You will never have a meaningful, full-blooded response to the sin of racial hatred without a robust, widespread, unequivocal belief that human beings are universally made in the image of God. And in that regard, the fights against racism and against abortion are fights that call for the same punch.
Our culture (the mood and beliefs of our day and place) does not hold that human beings are God-made and God-defined. Our institutions don’t typically and officially uphold it either. We are currently in a state of believing that humans are the result of natural selection and that brining God into the question of what humans are or what they should do is misguided, tacky, or maybe even abhorrent. The problem is that if we are merely biological pieces of matter, why are any of us owed dignity? How could any of us be sacrosanct? You say a human is worth something, and I say, “Says who?”
We must, culture-wide, from the roots up, acknowledge that human beings, all of them, are not merely biological pieces of matter. We must acknowledge our Creator and acknowledge what He created.
When a white person compares a black person to an ape, when a Planned Parenthood employee commends the abortion of a “fetus,” when pregnancies are snidely referred to as “breeding,” the Imago Dei is being assaulted. The glory of God in humanity, all humanity (not just that humanity we find useful or inoffensive) is being spat upon, sneered at. Humans are worth something because the God who made them says so. They are special because the Author who spoke this swirling majesty of light and sound and tragedy and pain and stars and earthworms and butane and Mt. Hood and the jostling cloud storms of Jupiter made them as His most intimate character. They are in His image. No bobcat or humpback whale or rock (if he could cry out) can say that. Humans are special.
Without a culture-wide belief in the divinely appointed preciousness of each human person, we aren’t going to get a square punch at racial animus, violence, or abortion. We need to hit hate and apathy in the jaw. We need to land a solid blow.
We need to know who we are.