What inspired this post? As politely and sweetly as he could manage, a commenter called me a bigot (see here).
Am I a bigot? Yes. Everyone is a bigot. You. Your parents. Your brothers and sisters. Your friends and neighbors. Your countrymen. Everyone in the whole world. The only person who ever lived who was not a bigot was Jesus.
We all to some degree try to justify ourselves at the expense of someone else. If we can raise ourselves above another — if we can humble another — we think we must be better. At least, that’s a very popular theory.
The Bible says we are each made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Even though we are puny, finite things, we should each be able see something divine — something we can love — in each other. But often we don’t.
Review human history. Read the newspapers. Consider the anger we sometime see simmering in each other. Remember the broken homes. Remember all the innocent children aborted, orphaned and forgotten, or just abandoned. Contemplate all the people who make you furious for no reason at all.
“I” am at the center of all “I” perceive. So it is we each tend to go through life thinking it must all be about us. Everything we do and all that is must be for our benefit. If we give something of ourselves to another then they owe us (whether they know it or not). That’s how the strong rationalize enslaving the weak. If the strong protect weak, then the weak must owe the strong something. Thus, slavery began as a protection racket.
Yet I stray. What is a bigot? How is it we are all bigots? We each try to justify ourselves. I am a good person. I deserve good things. I deserve whatever good things other people have. I covet what others have that I don’t have.
We measure ourselves against each other, and we each want to be better than other people. We damn those who seem to have more. In the age of diversity, how is that done? We join in common cause with people who look like us, sound like us, dress like us, work like us, think like us,…., and sin like us. We organize with the people in our identity group, and we demand respect, our “rights” — and money.
Consider all the identity groups. There are trade associations demanding tariffs. There are unions demanding employer sanctions. There businesses too big to fail. There are racial, sexual, ethnic, and creedal groups demanding “affirmative action. There are groups preoccupied with sexual perversions demanding our affirmation. There are bureaucrats out to save the world demanding bigger salaries and greater powers.
Where does all this bigotry — this competition to make it all about ME lead?
James 4:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
Pride Promotes Strife
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
How we can test ourselves? How we determine whether we are motivated bigotry? There is a simple way that works most of the time. If we are willing to debate the rightness of our cause without personally attacking our opponent, that is a good sign. That doesn’t mean you cannot point out something your opponent is doing wrong. For example, if your opponent is willing to twist the Constitution into a pretzel, that has to be noted because it is relevant. We are not suppose to do that. Unfortunately, because we are bigots, we don’t want to hear our sins called sins.
What is the best way to avoid bigotry? What is the best way to test ourselves? Instead of trying to justify ourselves, we must believe on Jesus; we must put our faith in God. We obey His commands.
John 15:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
It is not our job or our right to make our neighbors behave as we think they should behave. We have the right and the responsibility to protect each other from the brutes and bullies among us. However, so long as so-called brutes and bullies do not abuse our family, friends and neighbors; we have no right to use government power to attack those brutes and bullies. That sort of behavior that just makes us a brute, a bully, and a bigot.