Lent 2015 "I am Human: Created in the Image of God"


February 19, 2015

I Ma Human: Created in the Image of GodThis past week I was haunted by the words of a 13 year old Yemeni boy who was reportedly killed in a CIA-directed drone attack on January 26.  This attack happened just weeks after he had spoken with western journalists about his fear, which started after his father was killed by a U.S. drone, of the U.S. drones flying overhead in his home country of Yemen. 

 Published on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Common Dreams Staff Writer Jon Queally wrote:

“When the Guardian interviewed Mohammed last September, he spoke of his anger towards the U.S. government for killing his father in a drone attack.  ‘They tell us that these drones come from bases in Saudi Arabia and also from bases in the Yemeni seas and America sends them to kill terrorists, but they always kill innocent people. But we don’t know why they are killing us.’  ‘In their eyes, we don’t deserve to live like people in the rest of the world and we don’t have feelings or emotions or cry or feel pain like all the other humans around the world.’” 

It is painful to hear the boy’s words “In their eyes, we don’t deserve to live like people in the rest of the world” as they think we “don’t have feelings or emotions or cry or feel pain like other human beings!”  The deep sadness is that it appears that these words from this boy are far from sentiment, but a reality, as we see an increase in Islamophobia in the United States and across the world, now even more intensely with the rise and brutality of ISIS.  It appears that Muslims’ denouncements of such brutality is of no avail.  These past weeks we have witnessed the shooting deaths of three Muslim students in North Carolina, and the intentional arson of an Islamic center in Houston, Texas, on Friday, February 13.

In its response to the murders of Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, "Shoulder-to-Shoulder,” a campaign of national religious, faith-based, and interfaith organizations seeking to end anti-Muslim bigotry, wrote:

“While there are still many questions around the killer’s motivation, it is clear that this incident occurred in a context of high levels of anti-Muslim sentiment, and the American Muslim community is fearful as hate speech and hate crimes continue to target Muslims in this country.  The Center for American Progress, in an accident of timing, this week released their new report, Fear, Inc., 2, documenting the cash-flow behind anti-Muslim rhetoric and legislation.  Regardless of the authorities' decision regarding motivation, this tragedy has brought to national attention the hatred and fear that are very much a part of the current national and local rhetoric.”

Such dehumanization of a people is nothing new as we have witnessed it during the Second World War against Jewish people, and also the continued dehumanization of black people who face institutionalized racism in this country.  

In response to the slaying of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, on Saturday, August 9, Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners’ senior director of mobilizing wrote a blogpost August 25, 2014 for Christianity Today entitled, It's Time to Listen: "The Lie" saying that the there is a belief at the core of this nation that black people are not fully human.

“But there is another dynamic that is equally, if not more deeply rooted at play here. It is a core spiritual lie at work in the region—and I dare say the nation.

This spiritual lie is profound and ugly. It has shaped beliefs about the black residents of Ferguson, laid the foundations for missteps by authorities, and affected the black Ferguson community’s capacity to prevent the death of Michael Brown.

This lie was caught on video when a Ferguson police officer said, during an early protest march, “Bring it! All you f***ing animals! Bring it!

There it is—the belief that usually resides deep beneath the surface of conscious thought, safe from examination and extrication, but was born in biblical times, solidified in the days of the Enlightenment, and codified into colonial law in 1660 through the racialization of Virginia slave codes. Then 14 years after the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” the lie was embedded in the U.S. legal structure through the Naturalization Act of 1790, which barred the rights of citizenship from both free and enslaved black people.

These are the roots of the lie. Here it is—plain and simple: Black people are not fully human. In most crass terms—they are animals.

This spiritual lie has shaped our public life since the founding of our nation.

This lie lived out in the open, in our early history. Now, after 360 years of presence in various forms and its extrication from our legal structures through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, it’s gone underground—hidden and unchallenged as a subconscious bias in the hearts of most Americans including some black people. In fact, a recent study found that 75 percent of respondents have an unconscious bias toward white people over blacks.

This spiritual lie has shaped our public life since the founding of our nation. We have yet to face it down, name it, and repent.”

