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Rob Garbin's Blog

What Have You Wrought?

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I recently began reading the first book in the Pelbar Cycle by Paul O. Williams that describes a world devastated by war and just beginning to recover. The story focuses on a society that is matriarchal, meaning it is run by women, which to my western eyes seems farfetched given history, European roots, and current reality. I know that there are vast differences across the multitude of cultures present on the earth but women have been on the receiving end of more injustice than men. However, this is not the point of my current post.

What struck me as I took my shower this morning was all the accumulated bigotries within human cultures throughout the world. I thought about God and a question came to me ďWhat have you wrought?Ē We look at man as the grand creation of God or at least the pinnacle of evolution, really? Ponder these fairly common assertions (or at least ones I have encountered through my forty five years of living)

Jews are the chosen of God (subtext: better than gentiles) (subtext: I am better because I am not a gentile)

Women are weaker than men (subtext: fit only to be ruled by men) (subtext: I am better because I am not a woman)

Men are brutes (subtext: men have no feelings and are less intelligent and need women to control them) (subtext: I am better because I am not a man)

Blacks are lazy (subtext: blacks are unintelligent and fit only for menial labor) (subtext: I am better because I am not black)

Irish are temperamental drunks (subtext: undependable abusers of women) (subtext: I am better because I am not Irish)

Northern Americans are loudmouths (subtext: northerners are bossy, stick their noses where they donít belong, and cause trouble) (subtext: I am better because I am not northern)

Southern Americans are rednecks (subtext: they are belligerent, lazy, and untrustworthy) (subtext: I am better because I am not southern)

Germans are the master race (subtext: all other races are inferior) (subtext: I am better because I am not anyone else)

Westerners are infidels (subtext: westerners are ungodly sinners with no moral value) (subtext: I am better because I am not western)

French are snobs (subtext: French are highly judgmental and self-serving) (subtext: I am better because I am not French)

Mexicans are dirty (subtext: Mexicans are lazy slobs fit only to fill jobs real people donít want) (subtext: I am better because I am not Mexican)

I could continue to go on and on, as you well know, finding no end. My thought was how God could have created such a creature that spends so much energy on hating? In the end, all the stuff I listed and any others you can think of are all the same. They are used to make the speaker feel better about themselves. They help justify the things we have done or not done to someone else or to allow us to ignore the feelings of unworthiness we have. For example, I find myself on occasion saying some person was lazy because of the work I see them doing. You might say that I am correct in some ways but; however, this presupposes a set standard for comparison. There is also the fact that I am not aware of all of the circumstances of that personís life and am only making a quick judgment. The subtext for me was that I was better than that person because I do better work, which put me closer to my father, who was a very hard worker, unlike me. Every day we see people treated badly and many times do nothing about it. I understand that the problems are big, more because of the vast interconnectivity of modern life than anything else. I am not; however, necessarily talking about taking on just causes. Sometimes just having an open mind and compassion could make all of the difference, judge not lest you be judged.

Finally, here is the reason for the post. I was just shocked to think about a creator that made a creature so full of dislike for itself. How could God have made a being so full of imperfections but so intolerant that it could not stand to deal with them? If you believe in the Bible, we are all children of Adam and Eve, yet we canít stand each other. What a dysfunctional family we are.

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