God clearly loves variety

Our God loves variety. We can see this in the galaxies of all different sorts.

Even on this planet there is an amazing variety of animal species. Different kinds of plants. Different races. Different ethnic groups.

Our human bodies are made of different organs performing different functions.

No two people are exactly the same, in looks or in fingerprints.

Of all the millions of snowflakes, no two are exactly the same. It appears our God has an incredible desire for variety.

We are constantly being made aware of the glorious diversity that is in the universe. For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, there is diversity in unity even in the Holy Trinity.

It appears God invests each single one of us—whatever our race, gender, education, and social or economic status—with infinite worth, making us precious in God’s sight.

But sadly, religion hasn’t always emphasised this. Religion, which should foster sisterhood and brotherhood, which should encourage tolerance, respect, compassion, peace, reconciliation, caring and sharing, has far too frequently done the opposite.

In some places, religion tolerated racism. And racism spawned slavery, when human beings were bought and sold and owned and branded, fellow human beings treated as beasts of burden.

Racism spawned the Ku Klux Klan and the lynchings of the segregated South of the United States.

Racism gave birth to the holocaust of Germany and the other holocausts of Armenians and Rwanda. It was responsible for ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and the awfulness of apartheid; and what we have seen in Sri Lanka, in Northern Ireland, in the Middle East, and now with the Isis fanatics.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Where the law of an-eye-for-an-eye obtains, in the end all will be blind. If we don’t learn to live as brothers, we will die together as fools.”

It is only when we respect even our adversaries and see them not as ogres, dehumanized, demonized, but as fellow human beings deserving respect for their personhood and dignity, that helps to prevent conflict.

God wants there to be room for everyone. Room for every culture, race, language and point of view.