I hesitate to add more noise into the already fever pitch dialogue on the two shootings in the past 36 hours, one in Baton Rouge, the other in Minnesota. I hesitate, but I understand that I must speak.
First, let me start off by saying I have nothing but the utmost respect for law enforcement. They have an incredibly hard job that I could never do. They have to make tough choices in micro-seconds, and we should always honor and respect out law enforcement officers of all levels.
I also fully admit that police officers are also being targeted at random and murdered, and that is equally unacceptable.
That being said, two human beings have been killed in as many days by law enforcement. Both incidents have been caught on camera, and a third shooting has emerged in Fresno, California. You can read about that here.
Let us check ourselves for a moment and tone down the politics and grieve. A human being – a fellow image-bearer of God – has been murdered. We should be weeping. It shouldn’t matter in this part of the process what race, who was at fault, or who was right. We need to stop and grieve! Human beings – fathers, brothers, sons – have been executed.
Let us stop all the political posturing and nonsense.
This is NOT a gun issue. America has had guns for over 200 years and gotten along just fine.
While I’ll be the first to admit that I, as a white man, cannot and will never be able to understand the struggles faced by my African-American brothers and sisters in this country. I cannot at the same time deny that race relations in America are all kumbaya. There not – and the sooner we address that elephant in the room, the better.
Racism is alive and well, and it is not going away. My African-American friends live in fear to leave their house. It has to stop. Now.
Ultimately this is a heart issue. When a person decides that one person, or a particular group of persons’ lives are less valuable than others, chaos ensues. We have stripped ourselves of every shred of human dignity and regard for others in the United States. We have become so disconnected from reality that we have forgotten the value of life. That every life is precious. That every person deserves to live without fear. That every human being is given the divine imprint of the image of God at conception. Anytime that is snuffed out, whether in utero or in life, by careless violence, or intentional murder WE. SHOULD. WEEP.
What’s it going to take, America? What has to happen before we start valuing life again? What’s going to move us from calloused and disenchanted people into a loving, caring, compassionate people? When are we going to remember dignity and life matter? That all lives matter?
When are we going to stand up and demand accountability from our law enforcement and put measures in place to protect them and the civilian population? When will we stand up and say, “ENOUGH!?” When will be demand people, no matter who they are or their status in society, be held accountable for criminal behavior? When will the violence stop?
The fact that immediately after these shootings we begin talking about gun control and race issues highlights that we are so numb to the fact that we’ve lost touch with reality. We’re living in insanity. We’re living in denial. Because we can’t even take time to weep over the death of a human being without trying to gain a foothold for our own selfish ambitions and agendas.
We. Should. Be. Ashamed.
We should be ashamed that we’re still having race issues. We should be ashamed that we can so easily flip the channel and avoid hearing what’s really going on? We should be ashamed that it keeps happening.
I’m calling on all Christians and all churches to be stand up and say, “Enough is Enough.” To stand and declare that we are blessed peacemakers who will not sit by idly and watch our neighbors and fellow humans be executed on our streets, law enforcement or civilian. I am calling on you to rediscover humanity and life, to pull your head off of Facebook and look at the world around you.
People are dying in our streets and we are content to sit by, as long as it doesn’t affect us. Shame on us. May God have mercy on us.
Enough is Enough. It’s time we change our country.