People are Not Deplorable

Last week on Facebook I saw a headline for a blog that read something like, “Clinton got it right when she called them deplorables, and she was being polite.”

This person has made a niche for themselves preaching to the choir of those tired of the “love no one but yourself, trump-worshiping, using God to justify their -isms and hatred of others” crowd.

After reading the headline, my first response was, “And God still loves those people. They are not deplorable to Him.”

We need to start separating people from their actions.

By calling a group “deplorable” it strips them of their humanity. It builds on the “us” and “them” which is toxic for so many reasons. It keeps us separated, prevents us from doing the hard work, and is the first step on the road to genocide.

The entire headline and the mentality behind it, puts those who agree with the author on a pedestal, looking down on those they deem not human.  

They are doing exactly what they accuse those the article sought to ridicule of doing.

We need to start separating people from their actions.

People do deplorable things. That does not make them deplorable.

We all do deplorable things. We do not love each other as we should. We brush off other people’s pain. Privilege is the ability to move beyond someone else’s circumstances and we all do that.

We all hold hurtful ideals. We all love ourselves more than others. We all have followed people that in hindsight we wish we had not. We are all hard to dissuade for certain opinions. We all go into fight mode when we feel threatened.

And, whether the group that reads said blog or those they are mocking want to admit it, we are all going to be in heaven one day. We are all going to stand before God, who knit each person together with care and grace and joy, and acknowledge we chose to dehumanize someone else so we could feel better about ourselves.

None of this negates the selfishness that many see coming from a particular group in this country. None of it negates the reality we are all a bit more unsafe in a vast number of areas because of this group. None of it excuses or turns away from the actions of those individuals, neither does it give them a free pass, or tells them to keep being self-involved jerks.

What it does is restore their humanity to them.

People in our lives might be following a disgraced want-to-be despot for reasons we cannot understand. But they are still our neighbors, our friends, our family, our co-workers, our elected officials (for now) and we are CALLED TO LOVE THEM.

We are called to love them, to be kind and merciful, and to stay in the arena (or sit in the middle as Brene Brown puts it in Braving the Wilderness – excellent book by the way!). And if you claim to love God and want to list reasons why this group is an exception to that rule, feel free to do so.

But let the one who has no need for grace and forgiveness be the first to toss a stone. Let he who has never bullied someone else, overlooked someone in need of a friend, followed an influencer they regret, who has never considered their children above others, who does not have an idol in their lives, who does not let fear occasionally dictate their decisions, sit at their computer and run their fingers over a keyboard and decided that people we should love and care about are no longer human and call them deplorable.

That is not my place.

My place is to remember these people who are making all our lives more unsafe are still creations of God. Everyone who lives and breathes on this earth is a creation of God. So, before we start lumping people into some man-made caste system (something many would accuse said group of doing :-)), let’s remember that nothing changes until something changes, so let’s be the change and figure out a way to go high and love.

Love is a verb. It is an action. It is also a choice.

Maybe today that action is simply call out dehumanizing language where we see it and calling those around us out of easy name calling and to the place where we can see each other as human again.

Black background with white text. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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