In a Newsweek essay on the influence of prejudice in deciding how Americans vote at the forthcoming election Rabbi Gellman asked:
"To what degree has bigotry shaped our vote?" This is not just a question about racism and Barack Obama. It's a question about sexism and Hillary Clinton. It's a question about ageism and John McCain.
Rabbi Gellman concluded with this story:
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was walking down the street one day trailed by many of his students. Suddenly he stopped, looked across the street and asked his students, "Who is that walking there across the street?" They looked and said to him, "Rebbe, it's no one. That's just Moshele, the water drawer, walking across the street. He's nobody." Reb Nachman shouted at them, "You are no longer my students until you can look across any street and see any person and say to me, 'O that is the image of God walking there'."
America will be healed and America will be whole when we can answer the question, "Who are you voting for?" with this answer: "O, I am voting for the image of God who happens to be running for the office of president of the United States."
Marc Gellman, Polling the Bigot Within us, Newsweek, 27 August 2008.
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: Marc Gellman