Lives that Matter

The Lives That Matter

(A good friend of mine has posted several articles and comments warning against the movement and organization called Black Lives Matter. I offered a different perspective.)

First, I believe this to be your third post since George Floyd’s murder that you’ve specifically come out against Black Lives Matter, as an organization (not the sentiment). I’ve read their website top to bottom, and do not see the extreme statements anywhere that you have mentioned. I do see references to disrupting the nuclear family, but in my understanding, the context is not at all similar to how you have portrayed it. Likewise I see the openness to, and support of queer relationships, and that they have chosen to center marginalized people in their movement. While you may have some biblical issues with the sexuality-identities, perhaps you can appreciate that they are working hard to look out for the citizens who have been most marginalized by our society. I believe kindness and love towards societies “castoffs” is central to Jesus’ theology.

Secondly, and I think more “big picture” of the two points I’m trying to offer you, is your focus seems to be on what is wrong with the movement, rather than what is right. While I’ve seen several of your posts strongly attacking the movement, I’ve seen no posts strongly, and solely, attacking the issue of systemic racism that sparked the movement. Now obviously, merely posting items on social media is not the “be all-end all” of our actions as citizens, to whatever our causes may be. I know you to be a person of substance, conviction, and good will. So please understand this is not a character attack because I know the story of your life is one of kindness, faith, loyalty and spirituality, to name a few of the many fruits of the spirit you embody and employ.

But good Christian men and women have historically been some of the greatest impediments to the cause of social justice. Whether the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day, or the faith leaders during the Civil Rights Movement, many “strained a gnat and swallowed a camel”. Jesus’ methods were scrutinized, and in so doing, spiritual people missed the heart of his message. Dr. Martin Luther King was criticized because he was a philanderer, (a broken man like all the rest of us), or because he was “an agitator”, and men and women of otherwise good will missed the chance to address the much larger societal sins of bigotry, hatred, and misogyny that were and are pervasive in society.

So, even if the BLM movement has some core items in their mission statement (that I have not yet found), I still will ardently support their goal, of showing that the lives that were fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator, do indeed matter. I will march with them, I will sit with them, I will pray with them, I will eat with them, I will host them in my home, and visit their home. Because while the great doctrines of our nation profess “all men to be created equal”, the actions of our nation historically split our citizens into “we” and “them”. People who are ascribed inherent “superiority”, and people who are not. But I don’t think our Creator made “we” and “them”. I don’t think our national ideals split us into “we” and “them”. God made “us”. Our nation declared “out of many, one”. E Pluribus Unum.

The struggle of BLM is a struggle of all people, as people. It is the struggle of identifying us all, as one. It is not “their” struggle. It is all of ours.