Theologically dehumanizing people….

“Homophobia is LIKE racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to DEHUMANIZE a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Coretta Scott King

Wow I just came across a profound quote by Coretta Scott King. It really puts into perspective how we can attempt to “dehumanize” an issue in order to avoid dealing with our fears or phobias.  I do this all the time with other cultures and people that I am afraid of or not familiar with. It is the easy way to deal with the human condition… to dehumanize it. I have been taught how to theologically dehumanize people. I am learning how to be more Christlike… now when I disagree with a person, don’t understand them or don’t sin like them…  I need to remember that I should not deny them their , humanity, dignity or personhood.  In that sense we both bear the image of God… our humanity.

Profound. I am thankful Jesus died for my phobias. I don’t want to reduce people to theological problems anymore in the name of Christ.


6 comments on “Theologically dehumanizing people….

  1. andrewteach says:

    Well said sir.

  2. Very interesting quote. Dehumanization is also what those in power do to others to justify their own actions. Karl Marlantes, a decorated Vietnam vet discusses the issue of dehumanizing to justify killing someone in war. It is an excellent interview by Bill Moyers that you can see here –>

    So truly, when you hear those names being called, that is what’s happening, dehumanization.

  3. disableme says:

    Thank you both for your responses. I will check out that link.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Was the Apostle Paul dehumanizing people when he said this: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” — From 1 Cor. 6 NLT

  5. disableme says:

    No he was not. Paul did not dehumanize people to Jesus. Humans of all types will not inherit the kingdom of God (this is one of Paul’s shorter lists and we are all on his list’s). Paul acknowledged the person hood of all people and he allowed them their dignity.

    I did not use the term dehumanize alone. I said theologically dehumanize. Paul did not go around calling everyone non human or non image bearers. What I have done in the past to deal with the issue of homosexuality was to look at the person who is homosexual as if they were not human. I used theology to do that. As G. C. Berkouwer wisely said… “The essence of theology is grace; the essence of ethics is gratitude.” If the essence of theology is grace than I was doing it backwards… in order to theologically dehumanize a person I was looking at them through the law and not grace. I was not seeing them as human. I was seeing them as a problem.

    Anonymous… I assume you understand that Paul understood the distinction between admonishing the Gospel community called the church (1 Cor 6) And the world outside of that community. I also think he realized the fish he caught did not come into the church clean… a part of the churches ministry, is in a way, to bring fish to The Great Cleaner not catch clean fish.

  6. Frances says:

    Thank you! Convicting!

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