It seems to me that this spiritual lie that black people are not fully human does not only apply to black people in this country, but also to other people of non-European descent, like Muslims and Hispanics.  In this non-human category it appears we can also include LGBTQ people, as it is legal in Ohio to be fired from your job, denied an apartment, or refused service at a movie theater, restaurant or hotel because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. 

This Lent you are invited to fast from bigotry and to affirm the God given truth that all people are created in the image of God.  Our Lenten series entitled “I am Human: Created in the Image of God” invites you, through mindfulness and meditation on the words of Jesus of Nazareth and other contemporary prophets, to challenge and expose how social beliefs, church leaders, authoritarian theology, and contemporary notions of humanity distort the biblical truth that humanity was created in the image of God.  Through a journey of faith in action, we will join many other people of faith across the nation and the world in affirming the humanity and dignity of all.   Please join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 10:45am as we contribute, as a community of faith, to constructive, informed, loving, and justice-seeking dialogue on what it means to be created in the image of God.

General Blog Archive
Comments (16) - Post a Comment
Particularly I enjoyed the all the exciting discussion here... You deserve all the good feedback hope to read more updates from you!
custom essay writing service at 2:16am EDT - September 28, 2017
Thanks for this wonderful article if you are the cooking lover then your should feel glad to play that papas cupCakeria video game it is one of the best online game to enhance your cooking skill and managing time.
papas cupCakeria at 1:13am EST - February 5, 2018
One reason for the confusion about God is that people have tried to understand Him as if He were mortal. But, if God is "infinite," as He is, then man's attempts to explain God will always fail. Men's minds are finite (limited) and therefore cannot possibly comprehend the infinite (unlimited) God.
help with assignment at 5:20am EST - February 15, 2018
Canadian Immigration through express entry is now very easy as was not before! Hit the link provided and latest requirements: http://immigrationexperts.pk/express-entry-4/
Malik at 3:24am EDT - May 26, 2018
Ontario is offering business immigration to those individuals who have certain required skill set. To get more information visit: http://immigrationexperts.pk/canadian-provincial-nomination-programs-pnp/
Malik at 4:25am EDT - June 3, 2018
Australian universities are high ranked in the world as those institutions are providing quality education to their students. Get information about new rules: http://immigrationexperts.pk/australian-student-visa/
Malik at 2:20pm EDT - June 9, 2018
Chicken is the most abundant and popular meat in any cuisine in Pakistan. However, many people don’t know how to buy and store broiler chicken. More: https://chickythechicken.com/how-to-buy-the-best-broiler-chicken-buying-and-storing-guide/
Marya Gull at 2:21pm EDT - June 9, 2018
This is the good time for you if you are planning for Canadian Immigration through express entry stream. Canada is allowing more and more immigrants to enter to boost its economy. More: http://immigrationexperts.pk/express-entry-4/
Meera at 2:46pm EDT - June 26, 2018
The free roblox game is now online with the free robux generator online fo the free robux generation for the game.
roblox free robux at 7:39am EDT - July 11, 2018
New Zealand has everything one can wish for and more. New Zealand is rated in international surveys as one of the world’s most peaceful, least corrupt countries. Details: http://immigrationexperts.pk/new-zealand/
Meera at 4:27pm EDT - July 13, 2018
Regardless of the authorities' decision regarding motivation, this tragedy has brought to national attention the hatred and fear that are very much a part of the current national and local rhetoric. five nights at freddy's
stephennelson at 3:27am EDT - September 25, 2018
I won't argue with you. Maybe you are right. Try this essay writing service in australia for your next posts.
Troy at 7:22am EDT - October 12, 2018
feel regret I did not know this before I read your article, thank your post!
twitch at 1:55am EST - January 2, 2019
deden at 2:10am EST - January 16, 2019
If as a parent you are concerned with video game content, control what downloadable mods are placed in the game. These downloadable mods are normally created by players, not the video game companies, so there is no rating system. What you thought was a relatively un-risky game can turn a lot worse with one of these mods.
what dwu mean
mark at 2:18am EST - January 24, 2019
wilam at 3:18am EST - January 27, 2019

Post A Comment

Name: (*Required)
Email: (*Required)
- Not Displayed With Comment

« Back to General Blog
Recent Sermons
Recent Newsletters
Sign Up For Updates

Give Now

Westminster accepts electronic donations through the Presbyterian Mission Exchange