Recently, I composed a brief survey, asking my website readers to tell me what they like and dislike about my articles, and what they’d want to talk about if they had some time to chat with me personally.
I gained valuable insights from the survey, one of which is that many of my readers want me to continue to explore issues related to race, racial (in)justice, racial (dis)unity, and racial reconciliation. Similarly, my mailbag is full to the brim with inquiries about race-related social movements and cultural developments, such as the emergence of the Alt-right, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the debate about Confederate War Statues. The survey also let me know that the vast majority of my website readers are whites who identify as religious evangelicals and political conservatives.
In particular, the survey and mailbag make clear that this year’s readers want to understand more about the Alt-right and Black Lives Matter. In response, I recently published “An Evangelical Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” “3 Reasons White Conservatives Should Oppose the Charlottesville White Supremacists” “A Better and More Conservative Approach to Overcoming Racism,” and “To Anyone Who Thinks Antifa is Good for America.” (I am not painting a “false equivalency” between various groups by the mere fact of having linked to them side-by-side.)
I now offer “An Evangelical Guide to #BlackLivesMatter,” which includes:
- a brief history of BLM
- a summary of BLM ideology
- a portrait of prominent BLM leaders
- a response to FAQs about BLM
- an evangelical evaluation of BLM
These days, it seems “the American way” is to demean and degrade those with whom we disagree; to treat all people on the other side of the aisle as morally reprehensible people in whom nothing good can be found; to find any and every bad thing that has ever been perpetrated by people on the other side of an issue, and then to stereotype every person on the other side as a person embodies all of those combined vices. Most of us have succumbed to the temptation at one time or another.
This “American way” is both foolish and bad. It is bad, because we are morally wrong to be mean-spirited or careless with the truth. It is foolish, because our vitriol and disdain for the truth pollutes the public square and undercuts the good things we want to achieve. Therefore, we must resist the temptation (which lies within each of us) to demonize, demean, degrade, lie, or tell-half-truths about those with whom we disagree.
To the point: for white Christians who are political conservatives, there is a temptation to be sweepingly dismissive of Black Lives Matter, a movement whose leadership is black, queer, and progressive, and whose constituency to the left of us politically, and more likely black or brown than we are ethnically. For persons who are aligned with BLM, there is a temptation to be similarly dismissive of persons who would criticize BLM’s ideology, strategies, or tactics.
My hope is that this article is light rather than heat, especially for the white evangelical political conservatives who make up the vast majority of my website’s readership.