Equality or Value? An answer to the 'race' question in America

July 12, 2016

Before any problem or conflict between two parties can be solved there must be an agreement on a definition of what really is the problem and that definition must be true.  If there is conflict in a marriage and the husband believes it is about her constant nagging and the wife believes it is about his insensitivity toward her as a person, there will be no resolution of the conflict until the husband first agrees that the wife is right and the wife agrees that the husband is right and solutions are sought.  With agreement, the husband can work on providing what the wife needs and vice versa.  Without real agreement the behavior will continue and there will be no satisfaction.  However, even if there is agreement on the problem, if the real problem is that their financial problems are causing stress and resulting in the behavior, then their conflict will remain.

When it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM), it seems that both the definition of the problem and the truth of that problem are being mishandled and therefore solutions are hard to come by.  Of course with all the anger and resentment that has sky-rocketed in the past few days, I’m not sure anyone is in a mood to have a reasonable discussion on the matter.  However, if someone were willing to set aside the assumption of guilt before the mouth is opened, we might have an intelligent discussion on the matter. 

When it comes to defining the problem, surely no one would disagree that the BLM problem is being defined in the context of civil rights.  However, for many Americans, when you bring up the words “civil rights” you are speaking of equality.  And immediately the movement is dismissed because many believe that race equality issues have been settled for quite some time.  As I read the BLM website and listen to the interviews of protestors on the news, it is clear that the movement isn’t seeking equality, rather it is seeking value.  The slogan reads that they are advocates for “dignity, justice and respect.”  I believe the true problem is that the black community does not feel valued in America.  As long as this is framed as a racial or equality issue, I don’t believe they will get anyone to agree that there is a problem.  Hence no one will work on a solution.    

However, even if everyone agreed on “not being valued” as the problem, the next issue would be to ask the question, “where does value come from?”  By framing the issue as race, the inference is that value, respect and dignity have been taken away by white supremacists.  Having been a preacher in country Churches, I can already hear the farmer proclaiming, “respect is earrrned.”  And there is the REAL problem.  Americans will disagree on the source of value.  What is the source for the value of a human being?  In a secular world view, which champions evolution as our origin, we are all equal, but our value is the same as animals and therefore, we must get value somewhere else.  Either from ourselves, through self-esteem or through others if we are oppressed.  BLM, is saying that they have been robbed of value by their oppressors.  They have taken this hint from the Secular Movement, which is being advanced rapidly in our culture, and places the government as the referee to insure, not freedom for all, but VALUE for all.  And so the government is left to even out the value by taking it from the oppressors and giving it to the oppressed, as if it were some kind of physical currency.  The problem is that value is a condition of the soul, not a condition of the pocketbook or the scepter.  In other words, money and power don’t buy self-value.  Therefore, the only play left, which is a meaningless play, is for the politicians to try and prove to the BLM that they are valued by giving them what they want as much as they can.  Indict innocent police officers, do federal investigations, let criminals go free, enforce a change of semantics within law enforcement, take away the program that arms police with used military equipment so that they won’t look so militant, try and get people together at the community table to listen to them etc.  And in the end, not one of their ploys will provide real value to the soul of the hurting. 

God has a better plan.  A Christian world view, which has been our tradition, advocates that value comes from God.  Specifically through the value placed on the individual through the death of Jesus on the cross.  With God we are created equal AND we are not only the highest form of His creation, we are worthy of the death of the One and Only Son of the Living God.  And that value is available to all.  God’s way instills hope, encouragement, perseverance and peace.  Without God, we are left angry, jealous, bitter and resentful.  God’s way leads to peace and life and love of each other.  Man’s way leads to death.  Specifically five Dallas Police officers.  Racism isn’t the problem and Secular thought isn’t the solution.  The more we pray together, seek the Lord and love our neighbors in the context of God as our advocate, not the government, the more we will find solutions.

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