Do you ever wonder how a coliseum full of Roman citizens could make a fun day of watching enslaved people fight to the death? How they could happily cheer on a hungry pack of lions as they ripped Christians limb from limb with no sense of shock or horror? Innocent men, women, and children torn apart. For sport. As onlookers drank wine and laughed.
How did slave owners justify treating other people as property? How could they tear babies from their mothers with no twinge of conscience? How did these “upstanding citizens” justify whipping other human beings? How was it possible to shut their ears to the cries of agony and despair and harden their hearts as they beat fellow image bearers within an inch of their lives?
How could the prison guards at Auschwitz live with themselves as they watched their captives become living skeletons? Starving and sick. Forced to work until they dropped. People who had committed no crime other than being born Jewish. How could they gas them and dump them in mass graves and then go just go on with their lives? The words “evil” and “heartless” come to mind.
The unthinkable cruelty in each time period was made possible by one terribly erroneous belief: that the people suffering or being killed were “less than”; not fully human and therefore undeserving of the basic human rights afforded to the majority. In each case, the people in power thought they knew what would make for a better society, and their politics and propaganda infiltrated the hearts and minds of the citizens, causing them to set aside their moral compasses and turn on the “undesirables”.
In Roman days, the Christians were annoying with their talk of repentance and submission to the Lord Jesus. Killing them was the best way to shut them up and to set an example that this cult would not be tolerated in Rome’s idol-worshiping, sex-obsessed, hedonistic culture.
Slavery has existed in every civilization. In each case, the inherent dignity of fellow human beings is denied in an effort to justify the subjugation of one man to another based solely on ethnicity or social standing. Those in power or in the “valuable group” benefitted greatly from keeping entire “less than” people groups in chains. So they hardened their hearts and perpetuated the blatant lie that people weren’t people.
Not so very long ago, the word started spreading in Germany: Jews were not fit to remain in polite society. They weren’t fully human. Not like everyone else. And an entire nation sat by as these former schoolmates and business owners were hunted like dogs in the street and sent to their death. The Nazi’s hate-soaked propaganda settled over the country like a cold, wet blanket and ordinary citizens turned on their friends and neighbors and let them die.
Hindsight is 20/20 right?
Speaking of 2020, it’s discouraging to look around and observe a sad truth: human nature hasn’t changed much at all.
We like to think we are evolved: us modern, iPhone wielding, pronoun-conscious free-thinkers. We believe we’ve shrugged off the repressive shackles of religion and outdated morality. We preach “tolerance” for every belief system and lifestyle, unless of course it doesn’t agree with our own.
In short, we’ve cycled back to a sex-obsessed, hedonistic society. And we love it. That Solomon guy knew what he was talking about, didn’t he? Nothing new under the sun.
And we are still deceived into thinking other people are disposable. I believe Christians are next on the chopping block because their irritating adherence to God’s word is not any more welcome in modern America than it was in Ancient Rome. Time will tell.
What about now? Is anyone among us oppressed? I think you may be able to guess where I’m going. The people group currently viewed as expendable in our modern, civilized, pumpkin-spice flavored world are the unborn babies. Children are brutally murdered in their mothers’ wombs every day under the guise of “womens’ rights” or “bodily autonomy”. Unborn babies are slaughtered by the thousands each year on the altar of convenience as “people with uteruses” take advantage of “health care.” It is genocide, but just as Romans justified exterminating Christians, and slave owners believed it was their “right” to beat slaves to death; just as Nazis justified wiping out the Jews, so do the proud, pink, “shout your abortion” crowd believe they are morally justified in ending the lives of their unborn children. Because those babies aren’t “fully human.” I mean, they’re just “clumps of cells”, say the bigger clumps of cells defending their “right to choose”.
You know what truth is still standing there regardless of all the misappropriated language and feminist propaganda and leaders who think it’s better for everyone if we just get rid of those our society doesn’t value?
People are people (regardless of belief, skin color, ethnicity, size, or location) and murder is murder.
It was murder when the Romans did it.
It was murder when slave owners did it.
It was murder when the Nazis did it.
It’s murder when mothers kill their babies.
Where are the social justice warriors when you actually need them?
God help us. Open our eyes. May we be on the right side of history.