Dignity of the Person

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

The story of the Scriptures opens by grounding people in their fundamental identity: human, the divine image bearer.

Thomas Browne in Religio Medici writes, “Let there be no doubt at the end of your life that you have been human. You are entitled to a Divine particle and to union with the invisible.”

We can quibble about the word, “entitled.” Don’t miss the trees for the forest in this quote. His point is that to be fully human is to recapture the reality of who we really are, divine image bearers.

C.S. Lewis says in The Weight of Glory, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

In this day and age hate and fear are the two weapons that people are brandishing most often. The two sides of the political spectrum have one goal, to de-humanize the other.

We see this in the ideological rallies being foisted upon our senses at every turn. Your side is the “human” side and their side is the “in-human” side. Your side is about love, their side is about hate.

When we give in to the ideology of the world we are part and parcel embracing the de-humanization of those around us and this necessarily de-humanizes us. In Christ there is no us/them dichotomy. There is only “we.” Christ has united humanity in himself and has reconciled all things.

As you enter into the conversation endeavor to humanize your opponent and in so doing you humanize yourself. This does not mean that you ignore racism, hatred, or the like. What it does mean is that you must choose to raise the conversation and perspective to a place of dignity. This your unique calling as the follower of Christ.

We must learn to practice this, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Philippians 4:8).”