Re-Humanization

I am concerned about the trend that sees and refers to others as “sheeple”, “zombies”, and “lizard people”. While ideological tags like “conservative” or “liberal” tend to shrink the scope of another’s personhood, these animal or undead tags aim to remove the personhood of others entirely.
Contrast this with a few concepts that arise from the Scriptures: 1. People are “persons” simply because they are loved by God. 2. On the basis of personhood, people are afforded dignity as those created by and for God. 3. Since our personhood resides only in that we are loved by God, to refuse and withhold love for any human is to “dehumanize” them.
Since every person that we meet is infinitely more than our understanding of them, to accept them and love them is only the beginning of what it means to know them. If our deepest efforts can only begin to know the heart of another person, then our efforts to reduce people must be deeply damaging. We begin by saying people, as lizard people, do not belong; or as “sheeple” do not have sense, or as “zombies” do not have life. It is a short leap from denying a person’s dignity to denying their right to exist. Today, on this Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are faced with results of dehumanization and given another chance to consider the work of re-humanization. Rehumanizing others involves offering others committed and sincere love and by that love to come to know them. This love becomes fruitful as it recognizes and welcomes those things about others that are different from ourselves. Personhood, is “a shared uniqueness.” Re-humanization occurs when, by love, that uniqueness is held up to light.

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