I have come to believe over the last several years that regionalism (defined here as discrimination based on one’s regional origin and/or background) may be the most acceptable form of bigotry in America. At its core is the same superficial and self-exalted bigotry as is at the core of racism, but it’s more PC, in fact it’s sometimes celebrated. You can hear it in the remarks of college students from New York that go to school in Arkansas and can’t adapt to the cultural nuances, or in political pundits’ remarks on Iowans in the lead-up to the caucus, or in the use of the term “d— Yankee” by a Texan at a cafe, or in the condescensions of Hollywood’s elite. Politically, it’s why Northern candidates have to pick Southern or Mid-Western running mates (and vice versa). Folks there’s no way to defend it. It’s regional bigotry. And never does it alarm me more than when I hear it from the mouths of those who profess to be Christian. May God have mercy on our souls that we’ve yet to grasp the rich depth of Galatians 3:28.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
If Paul were writing to us today, he might have said, “There is neither Northerner nor Southerner, Californian nor Mid-Westerner, American nor Mexican, white nor black, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”