Incendiary?  My title is not intended to be incendiary but will be for those who are unwilling to honestly view the reality of what is happening and why it is happening.  I have said for years now, our issues in race relations in America are heart issues, education issues, and have been politicized and weaponized to our own hurt.  There can be the continued advancement of the narrative that there is Systemic and Institutional Racism prevalent and deny the opportunity of any semblance of healing and resolution of the tensions.  We can allow the narratives to be advanced that the police are hunting down black and shooting them and deny the opportunity for rational or productive discussion or measure to alleviate the tensions.  We have a choice and although it will be costly for me, I am going to address it as best I can. 

We are engaged in a situation in today’s America where the attempts to appease those protesting, rioting and arguing that everything remotely connected to the past must be eradicated. We have a situation where the rioters and protesters are burning, looting, defacing, and destroying. We have college athletes now demanding that school songs be abandoned, coaches be fired, and that they won’t play for the university because they don’t like the political views of the coach or the staff. When did anyone’s personal preference entitle them to demand that the inalienable rights of another be trampled? The appeasement will never end and the demands never stop if we continue our current path of cowardly surrender. We must face reality and demand that life matters and everyone has the right to believe what they believe.

Sadly, because I am a southern white Christian, my views will immediately be discarded and attacked by some.  They will not hear my offerings but rather classify me as willingly blind to the truth and a racist.  I am neither, but that will be the charge and will be accepted by those who have allowed irrational hate to reach the apex of their hearts and thoughts.  America has problems but the problems are not what those rioting, the politicians, and the media claim.  The real reason for the current unrest is not George Floyd’s death, it extends far beyond that.  It has been and is a vehicle, not the cause, and is the wrong vehicle. 

I will not be bullied into bowing before the shrine of hate. I will not accept blame for the racial tensions in America.  I will not accept the idea that the rioters are not accountable but I am for slavery that I had no part of. I will own my sins, confess them, and repent of them but I will not be bullied into repenting for being of the ethnic that God created me and neither should anyone else.

I will not accept the insistence that as a southern white man I am the cause of slavery and must make restitution and do penitence to atone for the sins of the South.  The facts are that the southern plantation owners were not the only slaveholders in America, nor were whites the only slaveholders.  There were slaves in the North and the South.  I am not justifying slavery I believe it is wrong. 

I know from studying history that slavery was a part but not the entire basis for the civil war.  There were those in the war that did not approve of slavery but did not believe that the federal government had the right to tell individual states what they could and could not do.  There were many factors in the war and that tragic event in our history must never be forgotten.

I saw a post from a fellow southerner who stated that his grandfathers fought for the South, but he did not feel guilty for their sins.  I don’t know how old he or his grandfathers were but I am over 70 years of age and have living cousins over 80 and my maternal grandfather who was the oldest of the grandfathers was not born until 1878 so he could not have fought in a war he was not alive to see.  I have relatives that served in the armies of both the North and the South.  My ancestry connects to at least one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Rush and he viewed life as valuable for everyone and so do I.   More importantly, so does God.

My grandfather told of hearing that there was going to be a slaughter of blacks in the East Texas region he lived, and he refused to participate and condemned it. But, even if he had, would I be guilty of that crime?  I stand on what the Bible declares in Ezekiel 18 that each of us is accountable and responsible for our sins.  I am not to be judged for my father, grandfather, or great grandfather’s sins I am to be judged for mine. 

I will not be bullied into assuming guilt for something I did not do, and neither should anyone else.  I have harmed no person of color other than in war in Vietnam and I do not mean blacks.  I believe that all people are God’s creations.  Therefore, to expect me to put up signs and post articles that “Black Lives Matter” to the exclusion of other lives mattering is to ask me to ignore some realities.  To charge me with racism if I say, “All Lives Matter” is to go beyond what I can accept and ascribe.

If Black lives truly matter to Black Lives Matter (BLM), then where is the outcry over the millions of black babies being aborted?  Where is the outrage over the senseless murders in some of our major cities of blacks killing other blacks or anyone killing them senselessly?  Where is the outrage over the businesses of blacks being burned to the ground in the rioting that has ensued?  It is not that the police are hunting down black and murdering them it is the gang members in many of our cities that are.  If Black lives matter, why is there no outrage over those things? 

That is not difficult to explain.  Those are not marketable dramatic images that can advance a cause for the change desired and the fundamental transformation of America sought.  When I witnessed the Democrats in Washington wearing their identity scarfs kneeling in solidarity with those rioting over George Floyd’s death I was saddened.  Not that they were offering empathy and sympathy to the Floyd family and the incredibly horrible event, but that they have never done that for a slain police officer or our fallen military.  Where those lives not equally valuable?

The situation is not about race or police injustice. It is not about institutional and systemic racism, it is about politics, power, and hate.  It has been used by the politicians following the motto, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and the mantra that the “end justifies the means” to inflame and divide.  It has been a vehicle and excuse for people with intolerance and unrestrained hate to vent and lash out.  It is an excuse to do harm and if it was about Black lives mattering, the black businesses and lives of blacks in the cities and suburbs would not be destroyed by these ‘protesters.’  It is about power, politics, anger, and hate and not about solving any racial tensions. 

I will not repent of a sin I have not committed but will acknowledge that America has sins that need to be repented of.  We can continue to justify hate and give it status and honor, or we can denounce it.  We can reform our institutions and honestly seek to weed out the bad and enable the good to become more able to do their jobs.  We can hold everyone accountable for their actions and thereby restore confidence in our judicial system.  There are many things we can do, but to make all whites or blacks bad and the enemy is not a pathway to resolution or reconciliation. 

When I became a Christian, I repented of my biases and prejudices and asked God to help me nail them to the Cross.  He has and is working on me and any time I discover a kink in my armor and flaw in my character I take it to Him in repentance and prayer.  I go to any individual that I have had anything against or have harmed and ask forgiveness.  I asked God to help me cease seeing skin color and to see eternal souls needing God’s love, grace, peace, and forgiveness. 

We are all being played by the nefarious evil agents operating largely behind the scenes as they seek to instigate and inflame tensions.  We are being manipulated by the core evil that is driving what is happening and seizing upon the generational hate that has been taught on all sides.  It has been said that we ‘fear what we do not understand’ and there is truth in that.  If we followed the directive of James, we would find a vehicle to carry us to a much more unified world.  He said, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  (James 1:19).

Also, the directive and warning of Paul in Galatians is germane.  He said, 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”  (Galatians 5:13).

My fellow Americans and fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ I ask that you join me in praying for America and asking God to move on and in our hearts and help us to set aside differences and seek Him.  If we can somehow allow the Love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, we can find peace. 

The politicians that are using this as a political tool are undeserving of election to office and one party, in particular, is preying upon the fears, distrust, and anger and seeking to make America a totalitarian despotism with them in control and make all of us their serfs.   Remember that in November!

God bless you and God bless America!

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