Who Is the Snob?

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Snob class. Snob value. Snob school. Snob hotels. Snob clothing. Snob cars. Snob attitudes. Snob treatment. Snob advertising. Snob professions. Snob recreation. Snob clubs. Snob churches. Snobs.

The dictionary says snobs are people with exaggerated respect for social position or wealth, those who feel ashamed to have any connection with people whom they consider socially inferior to them.

It is easy to shut the dictionary and feel that the description fits a certain type of person, “certainly not me.” One’s memory may bring a parade of types in front of the mind’s eye, the kind of people who have hurt us with varieties of snubbing, with squashing remarks, with a tone that cuts like a lash. “How glad I am not to be a snob.”

But are we safe from being judged snobbish by God? How often do I, do you, look down from a pinnacle of self-satisfaction upon the lowly miserable people “below” our mountain. “Oh, but I feel warm and open toward all minority groups,” says one person with fervor. And a friend nearby chimes in, “I’m careful to be like Jesus was. I’d sit right down on the sidewalk with beggars or junkies. I just couldn’t be snobbish.” Another friend adds, “Me too. I’m the captain but I don’t mind inviting privates for dinner.” And another, “No class barriers for me. I work with my hands, and nuts to my university degree. I’m going to be a shoemaker.”

There is indeed a breaking of barriers going on, but the danger is that subtle new “mountains” are being formed, with new categories of people below as the snubbed ones. New divisions are being made, but the judgments taking place are as sharp as ever. The same old feelings of superiority are being experienced, although the outward appearance of the people looking “down” may have ...

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