Why Respect Others?


Why should I or, for that matter, anyone respect other human beings, creatures that are different from me? Primarily, it is neither because they are white nor black,

neither men nor women,
 neither gay nor straight,
neither Americans nor Iranians,
neither Latinos nor Asians,
 neither Democrats nor Republicans,
neither Protestants nor Catholics,
 neither Jews nor Muslims,
 neither atheists nor agnostics,
 neither rich nor poor,
 neither young nor old,
 neither with nor without disabilities,
 neither educated nor uneducated,
 neither deserving nor undeserving,
 neither strong nor weak and
 neither radiant with health nor terminally ill.


Rather, I respect other human beings precisely because they are humans, valuable in themselves. I respect them, ultimately or primarily, because they are persons, sacred creatures who are made in the image of God. They are equal in being to me, made of the same humanity as I. Every other reason which might be given for respecting them is always secondary to that.