Without a universal, absolute, transcendent basis for morality, what basis do we have for stating that the action of another is unjust, whether the action be that of a police officer or of a rioter? Perhaps the morality they act from is rooted in their culture (Cultural Relativism) or in their subjectivity and feelings (Subjectivism) or in their will to power (Nietzscheism) or in their considered opinion about what action likely leads to the greater happiness for most sentient creatures (Utilitarianism). This simply is how my people behave; I do what I feel like doing; I’m progressive, evolving humanity; sometimes we must break a few eggs to make an omelet. Before a moral conversation is possible, parameters and principles must be established.
How can we value human life for any group while we do not value the lives of the most innocent among us–while we even celebrate butchering them? Where is room for respecting life, any life, given this barbaric reality? How is one to believe that ANY lives matter, while more Black babies are aborted in NYC than are born there? The right to life, respecting equal dignity among persons, is an essential principle for beginning to discuss our current crisis involving police brutality, systemic racism, and rioting.
While believing “by any means necessary”, even placing this dictum on plaques outside public institutions, why blame people for resorting to violence, looting, and vandalism? These are the means they deem necessary for establishing social justice. If this motto appeals to you, you might want to imagine your opponent acting on it as well. What means might they deem necessary for establishing their vision and goals: arson, murder, internet hacking…? Anarchy!
If you don’t want a hasty generalization or a rush to judgement applied to you and yours, don’t apply them to others. Do bad actors exist in about any large group? This hardly is a serious question. What percentage of members of a given race are racist? What percentage of police officers (or Republican or Democrat Senators and Representatives) are sociopaths and narcissists? What statistical data supports your claim? What studies support it, and how were those studies carried out? Without answering these questions, we’ll fall into scapegoating, blind hatred, irrationality, anarchy.
Evaluate from a Higher, Broader Perspective
If you think our police force, generally, is dangerously unjust, try mob-rule, or consider policing as practiced in China or Russia or Mexico. View our policing and our injustices against minorities, in a broader context, regarding a variety of societies and how they treat their minorities.
News flash: there’s injustice in the world—always has been. Focusing only on certain injustices, without a broad understanding, sews division and unrest, not for solving these problems but for exacerbating them. This is not to minimize or to defend injustice.
Allowing evil to fester and grow is cowardice and harmful to everyone. Perspective is essential, though. While we do have a long way to go in understanding and respecting minorities, in establishing peace and justice for all, America has come a long way; and our nation does fly, morally speaking, far above many nations.
At one point, the French acted heroically in arming themselves and killing troops from their rooftops; their situation warranted that. We’re not there. Injustice in America, now, hasn’t reach such depths. Injustice is certainly present, but certainly not to that extent. So, given the amount of injustice present now, just remain silent and idle? No! So, shoot from the rooftops? No! Perspective, please.
Are there highly relevant factors to consider, other than police brutality and systemic racism, concerning the plight of minorities? Perhaps fatherlessness (single parent households) plays a role, among other issues, in youth turning to substance abuse and crime, leading to poverty. Police brutality and systemic racism are real factors that must be weighed and corrected. Ignoring other relevant factors, though, helps no one. Again, evaluate from a higher, broader perspective.
Conspiracy Theory, Useful Idiots
To what extent might Communist, Maoist, and Anarchist groups, including complicit government officials, be involved in today’s riots? Who are they, and who backs them? A theory of conspiracy to riot? Absolutely! Call me a conspiracy theorist. (If you don’t realize that conspiracies against governments and institutions are, and always have been widespread, please pick up a history book—any history book.) If we can get beyond inane name-calling, uncovering the financial backers and the instigators of today’s destructive social upheaval would prove most helpful. Who is traveling beyond state lines to riot, and who is funding and training them? Are there police, mayors, representatives, or senators receiving funding and political support from treasonous organizations or billionaires? Clearly, the riots in our major cities are organized—who is organizing them? It’s certainly not any of the many Americans from a wide variety of ethnicities or religions that I often interact with (I’m thankful for having lived and worked in a diverse part of Grand Rapids, Michigan for over 20 years).
On to another conspiracy theory. Perhaps the federalized, militarized approach one might cheer on now (understandably, given the mayhem) is exactly what those against our Constitution and our democratic republic want citizens to beg for. Take care that you don’t become someone’s useful idiot, helping to establish a police state. Some have praised China for its handling of Covid19—perhaps they would prefer having a federalized police force? Totalitarian regimes are so efficient and effective in handling rioters! Whichever side one tends to favor, then, law enforcement or rioters, be careful not to be another’s pawn in a game you don’t understand. If this involves too much thinking, bring on a headache, just laugh it off, calling it a conspiracy theory, and take two aspirin (the blue pills).
Racist groups will endlessly loop video of the acts of rioters and of the acts of police brutality, for propaganda. Such propagandists are useful idiots to their puppet-masters who seek chaos before exacting their own new order. The puppet-masters advance their unique agenda on the back of any convenient movement, especially when that movement consists of many outraged activists.
Idolatry of the Family
Stop sheltering and supporting your domestic-terrorist children, parents. Arson, looting, and attacking innocent protesters are not actions where “go along to get along” is an acceptable strategy for happy homemaking. Imagine your living in 1860; you’re a Unionist while your 26-year-old son, living with you, is a Confederate. He seeks the dissolution of the U.S., believing slavery to be a valuable institution, that African slaves are less than human. “Time for dinner, honey”! Really? As thick as blood is, as important as domestic tranquility is, turning a blind eye to the evil under your roof only harms your son or daughter. Hopefully, by courageously being intolerant of their self-righteous virtue signaling, of the harmful actions they’re perpetrating against others, you’ll pull them back from the brink of hell and spare others of becoming their hapless victims; at least you’ll no longer be party to their crimes.
Destruction or Salvation
In several ways, we Americans are destroying ourselves from within. Keep it up and China, Russia, and/or Iran gladly will, sooner or later, take us over. Police brutality we sometimes witness now wouldn’t be worth mentioning, compared to what witnessing a conquering enemy would look like. God was our only hope at the birth of our nation. He’s our only hope now. Let’s try getting on a knee or two, bowing in repentance, worship, and intercession.