The Inalienable Rights of the Incarnation – Kenneth Tanner

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Art by Odolin Redon

This idea that humans are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights is beautiful, and that humans alone in all of creation bear the image of God is a mystery beyond description, but that God *is* human—this is nothing less than a revolution in human existence.

We often despise ourselves, our bodies, our limitations, our weaknesses. Humans are good at hating other humans, at loathing ourselves.

In the face of every human and demonic rejection of the image of God in human flesh, God sides with humanity against all that hates us, even our own hatred of ourselves, and becomes one of us (Bonhoeffer).

God becomes what he loves from all eternity. God becomes what they in the beginning of time made very good.

And God becomes not just one of us but a helpless, speechless, fragile baby born without privilege to a working family, a family under a cloud because of the circumstances of his conception, who when he was very little become refugees from political tyranny.

He assumes the one human nature all humans share. He is not a special brand of human but merely human. His purpose is to lend all of us—we who have fallen from the community of Love, we who have descended into hell and the grave, we who are infected with death—his divine permanence.

What it is to be human is now forever bound up in what it is for one particular human to be God. And our common humanity can never again sink lower than the throne in which he sits, still bearing the flesh Mary gave him.

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