The contents of this blog has been burning in me for quite some time now, two years or more. This is a topic that I’m passionate about but didn’t have an outlet or the courage to speak on it, until now. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to have this dialogue but it has yet to come so I guess I’ll start it. I may not have a platform but I do have a keyboard, so let’s talk about it.
Where shall I start? Let’s start at the beginning. At birth. Better yet, before birth. I’m talking about pro-life versus pro-choice. Both campaigns have their flaws. Subheading pro-choice as “a woman’s right to choose” is a bit misleading and pulls on the strings of fear. Fear that a woman will have no say over her own body which isn’t true. Many conservative Christians stand firmly on pro-life stance as if that’s the only issue in the world. As if that’s the only issue God cares about and will base their entire political and moral opinion on that one thing. Everything else gets a pass. Proverbs 6:16-19 clearly states that there are 7 things the Lord hates. If we are really standing for righteousness we should condemn all and commit none; no sin having more weight than another. But this is my biggest grievance, if we’re going to be pro-life we need to be pro-life for the whole life. Many pro-lifers care nothing about #BlackLivesMatter. So at what age is it ok not to care about a life anymore? Tamir Rice was 12. Trayvon Martin was 17. Mike Brown was 18. Freddie Gray was 25. Sandra Bland was 28. Philandro Castile was 32. Shall I go on? Because I can. And that’s a problem. That is why we kneel.
Which brings me to my next point. It still baffles me that people find kneeling for the national anthem offensive. It’s a peaceful protest which is necessary and lawful in America. For people to project this diatribe of “You’re disrespecting the military that protects your freedom.” Now don’t have an opinion! Don’t have compassion! Just get out on that field and entertain me cause that’s what we pay you to do! Dance, puppet dance! What these people fail to realize that the players are kneeling for freedom. That freedom is the freedom to kneel. That freedom is the freedom to protest peacefully. So to not exercise that freedom wouldn’t that mean the military fought in vain? That seems more disrespectful to me. They are kneeling for liberty and justice for ALL and the bent knee is a reminder that that’s still not the reality in America. It’s the modern day Civil Rights Movement. Some people disagree with the act of kneeling at the beginning of a football game. They don’t believe it’s the right way to protest nor is it the time or the place. My question to you is what to do, when, how, and who should do it? How do you bring national attention to a national problem? Why is it inappropriate for football players to be concerned with issues that affect their communities especially when they are in a position to make a difference? I strongly believe anyone with a platform should use it for the greater good and that’s exactly what they are doing. We should be applauding and supporting them instead of spewing hate speech and racial slurs.
Just because someone kneels doesn’t mean they hate America, or the military, or that they are ungrateful for the land we live in. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else and I do consider myself to be patriotic; but I’m a Christian first. Christians are supposed to love first. Too many people are focused on the “what” and neglecting the “why.” So let’s talk about it. We kneel because innocent people, specifically black people, are being killed by the same people that are sworn to serve and protect them. And yes I said innocent and I know there are people out there who use the cop-out “but we don’t know the whole story.” We know enough. None of these individuals were armed or dangerous. We know the shots were fired from behind. We know he was just a child. We’ve seen the videos. We have enough evidence. Ironically all of the mass shooters (who didn’t kill themselves) who have shown themselves to be armed and dangerous have been detained alive. Coincidentally they are all white. Shocker. Yet a traffic stop struck so much fear in the officer’s heart that he had no other choice than to open fire. Something is terribly wrong with that. If an officer says he feared for his life and therefore couldn’t de-escalate the situation, he is in the wrong profession. Period.
We kneel because our legal system has failed us. Now I know Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot by the police but his case was a slap in the face and a fail for the legal system. I remember the moment when the verdict was delivered. I remember feeling my heart drop. I remember feeling upset, confused, and powerless. His killer was a known menace yet served no time. Another thing the Lord hates, uneven weights and measures; present-day injustice.
