We are all oppressed!
August 30, 2016 18 Comments
I am oppressed. It is offensive to me that I am oppressed. If you are a political leader you must do something about it; if you are a fellow commentator you must not offend me further by querying my oppressed status. But I am white, you may say, I have ‘white privilege’. True, that means I am not at the hope of the tree here, but let’s face it, I am female, ginger-haired, skinny and single – and I am half-Welsh; whoever keeps the score-card here should surely give me enough victim points to secure me something by way of status. Neo’s post yesterday, and some of the responses to it had a lot of good sense about this sort of thing. If we dissolve the idea of the common good into a set of identity politics objectives, we reach a point where one might legitimately ask why those in power should pay any attention to the voters unless not doing so involves the chance of revolution? We pass, thereby, into a realm where what matters are our concerns and what does not matter are those of others. But if that is so, why should others listen to our concerns? Just because we are claiming victimhood status? Why should anyone care in a world where we are all claiming to be victims.
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male or female. Why? Because Christ loves each of us for the unique individual we are. He also calls us to follow him, and in doing that we are part of a community of ‘saints’, and we have a common duty to each other; we are called to love one another. That is not to pity each other, or to replace a hierarchy of class or race with one of victimhood, but to love each other because we are all uniquely valuable in God’s eyes. God loves me because I am his daughter, not because I am a good girl (though like all fathers, I know he wants what is best for me and that it is best for me to be a good girl); because he loves me, I love him, and because I think it will please him if I am a good girl, I try to be one; when I grieve him I am sorry. I am sorry not because he is going to do the celestial equivalent of paddling my butt, but because I have let him down; I have grieved him, him who sent his Son to die and rise again for me. How could I?
Here what matters is not my status. Being a woman, a ginger or a singleton are not important. What is important is I am loved for who I am. That makes me look at myself and think. ‘goodness gracious woman, get your act together and at least make a fist of being worth that sort of love. I know I can’t ever be worthy, but that’s not a reason for not, in love, trying to be the best child I can be. Yes, I want to win my father’s favour. I do that not by claiming I am oppressed and virtue-signalling, but by being repentant and contrite and doing my best to heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Oppressed? Moi? No, I am a child of the living God and what could be better?