The February edition of the United Church Observer features an article by Wade Davis (Canadian author, explorer, photographer). The article is filled with pictures of people from various cultures around the globe with a brief statement about their practices or history. It is fantastic.
The article is premised on the discovery of geneticists that all of humanity is part of a single continuum. Race is an utter fiction. This stands in marked contrast to understandings a century or two ago that divided humanity into distinct categories and even debated whether some were truly human. (Apparently as recently as 1902 the Australian Parliament debated whether or not Aborigines were human beings.)
Of course the unity of humanity is a fact that continues to elude many. On January 29 a gunman murdered 6 men at prayer in a Quebec City mosque. National identity continues to be used as a divider to determines a person’s rights and access to aide. Gender and orientation continue to be used to divide as well. I still hear Christians wonder how God will handle non Christians. Will they get into heaven? They clearly believe that religion divides the human community.
The bible is very clear that, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” I think that should be the starting point for any person of faith. God embraces all. After that we do have distinctions but these should never be used to belittle, demean, or deny another their part of the goodness of creation. Different does not have to lead to a determination of who is better. Different or diverse can simply be a point of celebration.
In an unrelated article in the magazine a Muslim is quoted as saying, “we do not need anymore interfaith dialogue, we need interfaith barbecues.” I think that is a wonderful thought. There is much to be celebrated in the unity of humanity. Thank you United Church Observer for lifting up such joy.