It seems like people think a pandemic gives them license to let all their worst characteristics out on display. Here in the States, we went from fear of the virus, to frustration of being stuck inside, to angry protests about rights, to finally just pretending its not a thing any more — all at break-neck speeds. And the few voices that spoke out about the irresponsibility of it all were shouted down awfully fast. Turns out you’re within your rights to show up en-masse armed for battle at a government building — as long as you’re white. If you so much as jog through the wrong neighborhood, or pass a bad check while black, you can be killed on the spot.
I’m aware that somehow this position is a political one. Generally, as a guest in this country, I try to remain politically neutral. I don’t believe that either of the two available extremes are completely right (or completely wrong), and I empathize with those who have to try to vote from their conscience in a two-party system. In Canada, I’d probably be a Conservative, but here in the States, where we have fewer and less nuanced options to choose from, I can’t really align myself with the country’s conservative party, the Republicans. Donald Trump is a reprehensible, vile human being, and that party is increasingly aligned with reprehensible, vile human behavior.
And this is a source of real despair for me: of the two positions, one claims Christian ideals and Conservative morals, the other does not. But people spewing hate, spouting ignorance, or acting horribly when asked to wear a mask often identify as Republicans. While the rational folks, listening to the guidance from experts, acting in ways that protect others, and decrying the senseless death of people of color… those often claim the non-Christian Democrat party?!
Let’s call these things what they are:
- Two white men jumping in a truck, chasing down a black person, and executing him in the street for any reason, is a lynching. It is murder, and Conservative leaders should be the voices that vehemently condemn the hate that led to it.
- A police officer kneeling on a black man’s neck, while 3 others protect him, until that man dies, is a cold-blooded murder. Christians must condemn them and demand justice.
- An act of love for your neighbor, such as wearing a mask in public, is a Christ-like behavior that has nothing to do with your civil rights.
- Spreading or disseminating material intended to subvert or call-into-doubt the guidance of medical, scientific or government leaders who are endeavoring to protect the greater public is dangerous, rebellious and sinful. Christians are called to live peaceful and obedient lives, love others, and turn the other cheek when we personally feel wronged. The only point where we are allowed to disobey the government is if that government is in-conflict with God’s laws. Asking people to act responsibly is not in-conflict with God’s laws.
If you have a position on economic policy or the role of the government, then choosing to align with a particular party might make sense. But if your alignment with that position requires you to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the black community, or block hospitals with your protests, or share an article that suggests that people should die until we develop herd immunity, rather than take a vaccine… If your politics support the kind of behavior we’ve seen over the past couple months, then damn you to hell.
You look nothing like Christ.