Why do I tend to idolize some people and vilify others? Why do I seem to make hasty judgements in almost every relationship? I deify and demonize every day. Why?
If a person does something that advances my ideals or wins for my team, I respond by exalting them. I especially exalt those who grant me freedom from those who oppose or threaten me. I have a tendency to raise them to god-like status. The more direct benefit to me, the more I exalt them.
There is nothing wrong with promoting and empowering others to do what I believe is right. But when I cross the line and deify them I am in danger of placing my ultimate hope in them to deliver me.
Problem is, people don’t make good deities. They can’t live up to my expectations for a deity. Even if they may be able to measure up for a time, no one can sustain perfection in every part of their life forever. People are far too selfish and more prone to evil than I would like to admit.
If I am honest, demonizing others is an escape from facing my own failures. If I can magnify the flaws of someone else it helps me get the attention off my own mess. It is a way I justify myself. At least I am not as bad as they are. It makes me feel superior morally.
I don’t have enough knowledge to write someone off simply as evil. I can choose who I support and who I oppose, but it doesn’t mean that I have to deify those I support and demonize those I oppose. The problem comes when I deem others as evil simply because they don’t share my beliefs.
Whom do you deify?
Whom do you demonize?
Why do we deify and demonize?