An ad promoting a trip to Glacier National Park

By John Pierce

One of the good, early lessons veteran editors taught me years ago came as a warning against using editorial space to simply jump on a favorite soapbox repeatedly. Such writing should be broader and more constructive than just venting against a pet peeve.

This writing (assuming blogs count too) puts me dangerously close to failing to heed such warnings. For it concerns the one thing I observe almost daily that raises my ire (whatever that is).

It has to do with those who profess to be Christian yet relate to other persons — particularly those they perceive to be “below them” — in condescending and disrespectful ways. It is the sin of social elitism, and in many places it appears almost epidemic.

However, such social behaviors may be unrecognized by those who exhibit them. Their thoughts are elsewhere — focused on their wants (elevated to perceived needs) and their convenience.

The root of the problem is precisely a sole focus on oneself.

Expressions take on various forms: Treating service people disrespectfully — such as demanding rather than asking kindly for something from a server in a restaurant.

Then there is parking in a fire lane at the grocery store or going to the front the carpool line because, well, it’s more convenient than parking and walking, or waiting in line, like others.

At the least, it would nice if those with fish symbols and Christian bumper stickers would remove such from their expensive cars before doing those things. That’s the most ire-raising part.

It hard to imagine any attitude or behavior less like Jesus than to appear or act superior to others. Jesus was the great equalizer — the lover and affirmer of all humanity.

A person’s value in Jesus’ eyes was never tied to race, ethnicity, gender, education, wealth — or whether someone belonged to “the club.” In fact, Jesus got in a lot of hot water with the elitists of his day for seeing and treating persons in the ways he did — and calling out those who saw themselves as superior.

Many, many years ago I was told that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. That, I still believe.

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