Since the digital age came to pass, when anything serious or even mildly controversial happens, many bloggers and most everyone on social media suddenly become experts in what they believe to be the facts. Truthfully, some people lurk in the shadows waiting for the news to hit the fan so that they can be among the first to jump into the conversation. More than a few only hoping to raise awareness for themselves. Other times, people speak up because they really do care about what is going on – they are worried, sad, angry. Others wait to speak up, wanting to process what is going on before sharing their thoughts. Some people don’t speak up at all. Sometime, there is a tendency to think, Why bother? Everything has already been said. Is one more voice really necessary?
Sometimes the answer is a resounding no. But other times, the answer is clearly yes.
I don’t believe anyone is complicit in evil simply because they don’t lament on social media (in particular since, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words and many of those people who don’t say anything are still out there doing something to improve our world. Even if they’re not, there are so many important issues that no one can possibly address all of them with any amount of credibility). Yet, in this instance, the Lord is saying to me…yes, write. Use your voice in this matter. It’s important.
What “matter” am I referring to? Charlottesville.
While there is plenty of blame to go around for the travesty that took place over the weekend, the primary responsibility must squarely land on the shoulders (and hearts) of the alt-right. These NON-conservative, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-abortion, un-American people. Because even though counter protestors showed up ready to go “fisticuffs” (and worse), they wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t anything to fight about.
And I get it – more could have done to prevent the madness and there is plenty of blame to go around. But the madness that ensued never would have come to pass were it not for a group of people who, I believe, used the Lee statue removal as an excuse to espouse their disgusting views. But this post is not about the statue or the two (or more) valid sides to whether it should remain as is, be altered, or be removed entirely.
Instead, this post is about how we respond to the likes of white supremacists and their ilk. And that is that under no circumstances should anyone support or sympathize with the alt-right, especially Christians. I’m not going to preach – I know that Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ agree with me. But, I do have a few suggestions as to how we can stand against the alt-right (and the alt-left or “antifa” too):
- 1) Pray. John Bunyan said, “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” This is truth. We must pray fervently – repent as necessary and plead for wisdom as to what our role should be in standing up against the hate and violence.
- 2) Act. I wonder what might have happened had the alt-right been met with peaceful counter protestors – in large numbers. I also wonder how the alt-left would have responded if they knew that there was true, nonviolent resistance. But, of course, not everyone is called to this action. Yet, there may be some small action you can take. Listen. Empathize. Support. Show people through your deeds that you stand for the love of Jesus.
- 3) Don’t make assumptions. I’ll close with a wrap around to what I started with. We cannot assume we know someone’s views or feelings based on a lack of Facebook posts. Should we expect leaders (and I don’t mean self-appointed ones) to speak out? Absolutely! But we should not think we know every thought of every person online based on whether or not they comment on a topic or event (or how they vote, for that matter). Yes, there is power in vocally uniting, but there is a great big world outside of the internet – and many people are praying and acting. Contrary to popular belief, things can be real even if they are not documented for the entire world to see.
Many others have written much more eloquently than I have on these heartbreaking events that took place in a beautiful city I have visited many times. I encourage you to read a wide variety to get a broad perspective and understanding of this sad situation. To me, the bottom line is this: If we – if I – open my heart and mind to love a little more, there will be less room for hate.