In the midst of the furor over Democrat Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar's criticism of Barack Obama, a reporter asked her, "Do you believe that Trump and Obama are the same, just different when it comes to their policies?"
Instead of pointing out that, without reference to their policies, the comparison would be trivial, representative Omar launched an attack on Trump that was atrocious as well as personal: "That is silly," she said, "to even think and equate the two. One is human the other is clearly not."
Though they are quick to excoriate others for "dehumanizing" people, Democrats like Omar never shy away from doing so themselves. In this case, she does with a response that, quite literally, reads President Trump out of the human race.
Given her ancestry, if not her Muslim faith, some might be tempted to see this as an aspect of her ethnic heritage. After all, tribal and religious differences have been known to impel various peoples in Africa to war against one another as if there was no bond of common humanity between them.
The savage strife between the Hutus and the Tutsis of Rwanda is an example, though the situation of Somalia also comes to mind, where weak central government invites inhuman internecine strife that differences of region, sect, ethnicity and clan, as well as the machinations of competing outside powers, all contribute their share.
Tragically, such strife involves death and destruction that leaves deeply aggrieved people in its wake — holding grudges that eclipse the sympathetic light common humanity might otherwise shed on the affinities between them.
However, I have reason to doubt that this background has much to do with Ilhan Omar's dehumanizing remark about President Trump. However, her strong stand in support of legalized abortion is telling. That stance suggests that Omar rejects the view that "a person is a person no matter how small."
The rabidly pro-abortion NARAL organization endorsed her candidacy for Congress, citing in particular her statement that "when elected to Congress, I will be a strong advocate to ensure continued access to contraception and abortion coverage."
In February 2019 she called President Trump's statement against late-term abortions "pivoting … to policing women's bodies."
Representative Omar's stance proves that, along with every other pro-abortion member of Congress, she rejects the premise of equality — stated in the American Declaration of Independence — that confers, with the title of humanity, the God-endowed unalienable rights, including liberty, which are the premise of our self-government as a people.
She believes, therefore, that the right to life can be taken away by the lawless whims of judges and justices, regardless of "laws of nature and of Nature's God" or the provisions of the U.S. Constitution in respect to the rights of all human persons.
Politicians like Omar are willing to dehumanize people from the moment of conception. They treat the question of humanity as a matter for human discernment and discrimination, not the primordial will of the creator, God.
Moreover, their exaltation of self-willed human judgment is not guided by any sense of equal justice. If it were, the will of some human beings (mothers, abortionists, Supreme Court justices or voters at the polls) would not be construed to have any authority arbitrarily to deny and cast aside (alienate) what is practically the most fundamental right of all — to life itself.
Given Representative Omar's pro-abortion stance, she has already taken the primordial step toward dehumanization. Her suggestion that her opposition to President Trump strips him of his title to humanity suggests that she assumes that her authority to dehumanize others includes dehumanizing those who oppose her policy views. Since she presumes to target the elected president of the United States, why should the people who elected him think they are not subject to the same authority?
This train of thought should open our eyes to the fact that Omar's willingness to dehumanize others portends a cast of mind — a way of thinking that prepares the mind for atrocity. It begins with dehumanizing innocent infants as a point of specious law, though it leads to millions dead. It continues by dehumanizing political opponents over matters of policy.
Where does that finally end? Recent human history suggests that it can lead to mass arrests, imprisonments and executions. But these are the tools of totalitarian regimes predicated on controlling and regimenting human activities until people live and behave more like ants, bees or grains of sand than sentient beings, capable of conscientious choice and responsibility.
Christ suggested that people who deal faithfully with little things can be trusted to deal with those that are great. But in the eyes of God, isn't the true presence of humanity affirmed in God's intention? For that intention reflects the perspective of God in which we are all are equally small compared to His stature; equally large in light of His perfect care; and equally responsible for the part we share or selfishly withhold, of the love that, in the very act of making, He freely shares with us and all creation. Can anyone who forgets this true source and meaning of human equality be trusted to represent a people whose identity depends upon respect for it?