The guiding principles found in both the governing docu-ments of this nation and the basic religious teachings most of us affirm are rooted in the value and equality of all humanity. But that doesn’t keep us from acting like we are better than someone else.

Social elitism is easily found. In fact, it is even marketed.

While awaiting a flight recently, my friend Buddy Shurden referred to Delta’s boarding process as a “caste system.” It could be equally described as silly.

It makes sense that persons who pay more for first-class seats or try to keep the airline afloat with their frequent travels would be allowed to board ahead of other customers. But the blue rug is silly.

Separated only by a fuzzy rope, “elite” customers are invited to step on the rug rather than on the normal carpet every other lesser soul uses before boarding. As the gatekeepers will point out, a mere peasant in seat 26D should avoid stepping on the designated blue rug.

We all like to feel special, even privileged. And certain rewards should come from achievement.

But whether my Braves tickets are on the first row or up by the foul pole, my intrinsic value doesn’t change. Just the perspective on the game — and the amount of money spent.

Nothing galls me like watching a customer treat a restaurant server or an employee in other service industries in a demanding, demeaning and disrespectful way. Only a most fragile ego feels the need to build up himself or herself by belittling someone else.

It is one thing to claim a belief in the equality of all humanity and another to treat all persons as if they are created in the image of God.

It is fascinating how gospel music that emphasizes the glories of heaven is most popular among American Christians who live with limited resources. Perhaps the idea of living in a mansion and walking on gold speaks to one’s high sense of worth in the eyes of God — even for those who sit in the cheap seats or must avoid the blue rug at the boarding gate.

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