My Thoughts. . .
Man’s inconsistency shows up in his attitude toward others. Before and during the first century, Jewish men prayed thanking God that they had not “been made a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” Even in this country, women could not own property in her name until 1863. It was not until 1920 that women were allowed to vote. Papers like the Gospel Advocate prior to that date argued that the scriptural work for a woman was confined to the home. This “superiority” belief was not limited to the male.
In the first century, Gentiles could follow Yahweh if the male was circumcised. It was about eleven years after New Testament Christianity began, before uncircumcised Gentile were taught and immersed. This caused an immediate problem. If a Gentile was circumcised, he was welcomed, but still limited in his worship. Those who were of the Pharisee persuasion demanding that all male Gentile converts submit to circumcision if they wanted to be saved (Acts 15:1, 5). Gentiles were considered inferior to Jews since the Jewish nation was God’s special people. Most Gentiles were considered inferior due to their present or past pagan beliefs
When the Indians were defeated in battle by the United States military prior to 1900, they were put on reservations. They were considered inferior and the church saw their children needed to become believers. When I was a high school senior in 1954, classes usually contained male and female Indians. Yet, most of them lived on their particular tribal reservation. To become “superior,” they had to be educated in the white man’s school, wear white man’s clothing, accept the white man’s religion, and learn the white man’s ways. The more acclimated, the more respect they received from the white man. Most of the Western movies in the forties and fifties portrayed Indians as warlike and cruel. There were exceptions such as the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto. These were usually few in number. A white man could take an Indian woman as his wife, but it was not lawful for a male Indian to marry a white woman.
Black slaves were first brought to America’s shores and sold in 1619. Actually, the practice began in the 1500s. Slaves were considered inferior because they came from Africa, they were pagan tribal people, and they were considered subhuman by some. The more religious claimed that black people were descendants of Ham and according to Genesis 9:25, Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan. The curse stipulated that Canaan’s descendants would be slaves (v.25-26 RSV). However, the curse did not extend outside Israel. Yet, our forefathers acclimated their children to the mistaken view of superiority.
Hitler instilled that view into German youths and adults in the 30s and early 40s. Gypsies and Jews were the scapegoat’s burdened with this idea of inferiority leading to their extermination. Over seventy million people perished as a result of this superiority attitude!
School children still practice that view on classmates because they do not dress, talk, or look like them. The devil uses it abundantly in all countries, between countries, dividing races, acclimating rich over poor, identifying wallflowers, and justifying killings. It dehumanizes those who are treated as inferiors and produces a false pride in those who believe they are. It creates a barrier that stops respect, esteeming one another, and developing real love for one another.
To dehumanize another person kills their feelings of worth and robs them of respect for others. Both sides are losers. A code is established where both know not to cross over into the other’s territory. Without recognizing it, one side will grow up saying hurtful things to the other without realizing what he has done. Satan spreads distrust, hurt, suspicion, hatred, fear, reprisal, and disunity as the icing to cover the cake of superiority.
The Declaration of Independence states,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Scripture admonishes, “Love one another” (John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:10; 13:8; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 23).
The devil preaches, “Love self.” Jesus teaches the opposite. Some are guilty of attending Professor Satan’s classes and happy about receiving straight A’s.