Joseph Giles is pastor of Berkeley Baptist Church in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
There is a Christmas song performed by Alan Jackson and Allison Krauss entitled “The Angels Cried.” While the tears the angels shed in the song were tears of joy, I can’t help but think that the angels, and God Almighty, have been weeping fiercely over the complete disrespect for life that has been shown in America for these past many years.
Just as sad as these murderous acts are, I can’t help but feel God’s wrath is being poured out for equally horrible acts; the hypocrisy and indifference of many Americans in the wake of these tragedies. Black Lives Matter; White Lives Matter; Blue Lives Matter…until this country develops a true reverence for all human life, the hypocrisy will continue and the anger of God, as well as His tears, will continue to be seen!
The first hypocrisy I would point out is the “Black Lives Matter” movement. In the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, MO, the Black Lives Matter movement exploded on stage. They were angry. They felt racial injustice had reached a frenzy level and Michael Brown was a tipping point. They were partially right. Racial injustice, which I once perceived as near death, has resurrected itself with a vengeance. Throughout America, the tensions between whites and blacks have been escalating. The problem…Ferguson, MO wasn’t a center of racial injustice until certain race baiters made it that way. The truth, backed up by video, is that Michael Brown was viciously attacking a police officer who was defending himself when he shot Brown. Those facts haven’t stopped Black Lives Matter and their continuing race baiting techniques. Angry young black people use social media to call for violence and death against police officers and white people. It isn’t all of them. It isn’t even most of them. However, some of them have been amongst the leadership of this movement. To claim one set of lives matter by calling for the execution of others is hypocrisy at its finest!
But that hypocrisy isn’t limited to Black Lives Matter either! The Blue Lives Matter movement, which I support, have posted some questionable articles online. While Officer Darren Wilson was completely justified in the shooting death of Michael Brown, there have been a handful of incidents since that fateful day that should raise the eyebrows of blacks and whites alike. Living only 2 hours west of Baltimore, the Freddie Gray case has raised national headlines and local headlines alike. I’m not saying Mr. Gray wasn’t deserving of being arrested, but one has to ask how a man arrested and placed in a vehicle slips into a coma and sustains life-threatening injuries to his spine before getting to either a police station or a hospital. While it looks like each officer involved in this incident is going to be vindicated by the courts, one has to wonder who is guilty and where is the justice? Most police officers are good men and women. We cannot deny the reality that there are bad apples out there, though. The hypocrisy is that every incident, including the two this very week, have Blue Lives Matter supporters jumping to the defense of those police officers without even knowing the facts. What if one of these incidents involved a corrupt or murderous cop? Do you still want to defend him for killing an unarmed man?
The last bit of hypocrisy I would identify is the All Lives Matter movement, again, which I am a part of. It is good to see blacks and whites, men and women, Republicans and Democrats join together to support the fair treatment of all human life…but I’m not sure if I’m seeing that at all! The hypocrisy concerning All Lives Matter is that many of the supporters do not truly support all human life. The very same people who support All Lives Matter fight tirelessly to see that Freedom of Choice is not infringed upon. What about the lives of unborn humans? The very same people who support All Lives Matter are the ones calling for the public execution of the “cop killers” that are plastered on my TV night and day. When are we going to come together as a people and truly raise our voices in support of all life, not some? When will our hypocrisy end and a real desire for the Sanctity of Life begin?
The late Roman Pontiff, John Paul the Great, repeated the condemnation of the 2nd Vatican Council in his March of 1995 “Evangelium Vitae:” Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.”
Human life, all human life, is made in the image of God and is endowed with a spark of the divine. To demean any life, by means of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, willful self-destruction (Death Penalty) or by condemning human life to less than humane conditions is immoral, wrong and sinful.
Here’s the challenge for us, as individuals and as the Church Triumphant: “Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment?” Romans 2:3
Hypocrisy is a sin. It is a sin Jesus Himself preached against emphatically. It is a sin that unfortunately taints and stains the American Church and American Christians. It is a sin we must repent of and let God wash us clean from lest we receive the condemnation of the Almighty: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men…” Isaiah 29:13
All lives matter. All LIVES matter. ALL LIVES MATTER. Let’s start a movement that lives up to that moniker, unless you like divine tears.