The Parable of the ______

Christ said ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor thyself,’ and when asked ‘who is my neighbor?’ went on to the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you wish to understand this parable as it was understood by his hearers, you should substitute ‘German’ or ‘Japanese’ for ‘Samaritan’, I fear many present day Christians would resent such a substitution, because it would compel them to realise how far they have departed from the teaching of the Founder of their religion.

Bertrand Russell

It’s a point I’ve touched on before, but whom should you (or I) substitute for the Good Samaritan? Some possibilities:

  • The Good Illegal Alien
  • The Good Privileged White Man
  • The Good Muslim
  • The Good Fundamentalist
  • The Good Democratic Socialist
  • The Good Trump Supporter
  • The Good Antifa
  • The Good White Nationalist

Am I saying all these groups are morally equivalent or above criticism? No. But it is a good and humbling exercise to remember that members of our ethnic, religious, and political outgroups can—and often do—outlove us.

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