Thursday, February 16, 2012

All are created equal

But if you show partiality, you commit sin

This may be one of the most difficult exhortations in the Bible.  As human beings we all have people we prefer to be with, people we care more about.   
While St. James warns his people about partiality toward the rich, we can also in church see a naivet√© towards the poor that is unwilling to critique any of the choices that poorer people make. 
St. James calls us to an attitude of NO PARTIALITY, a true recognition of the equal dignity of every human being.
Even when well intended we can speak of groups in ways that reveal underlying prejudices in ourselves. When we speak of Hispanics or Latinos, for example, we can forget there are 20 countries in the area we refer to as Latin American, and inside each country there are certainly multiple cultures and often multiple languages, and more than 500,000,000 individuals. There is no such thing as Hispanic Culture (in the singular) any more than there is a single Catholic Culture.
For sociological study purposes we group and generalize but James reminds us today that we must continue to always honor the unique human life created by God at the moment of the conception of each person.  Each equal loved by God.