Norm Miller (The Dalles Chronicle, May 19, 2011) asked for an explanation as to why a people of one orientation would define another orientation using the term, “cattle”. As, I presume, it was the Jewish Messiah who taught Norm to “…love one another”, it must seem odd to Norm that people of the Jewish orientation would use a term that is perhaps offensive to define “another”.
I have no explanation for Norm except to say that societies orient themselves to take advantage of the environments that their economies distribute themselves in. The motivation behind any society is not just survival, but to judge.
The judgment is not between “good” or “bad”, nor “right” or “wrong”, but the relevancy of the advantage that the society holds. When the advantage of the society is no longer relevant in the environment that it is judged in, the society must diversify, or run the risk of disappearing as Israel into Babylon. This judgment is happening in the Middle East—the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Perhaps there were some advantages in organizing oneself into “cattle”, “tribes”, “sheep”, or a “tribe” of “sheep” as things seem to be going today, I don’t know, those are only names, and, as a person living In America, who am I to judge?
Those names speak of a past environment of little relevance to me today as an “American” living in The Dalles environment. I can’t judge the advantage in the term “cattle”, and what it meant to the Jews or Gentiles of the biblical/geo-political times within the environments described in the Old and New Testaments.
However, I have a feeling part of the message of the Jewish Messiah was that there is an advantage in not letting yourself be defined by another, but love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Perhaps Norm needs to find, in himself, what that advantage is.