As a child I used to think poorly of others because they were not as intelligent as me. I looked down upon them for their inability to think at the same level as me. Mind you, this was largely in reaction to the prevailing attitude in the students that sport was what mattered, which I was almost uniformly bad at.
One day I realised that the way that I saw others, and the way they saw me, was based upon a lie of our age (The reasons for this are many. At the heart, there is a fear to tell people in our society that they are not capable of something. "You can be whatever you want to be", is not only misleading but obviously a lie. The notion that everyone is equally accountable for their outcome and life circumstance is based upon this lie.): everybody is capable of doing anything. Most people are not capable of being a neuroscientist, and others (like me) will certainly never be athletes no matter how hard we try. And if I value myself based upon my mental capacity, what value do I have if it is stripped away?
The problem is that we tend to value people for what they can do. The athlete is valued because of their ability. The scientist is valued because of their scientific achievements. However there are people who cannot contribute as much due to their inherent disabilities, so how are we to value them? Should we put them away so they are not a burden or inconvenience?
The treatment of the mentally ill has a long and frightening history, including insane asylum versions of zoos, beatings, lobotomies and compulsory sterilization. Sterilization was performed in many countries, not just in Nazi Germany, but was also in the U.S.A. (a major advocate of eugenics) and many places throughout Europe.
This is no longer seen as acceptable, and rightly so. What all these atrocities had at their heart was a problem in how we value people. If you value persons as commodities not only is this sin (see below), but the logical outcome of those thoughts are quite frightening.
Not only is sterilization acceptable, but torture, and murder. Babies for example do not produce useful services, and only ever consume, thus the value of their life is circumspect from this perspective (which results in a distorted perspective on abortion). The commoditisation of people is disturbing on many levels and is simply wrong.
When we think of what we value, and not just in people, we should consider what God values. God loves us all regardless of what we can and can't do. Jesus died as a testament to this fact. He did not die just for the healthy, fit, bright, and good looking. He also died for the meek, ill, frightened and disturbed. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
So the next time you value a celebrity, athlete or anyone else too highly, remember that God values them as much as anyone else (and by extension so should you). If I lose my mind, my value is not less, because he values me regardless. People have inherent value because God values them. This truth is at the foundation of all Christian doctrines, and at the heart of God.