Just one thought, and it is this: every human being—regardless of color, nationality, economic status, or intellect—has been created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect.
Yes, we all know that. Or at least we should know that as Christians. It’s biblical anthropology 101.
And yet, when push comes to shove—when people look different and act differently, when people come from parts of the country or places in the world that seem dirty or dangerous—it’s easy to forget.
We can all roll our eyes or stomp our feet at the President’s apparent remarks about [expletive] countries. Most of us don’t talk that way, and certainly wouldn’t dare to do so in a (semi)-public setting. But we’d be fooling ourselves if we imagine we never think that way.
“Careful, they’re from the ghetto.”
“Ugh, she’s from the South.”
“Why are people like that so backward?”
“I can’t believe he’s so smart; he’s from the country you know.”
“City people are so full of themselves.”
“That’s Europeans for you.”
“It’s Africa, what do you expect?”
We are a fiercely tribal people, and social media only serve to make us more social with our kind and less social with everyone else. It’s Red State, intolerant, flag-waving, Muslim-hating, science-denying white people from bigoted churches in fly-over country against Blue State, cosmopolitan, anti-American, religion-hating, race-baiting hypocrites from Hollywood and academia. Take your pick. And pick your poison.
I’m not calling for a naïve “let’s all get along” solution that solves nothing, let alone for a squishy moral equivalence that suggests no one has any better ideas or better ideals than anyone else. But the Bible does call us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And it would have us consider that we are more the same than we are different: same parents from the Garden, same sin nature from Adam, same broken hearts, same busted image, same need for the same Savior.
Different skin, same kind of soul. That’s a truth the probably hasn’t sunk in as deeply as we think it has. The imago dei is not going to fix everything that ails us, but a proper understanding of who we are is necessary if we are going to really see that we deserve the same dignity and the same respect no matter who we, what we look like, or where we come from.