One of the most beautiful concepts put forth in the book of Genesis is that of the imago dei, that God created each person in His image. It distinguishes human beings from the animals and forms the basis for the injunction against murder. In the Ancient Near East, a king would set up an image of himself in the town square of each city in his domain so that people might recognize His presence there despite his physical absence. Theologians over the centuries have suggested many human traits that best embody the image of God: intellect, dominion, social interaction, spirituality, and others. However, it appears that God's image is less about powers or capacities a human might claim and more about God making Himself known in the world. Unlike the rest of creation, men and women show us who God is in a special, intimate way.
A lot of books have been written on World War II, and especially the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. Though large, memorial museums exist in Houston, Washington, and other cities, anecdotal evidence from teachers reveals that many students today have no idea what the Holocaust was. So, it is useful to revisit the sins of the past so as to remember that in our humanness we are not so far removed from them. What is striking about reading the philosophical debates held in Germany preceding the “Final Solution” is the leaders' disregard for God's image present in each individual. These misconceptions about humanity led to the rounding up of millions of people to be tortured, starved, and killed, all in the name of “cleansing” the country of people deemed unworthy of life.Read more