The Other

Thanks to a question posed by patron Rev. Michael Sluder, in the next episode I’m going to tackle a subject that’s very difficult for me: how politicians gain power by dividing people against each other.

The context, of course, is the Nazi period, and how the church failed in its mandate to love neighbor, and even as Jesus taught, to “be perfect” by loving our enemies. By doing so, the church allowed, and even abetted, the very worst that humanity is capable of.

This is difficult for me because every encounter I’ve ever had with people and cultures different from mine has enriched my life. Every single one. Whether it be friends who came into my life as refugees, or the many encounters I’ve had with Muslims (who my faith tradition likes to “other”), I cannot imagine how destitute my life would be without them. And as a Christian, it’s natural for me to want for others the wealth I have gained in my life through these relationships.

So, the next episode will focus on the insane, but powerful, idea that some people are better than others, and that “we” have the right to oppress “them” out of grievance.

You might see a few alarming parallels in today’s politics, but after all, “othering” is a time-tested method of gaining power.

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