Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Crying Baby In The Room

I'm going to start off by saying that I unilaterally and unequivocally condemn racism of every shape, color, and size, white supremacy included. God made us all in His Image. The Sacrifice of Christ and His Gospel are offered to all people regardless of the amount of melanin in their skin. And God is the One Who put that melanin there anyway. Any belief that one race of humanity is inherently, genetically better than another is anti-Christian and immoral. There only, really, is one race- descendants of Adam. The question for everyone of every race is not about the bloodline they were born into, but whether they have been born again by the blood of Christ.

That said, I think we are contributing to the race-driven dialogue of this country by spending so much time harping on this wonderful truth. Unwittingly- indeed, against our will- we are allowing the Antifas and the Alt-Rights and the CNNs to control our dialogue as a church and as a nation. Antifa and the Alt-Right together make one tragic fiasco after another, driven by racial hatred; the media, loving a good tragedy, focuses on, meditates on, propagates that conflict and the worldviews of those involved; the left successfully sets the tone of the dialogue- "anyone on the right who does not come out and condemn the Alt-Right in the strongest of terms is a racist." And we know they have succeeded because all over the right are calls for conservatives and Christians everywhere to come out and publicly denounce white supremacy.

The right fires back by telling the left to condemn the racism and violence of Antifa and Black Lives Matter and the rest.

And all of these things should be condemned. But that's not the point.

There have been white supremacists and black power groups and rioting socialists before. They are advancing an evil ideology, sure. And sometimes a particular Klaner or Black Panther does something particularly repugnant, and I am in no way downplaying the evil of both those ideologies and the actions of their adherents.

But just because I am white does not mean that every time the Alt-Right guys do something evil I need to come out and disassociate myself from them. To consider me automatically associated with white supremacy because of my skin color *is racism*. Just because Joe is black doesn't mean that I have a right to automatically assume that he supports the smashing of shop windows.

The most disturbing thing to me about this whole issue, this whole dialogue, is that nationally we are becoming more and more polarized by skin color- not less and less. It is becoming less and less acceptable to actually look at one another as humans- to actually talk about skin color with all the same emotional freight as I would talk about hair color or height or dialect- in other words, with no emotional freight at all.

Frankly, I don't care what color your skin is. And I don't want to care what color your skin is. You're a human. I want to see you as such. To know you as such. To love you as such and offer the goodness of Jesus to you as such.

And if you call me white, it doesn't offend me. I'm white. Technically, I'm more of a light brown- at least on the parts of me that are regularly exposed to the Arizona sun. And I don't really care. That's how God made me.

"Black," "White," "Indian," whatever it is- it's not an insult. It's simple, common-sense English.

The simple fact is that the Alt-Right and Antifa together probably make up less than a tenth of one percent of the population of America. You probably don't know anyone personally who knows anyone personally who knows anyone personally who is a member of either.

Have you ever noticed the remarkable phenomenon of a crying baby/toddler? When everyone stops and pays attention to them, usually the crying increases. When they are given a pat on the head and life goes on as usual, they calm down.

I think it's high time we began ignoring Antifa and the Alt-Right altogether. They're a paper tiger problem being given real weight by all the massive attention put upon them. They are an anthill, and we need to stop viewing them through a magnifying glass.

When they break the law (vandalizing statues, harming people, etc.), they should be punished according to the law.

Beyond that, they should be devoutly ignored. They are driven not by principle but by emotion- an emotion that is fed by the swirling dialogue of our national conversation. That is the Marxist crisis-creation machine working in full swing. Let's not contribute to it.

We need to allow the issue of race to fade back into the background of irrelevance where it belongs and see people the way God made them- in His Image. Let's stop playing in their sandbox. It's just making everything more messy.