Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Irony

I heard a student in one of my classes today say this:

“You need to treat me with respect.  I’m a human being for G*d’s sake!”

I’d just like to point out the irony in this statement.  

This student was demanding respect because of his innate humanity.  But where does that “specialness” that makes us human come from?  If there is no God then we have no right to demand any respect or to put ourselves in a higher place than anything else in the universe.  This is because our “right” to respect as humans comes from the “specialness” of being made in the image of God:

Genesis 1:26-28  Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  (27)  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  (28)  And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Taking things one step further, though only a small step really, it is therefore worship of our Creator if we treat other human beings that He has made with respect and dignity.  We are effectively honouring the image that He has created of Himself.

Now this is where the irony is driven home.  This student was indirectly demanding that God be properly worshipped through respecting him as a human being who was made in His image; yet in the same breath he was blaspheming God’s name by using it without the worshipful respect that is due to Him.