Back to the issue at hand. What should we do about those ungrateful, UnAmerican players who would dare to kneel during the national anthem? I have the perfect solution. Give them one more chance to stand when the music plays. If they don’t, heat the furnace for 4 times the normal heat and throw them in! But make sure you stand back lest the flames consume you too.
I can’t help to think that the Jesus I serve would be more concerned by an innocent life taken, infant or adult, then by our response to a song and a piece of waving fabric. The anthem and the flag are just symbols. If you’re not careful symbols become idols. We forget that Jesus wasn’t in the military. He didn’t lay down His life for Americans. He laid down His life because of His love for the whole world. Even migrants traveling in a caravan.
The way people, especially Christian people, God-fearing Jesus-loving people, talk about these migrants is absurd. Ironically these are the same people that frequent Mexican restaurants. Go figure. Do people even think about the things they say and do before choosing a stance or publicly stating an opinion? These migrants aren’t fierce gangbangers with kilos of cocaine and rocket launchers. They literally have children strapped to their backs and all of their belongings in a grocery bag. There are many places in the Bible where the Lord condemns the ill-treatment of foreigners. Have we considered the notion that we could be praying to the same God every night? For God so loved the WORLD. You’re right, maybe they aren’t all Christians. That’s even better. No need to raise money for missions anymore. The mission field has come to us! Won’t He do it!
If you haven’t caught on by now the underlying subject of this blog is racism. I know that’s such a difficult subject for many people but we need to talk about it. Before Jesus healed or delivered anyone in the Bible He first acknowledged their condition. If we want to reach people for Christ we have to recognize their situation first. Think about the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. I don’t think Jesus would have been as effective if He jumped straight to living water. The woman needed to know He first saw her thirst.
Ignoring the racism issue isn’t going to make it go away. Personally, I believe the ultimate racism is not acknowledging or showing concern for the plight of another race. Too me that’s the equivalent of being a lukewarm Christian who’s fate is to be spewed from the mouth of God. Not recognizing that white privilege is a real thing is along those same lines. I know some white people don’t want to be villainized just because of their skin color. I understand why you’re upset. It must be terrible for someone to judge you by your skin color alone. To that I say, if you don’t want to be seen as a villain, make a hero move. Yes, white privilege is real. Own it and use it to make a difference for someone else. Become a white ally. Simply reading this blog with an open mind and having a conversation with your black and brown friends is a start. Do more listening than talking. Seek to understand rather than to defend. If you don’t have any black or brown friends, that’s an even bigger problem.
I hear rhetoric that among Christians that there is only one race, the human race. That may be true in the spirit but we’re still here on the Earth. Consider this, Jesus didn’t stop being Jewish during His time on earth. What’s really being said is, “put down your race and culture and pick up the white one…I mean the right one.” Stop with the “I don’t see color” mess. It makes no sense and no one is buying it. My brown skin was fearfully and wonderfully made for me by my Creator and I love it. I don’t want you to ignore it, just don’t treat me differently because of it. It’s no secret that white is the default race in America which in of itself really isn’t a problem. It’s the unspoken belief that anything contrary should be laid down at the foot of the cross is what we have to contend with. Let me repeat and reiterate for the people in the back. Jesus was not a white Evangelical or even American! He laid down His life for the sake of the whole world, not the Western Hemisphere. If we don’t have this global mindset I question if we’ve truly grasped the message of the gospel at all. Now if we really practiced what we preached and laid down our race and became one race we would ALL be outraged when an innocent person was murdered unjustly or treated unfairly regardless of race, creed, or color. Let that sink in.
I know many people will be upset, surprised, appalled, and maybe even offended this blog and that’s fine as long as you learned something. My aim isn’t to offend but to enlighten. Not to infuriate but to educate. After all, the gospel is offensive too. Most people I know personally don’t mean any harm and commit these racial offenses out of ignorance. (Some may call it willful ignorance but that’s not for me to judge. That’s between them and the Lord). If this blog struck something in you, write me a comment and let’s talk about it.
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8 NLT