Tin Gods Are Here Among Us

via The Real Reason You Hate Umbridge So Much. This Guy Nails It

If you have read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, then you recognize Dolores Umbridge. While I fully agree with the writer of the above link that that character is extremely personal, probably to each and every one of us.

The problem is there is more to it than that.

This particular character is what is known as ‘a tin god.’ This can be defined as someone with a limited amount of authority who not only abuses that authority, but also tends to impose their own self-righteous worldview on anyone they perceive as being under their power.

We have all had an experience with one of these kinds of people. It is not even have to be someone actually has authority over us. These kind of people can be found in grocery store, on the street and even as one of our coworkers.

The thing is that these people live within such a narrow worldview that they insist is the only right way to live. If anyone has the temerity to live or act in a way that is different from their own, it must then be utterly evil.

Sadly, not everyone who is a tin god is easily recognizable.

Sometimes they can be an ever-so-loving parent or family member. Sometimes, they can be a well-meaning neighbor or a so-called concerned stranger.

Whether this kind of person speaks to you in a kindly tone or not, it is still inappropriate. It is the same kind of person that happily will body-shame someone, even someone is a total stranger. It is also the same kind of person that will joyfully not only slut-shame someone, but will also enjoy gossiping about how slutty that person is.

What these people do not seem to understand is that we all live under our own set of principles and ethics. These may or may not reflect the same principles and ethics that they themselves live under. The simple fact that there may be multiple “right ways” of doing something or thinking is completely foreign to them.

This is why a character like Dolores Umbridge evokes so much hatred and horror in most of those who have enjoyed either the book or the movie or both. The resentment that we feel on behalf of Harry and his friends reflects or triggers the same resentment we feel when someone tries to impose their worldview on us.

Honestly, I can say that while I still feel resentment and anger when someone like this tries to shame me for my choices, I also feel pity for their inability to step outside of the narrow and imprisoning limitations they have placed on themselves.

That pity comes from understanding that they find it impossible to adapt as society changes and grows. Social norms are never set in stone. Even someone who lives by a strict interpretation of the Bible must continually assess their actions by the strictures of their beliefs and also by the changing and growing understanding of human psychology.

As I said before, the Bible states clearly that a Christian is expected to love his or her neighbor. The definition of that love and what constitutes basic courtesy in society is where most people have difficulty in adapting to changing societal mores.

Categories: Body Positivity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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