When is it okay to call a man an animal?

Watching Rep. Nancy Pelosi get all quasi-biblical as she berated President Trump for supposedly calling immigrants “animals,” (A claim that even the AP has retracted.) during a press conference really got me wondering.

“What does scripture teach us about calling people animals? Is that an okay thing to do?”

Here’s what Jesus had to say to the religious right of his day, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

Here’s Paul in Philippians 3:2 warning about, well, the Jews (who he once was), “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh…” Matthew 23:33

Oh, here’s a fun one. In Isaiah 41:14, God speaks in what I would have to call an affectionately demeaning way—what a motivator,

“Don’t be afraid, you little worm Jacob, and you insects of Israel! I myself will help you,’ declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 41:14

It would seem that Jesus, the apostles and the prophets could walk and chew gum at the same time.

What has happened to us? Why are we afraid, little worms, to use colorful language?

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

And, yes, I’m worried about scapegoating immigrants and habeas corpus and the lack of due process…but these things will not be remedied by being precious with our language.

It looks like someone else had the same idea…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *