomach turn recently: What I Learned While Hunting Humans by Ian Fritz, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Video Footage Amid Unrest After George Floyd’s Death Captures Minneapolis Police Discussing ‘Hunting People’ by Mark Berman and Holly Bailey. Both share experiences in which people with power dehumanized people with less power. I especially hope you read the Fritz article from The Atlantic.
Some of the big stories in the news today include the verbal and physical assault on teachers (who are trying to be safe in the classroom), Asian citizens (who have experienced increased violence against them) and political leaders (especially those who are speaking out in support of the vulnerable and the poor.)
On any given day, we call each other names that dehumanize: savage, illegal, trash, monsters. Many of us consider those who are not “like us” to be less valuable even if the differences are as simple as skin color or family heritage or political party.
The most fundamental thing to teach children in our churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues is that all of us were created in God’s image and each human being is precious in God’s sight. Dehumanizing people strikes me as the least Christ-like thing we can do.
Imagine what a difference it would make if we lived as if we actually believed that – even the most annoying among us – is made in God’s image. It would be a start.
Thank you, Jan, for challenging me to be compassionate. I have to confess that my response to what I hear in the news about the governors of Texas and Florida, for instance, is not kind.