I hadn’t really thought about this, but Stewart Cowan of Realstreet, a UK blog, has been exploring ‘pride’ movements of various ‘communities’. 

Yes, we are all aware of these pride movements, but it seems that practically every social, racial or religious minority has one these days. Mr Cowan has examined them in ‘PRIDE Part I: Sing if you’re glad to be gay.  And black’ and ‘PRIDE Part II: “Proud to be a British Muslim”‘.   

I normally don’t deal in either of these topics, but what he said is worth noting.  In the LGBT post, he writes:

These days, non-white (my emphasis, above) includes Hispanic folk. Funny that, because when I was young, they were white. I guess they serve a better purpose to certain people when they are reclassified as ‘black’ even though they are nothing of the sort …

The government would be thrilled if we could all be reduced into even smaller ‘communities’, ideally consisting of one person, so that we would never be tempted to exchange opinions or concerns with anyone outside our own tiny peculiar clan.

People must stop falling for all this divisive nonsense being carried out in the name of equality, diversity and ‘community cohesion’.

Amen! As to the first point, are the Iberian countries going to oppose the rest of Europe now on racial grounds?  I doubt it, but who knows how this could play out in 15 or 20 years’ time?  I already have a few ideas as to how this could be effectively ‘marketed’.

For those who find this far-fetched, have you ever heard of the ancient tactic of ‘divide and conquer’?  Get everyone at each other’s throats to dilute tribal or national strength for a united, strong enemy to take over?  This is what has been happening over the past 40 years:  black pride, gay pride, girl power, pink power, grey power and so on.  Not to mention the nationality aspect of hyphenations or adjectives, but we’ll get to that in a second. 

Don’t be fooled. ‘Equality’ and ‘diversity’ are words which sweeten a bitter pill.  In some respects, life was better when people practised a modicum of discretion.  There seemed to be a better social code of behaviour.  I don’t want to know about people’s sexual preferences or that they consider their group above everyone else’s for whatever reason, like gender or faith.  We now have laws in the West which legalise equal pay, equal opportunity, non-traditional marriage and so forth.  And now this has steamrolled into an industry of agitating activists who aren’t going to give up their jobs now that their work is done and look for something else.  Oh, no.

Then we have the publicity campaign for British Muslims, which Mr Cowan neatly examined:

The first thing I noticed on the advert was the cute child …

Then I wondered about this thing about being proud. Isn’t pride a great sin in Islam?…

Then I thought, well wait a tick. Are they ‘proud’ to be British or just proud to be British Muslims? … Being British and being a Muslim are totally separate, let’s call them, conditions. I am British – and Scottish, and a Christian. I have never described myself as a British Christian. Why should I? I am these two things, plus many more (cue hilarious suggestions in the comments section).

Am I proud to be British? I try not to be proud of anything …

What saith Scripture on pride, one of the Seven Deadly Sins?  As Mr Cowan and many of the rest of us know:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  (Prov. 16:18)

And this teaching was not restricted to the Judaeo-Christian sphere, either.  The Grace Cathedral (Episcopal) website has a series on well-known Bible verses.  In ‘Pride Goes before a Fall’, Michael Macrone explains:

We tend to think pride is dangerous because it plays with the mind, leading us to overreach ourselves or to offend the wrong people. But the author of Proverbs is less interested in psychology or ethics than in power, namely God’s. Our comparative insignificance is something we forget at our peril, because “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord” (verse 5), who tends to the jealous side.

Such notions were also shared by the Greeks, whose goddess Nemesis took care of mortals who thought themselves too godlike. But the Greek notion of cosmic balance was alien to Hebrew thought, just as Hebrew ideas of religious duty and sin were alien to the Greeks.

A perfect story from the ancient world which illustrates this concept is the myth of master craftsman Daedalus and his young son Icarus which started in the Greek islands and spread to ancient Rome.  Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun with the waxed wings his father made for him.  Icarus ignored his father’s wise advice.

But it’s just as bad nowadays.  Read what error-ridden American pastor Rick Warren says:

I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness and commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback.

Whoa!  If you’re not familiar with the man, check out my Rick Warren archive

The bottom line is that pride has long been considered a sin in many faiths and societies, even amongst ancient pagans.  It gives us an overly-exalted view of our (sinful, faulty) selves and capabilities.  Thanks to therapeutically-oriented education, child-rearing and media, words such as ‘proud’, ‘pride’ and others are bandied about to the extent that we’re considered abnormal — probably mentally ill — if we don’t feel that way about ourselves or our families and achievements.  Think of what we say on a daily basis, without even thinking about it:

‘You must be so proud of [insert family member’s name here].’

‘Take pride in what you do.’

‘You can be proud of that fine piece of work.’

So, what should we say instead? ‘Pleased’ would be a start

And so it goes.  Now might be time to rein in our appetite for pride.  As Mr Cowan says:

It seems that pride, for those who want it, is only for the select few … 

Personally, I can live without pride. I have seen how it afflicts others.

Agreed.