FEATURE ARTICLE: BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS

Quickly dispensing with coronavirus social distancing protocols, BlackLivesMatter protestors across the globe are marching.  Some lawless types are also looting.  Some are even killing.  It’s a scary, dangerous mess.  And while most protestors are sincere and well intentioned, there is something else going on here.  It’s called identity politics and it poisons everything it touches.  As Christians we must not fall for this destructive new tribalism.

George Floyd’s death is a tragedy.  A police officer abused his power and a man died.  The officer should be punished accordingly, and he has been.  But two wrongs don’t make a right.  Rioters, looters, and violent protesters should also be punished accordingly, because there is no excuse for crime.  This violence has a backstory; a political narrative.  For several decades now, political forces which want destruction through division and violence have gained a hold on culture.  They have successfully convinced an entire generation to see society as a collection of warring tribes.

The war is a war of power, not truth.  That’s why it plays out in violence, suppression, no-platforming, and propaganda, not argument, dialogue and logic.  The tribes are blacks versus whites, gays versus straights, religion versus everyone, man versus woman, cis versus trans, right versus left, etc.  It is breeding resentment, victimhood, hatred, and discontent.  Look no further than those who have swallowed it whole, Clementine Ford, for example. It’s destroying people. Indeed, these race riots are a case study in identity politics:

Step 1: Take one person’s sin: deadly abuse of power.
Step 2: Identify the sinner’s attributes: white, male, police officer, etc.
Step 3: identify the victim’s attributes: black, man, etc.
Step 4: Choose the contrasting attributes that have most political leverage: white vs black/racism narrative.
Step 5: Apply the sinner’s guilt to everybody with their attribute: whites are racist power-abusers.
Step 6: Don’t hold back, because you’re innocent, and they’re all guilty: rage against “whiteness” – riots, looting, destruction, abuse, hate, not against one man, one institution, or even one city, but everyone and everything that you think represents “whiteness”.  Or, alternatively, sit back and justify the rioters for the same reason.

This is not about truth.  It’s war and it’s about power.  It ends really, really badly.  It has done so across all cultures, throughout all time.  The foulest violence and the vilest hatred has come from this sort of tribal thinking time and again.  From the Tutsis and the Hutus, to the gas chambers or the gulags, and the stain of slavery on America’s history.  The seeds of this start small.  They start with the narrative of divided tribes; a narrative that is well and truly among us.  Women bristle at masculinity and forever push for empowerment over the men in their lives, blacks live with festering resentment over “white privilege,” the trans community believes their mental struggles are stigma-based and the whole LGBTQ world is sincerely convinced that Christians hate their guts.  Now, white men are trying to get a piece of the victim pie, too, by saying they are the last remaining non-recognised victim group in family law, poverty, suicide etc.

The death of George Floyd has been another chance for political forces with an agenda to stoke the hate, fuel the warfare narrative, and convince a nation of racist tribalism (as well as all other tribalisms).  The combined activity of these political forces is tearing apart a nation.  It’s getting worse, not better.  It’s happening in Australia, too.  ANTIFA moved quickly.  Organised, responsive, and agenda-driven, bussed into Minneapolis to kick-start riots.  Opportunistic looters joined them, not to mourn Floyd, but to gratuitously steal and destroy.  And it’s contagious.  The whole nation has joined them.  It’s a powder keg waiting to blow.  When tribes are in a battle that’s lasted for generations, and there is no such thing as unifying truth to help you resolve things, your only answer is violence and power struggle.

Meanwhile, the statistics are clear.  4% of black homicide victims are killed by cops.  12% of white homicide victims are killed by cops.  A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black man than an unarmed black man is to be killed by a cop.  I could go on all day with the data.  Sadly, an entire generation is primed and ready, because they believe in the identity politics creed.  Thanks schools, thanks universities, thanks media, and thanks government who fund it all.  The idea that one man’s sin is a collective sin is dangerous.  Individuals are responsible for their actions and should be individually punished, whether that be abuse of power or looting or anything else.

The real issue is that a police officer abused his power, it has happened before, to both black and white victims.  He has been punished severely for doing wrong, as he should be.  One of the sadder aspects of this is I doubt whether Floyd would have wanted it.  He seems to have been quite an amazing Christian convert with a heart for ministry.  Christians, please do not drink the tribal kool-aid.  It’s destroying us.  It’s a vehicle for terrible hatred and the entrapment of victimhood.  It’s about power, not truth.  Fortunately, our hope is not in the kingdom of this world, but in the kingdom of God which cannot be shaken.

Source: Martyn Iles, Managing Director Australian Christian Lobby

The International Prayer Council has issued the following prayer alert:

No doubt you have been following the news of the death of George Floyd, which was an awful act of police brutality against an unarmed black man in Minneapolis last week.  The video of his uncalled-for murder has sparked great outrage, protests, rioting and looting for the last 9-10 days in many cities across the USA.  Antifa and Black Lives Matters, are two of the organized radical groups that have entered in to commandeer this protest movement.  Both espouse a form of Marxist revolutionary ideology, calling for the destruction of the state, defunding and ending of all police forces, the military, government and the removal of all borders.

The “liberation” of America “begins with its death” according to one of their planning strategies.  They are seeking to ignite a civil war and hundreds of thousands of Americans, especially youth, are docilely going along thinking this is a struggle for justice when they are actually being manipulated and used to achieve these radicals’ Marxist endgame.  Now, this dangerous movement of rebellion is also spreading and affecting other nations as well.  Tonight, I heard that demonstrations have broken out in at least two dozen cities spanning five continents.

Please pray for the overthrow of these thuggish groups.  Let’s agree and pray that these provocateurs will be arrested, brought to justice and punished for their sedition and other crimes.

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