No, the White Supremacists in Charlottesville Do Not Represent Conservatism, Christianity or White People. This Should Be Obvious.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
On Saturday I took to my official Facebook page with the intention of posting some thoughts on the chaos and violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend at a "Unite the Right" rally. Instead of engaging in one of my usual rants about societal anarchy or political rhetoric, however, I felt moved to simply ask all of you to pray. To pray for our people, our president and our culture as a whole. And so I did. At the time, that was really the only message I believed actually needed to be conveyed. It’s not such a radical notion. Rather than immediately engage in pointless political debates, I thought we should be on our faces before Almighty God, begging for His grace and mercy, desperately beseeching Him not to wipe our miserable species off the face of the Earth. After all, that’s what we deserve.
But, the news headlines are still fresh, the horror stories are still circulating, Trump is still tweeting and social media is ablaze with folks on all sides blaming each other and pointing fingers at nearly every ideological, philosophical and external factor imaginable.
It’s the alt-right. It’s the Left. It’s the whacked out evangelical Christians. It’s those damned psychotic Trump supporters. It’s Trump himself. It’s the remains of the Obama-era atmosphere. It’s the modern day KKK. It’s the Neo-Nazi nationalists. It’s the radical fringe groups. It’s Barney the Dinosaur, Hillary Clinton, Bigfoot and Tom Cruise. So many people to condemn, so little time.
My God, I’ve really had enough of this nonsensical babble.
If you listened to the mainstream media at all over the weekend — which I would recommend about as highly as putting your head into a vice grip — then you were probably told that President Trump is completely responsible for Charlottesville, which means that anyone who voted for him is just as much to blame as well (especially if you’re white.) Yes, every Donald Trump supporter is now officially a racist bigot (as if you weren’t already branded one before) and the great news is that you’re probably an undercover KKK agent in league with Hitler’s undead zombie corpse, simultaneously working in collusion with Satan himself. So, congratulations on that.
Also, since Donald Trump received a lot of support from prominent evangelical Christian leaders during the primaries, every professing Christ-follower — even those who didn’t vote for Trump — is now officially part of the deranged “alt-right” movement in America as well. Awesome.
This is the logic of the media, folks. These are the broad, sweeping generalizations and the absurdly irrational and hysterical straw man arguments designed to intentionally stir up more confusion, more racial division and more unrest. It’s the petulant behavior of a third grader and it’s enough to make me want to vomit this afternoon’s quesadilla onto the floor of this coffee shop (which would be a real shame because it was a fantastic quesadilla.)
Anyway, the real truth is this: There are absolutely no lines or distinctions to be drawn between the violent idiots who marched through Charlottesville; or the ludicrous anarchists and extremists of groups like Black Lives Matter who burn their own cities and neighborhoods to the ground; or the Middle Eastern terrorists of ISIS and Al-Qaeda; or a deranged citizen who drives his car into a crowd of innocent civilians. At the end of the day, they’re all to be condemned. I don’t care about the color of your skin. I don’t care about your nationality. I don’t care about your gender. I don’t care about your religion. If you intentionally harm or murder even just one innocent life — if you hurl rocks through windows, torch convenience stores, adopt Nazi tactics, murder babies in the womb, fly jetliners into buildings, loot and riot like mindless barbarians, execute police officers or pelt cops with glass bottles — then you forfeit every right to be heard or to have your points taken seriously. Period.
Also, you’re not a conservative. You’re not a Christian. You’re just a maniacal terrorist or a criminal.
Surely these are not difficult concepts to understand.
Moreover, lumping all Christians and conservatives into the same category as these violent and mentally-unbalanced white supremacists in Charlottesville is a completely illogical and factually untrue argument — as equally absurd as it would be to lump all African Americans into the same category as extremists in Black Lives Matter or to lump all Middle Easterners into terroristic groups like ISIS.
For God’s sake, the vast majority of so-called “evangelical” Christians (black, white, latino, Asian, etc.) passionately denounce and condemn racism and are in no way connected to these psychopathic Neo-Nazi radicals. In fact, these anarchists have ironically revealed themselves to be utter hypocrites because they’re hiding behind the veil of “Christianity,” falsely claiming that their actions are Christlike and justified, when they’re actually precisely the opposite. And any true follower of Jesus knows this.
Just look at the words of John the Beloved:
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother [i.e. fellow man, fellow human being], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” - 1 John 4:20 (ESV)
The very foundation of authentic Christianity is built upon the ultimate act of love — Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, willingly laying down His life on a cross and dying a brutal death in order to save humanity and offer us a chance to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. That's a love we're called to imitate.
In such culturally and socially volatile times, there’s only one answer. It’s not political. It’s not racial. It’s not even really “spiritual.” It’s relational — a personal relationship with the only God who can save us and loving relationships with one another, even those with whom we may disagree.
Love God. Love people. It’s that simple.
If there’s even an ounce of hope left to save our society from what I believe is an imminent collapse and total breakdown of morality and sanity, that’s it. This doesn’t seem very likely to happen, but — at this point — I think it’s all we’ve got left.