I was reminded recently of the horrors of the Rwandan genocide. I know that it was several years ago but something in this amazing woman’s story hit me deeply. She said that before people began murdering their neighbors in the most vicious ways their had been a systematic campaign to divide them.

She stated that their had been a campaign to devalue Tutsi in the eyes of their neighbors and that occasionally she heard a drunken person from the Hutu tribe say things about killing those in her tribe but never thought it was really possible.

I am reminded that this has been the tactic of mad men every time an act like this is perpetrated.

Don’t let the “other” person be seen as a human being of value. Degrade them; describe them as less than yourself, tell tales of how they have mistreated your group. Give them a title and take away their name.

For a few decades we have been growing apart in America, choosing sides and fighting. Anti-social media has given voice to extremists who shout angry words often at people they don’t know. We are becoming members of warring tribes.

There are times when I have forgotten that Jesus died for our president, or the person on the news. I have imagined them as of lesser value than a child of God.

How could I?

Pretty simple really. They have chosen to represent an opinion that I wholly oppose and may even think is detrimental so I see only their argument and my rebuttal. Even when I don’t speak out my opposition I feel different about them.

I’m not asking for us to melt in to one opinion or worse none at all.

I simply realize that the events in Germany, Turkey, Rwanda etcetera all start with attitudes about others. They start with forgetting that we are all one family, created by God and passionately loved by Him. And I don’t want to forget that!

From time to time I get this correction from God, I really hope I can learn to need it much less often.

Confessionally Yours

 

Walt