There is a storm brewing on the horizon of America. It has been for a while, but it is gaining strength now much like a hurricane heading toward the coast.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day passed this week across the country, but you would hardly be able to tell. Oh, people talk a lot about it, and thousands upon thousands of his quotes are thrown up on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They mention his comments about love versus hate. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” They have specials and commentary on the man and his life and what he accomplished or what they say he didn’t accomplish. And yet our actions as a country could not be farther away from the hopes and the dreams that Mr. King spoke so passionately of. For you see, folks, as with so many other issues in this country today, we are only told we can look at something one way, which is true, but from the standpoint 180 degrees opposite from the founding of our country, which is not. If we balk at that, especially if we do so because the facts and truth of the matter don’t bear out the standpoint we are told to adhere to, then we are wrong; we are bigots; we are racist. As President Adams put it, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Words matter, folks, but actions matter so much more. Some actions that took place over the past weekend tell us a great deal about the state of our country, the state of our enemies, and the state of those who we would consider friends.
Over the weekend a video came out showing a group of high school boys in Washington DC. The storyline went that the boys were taunting and verbally abusing a calm and kind older gentlemen. The story was a lie. Read the recent piece by Tucker Carlson. The boys did not taunt the man. The man was neither kind nor calm. What the story did get right, sadly, was the race of the boys in question and the older man. This was the least, or one of the least important pieces of information. For what difference does it matter the race of the boys or the man? If boys (or girls) of any race were taunting and verbally abusing an older gentleman (or lady) of any race, the action should be condemned. Race of either party is irrelevant. Of course that does not fit the storyline. So, news articles were printed, television shows were recorded, and chaos ensued. The boys, their teachers, and their parents have been subjected to everything from verbal assault to death threats from everyday citizens all the way up to national figures. Their school even had to close due to threats against it. As the days passed, the story cleared. The boys were not the monsters they were accused of being. The man was not the gentlemen he was championed as. Yet apologies were not issued, or not as vocally as the condemnation, statements merely disappeared. Fear still stalks the families and staff of the school. And the nation moves on, or at least the nation is told to brush this under the rug and move on to the next story. Nothing more to see here. And yet … and yet.
Two passing comments on Twitter show perhaps a little bit of awakening to the crushing blue northern that is bearing down on the country. The first was a tweet by Sohrab Ahmari on the twenty-first in response to commentary about the high school boys. As he put it, “There is no civic friendship possible with these people.” He’s was talking here about those defaming and attempting to crucify the high school boys and their families. He is correct. We cannot have national friendship with those who are trying to destroy America, and even more who are trying to prevent citizens from drawing near to God. Why do I say destroy America? Because America was not founded upon the basis of race or ethnicity but upon merit and character. She cannot work without her citizens being a moral and virtuous people. Why do I say prevent citizens from drawing near to God? Because you cannot draw near to God if you are not allowed to exercise life and liberty, and you cannot exercise your right to life in a society where murdering is legal, nor exercise your right to liberty where God is not allowed in the public square. For as President Jefferson put it, “The Christian religion … is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.” And as Mr. Morris observed, “The state must rest upon the basis of religion, and it must preserve this basis, or itself must fall.” We cannot have liberty without Jesus Christ, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The second comment was stated bluntly, but points to a truth we as polite and “civilized” individuals try to hide in the back of the closet and to not discuss publicly. Mr. David French put it succinctly when identifying those who sent “serious death threats” to students, their families, and the principal. “Evil. This is what evil people do.” Many people here will decry the use of the word evil as incendiary and rhetorical to describe our fellow citizens. Fine. Describe their actions as evil then. No argument, not by honest or sane people at any rate, can be made that death threats to children and women are not evil. And as the proverb says, “Even small children are known by their actions …”
So, if we cannot have a civil discourse with many of our fellow citizens, and many of their actions, if not they themselves, are evil; what are we to do? Mr. King offers some insight here. He says that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” So we must speak out against actions that are destructive to both the individual and the nation. He also stated that, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” We are coming rapidly to, or are already present at, a time when conversation is no longer an option. There must be action taken and this certainly falls into the category of “neither safe, nor politic, nor popular.” Lastly Mr. King instructs us that, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” There may be many who disagree with the need for action at the beginning of trying times. There certainly were voices against Independence. There were voices which thought the South should be allowed to leave the Union. There were also voices that thought Europe’s problems were not America’s right up to the point where bombs began falling in Pearl Harbor. We must do everything we can to avoid conflict, everything short of giving up our freedoms and that of our children and grandchildren. We must also acknowledge the fact that there come times when conversation and debate have run their course. And we must hold fast to our faith in God and Jesus Christ and in the hope that our fellow citizens will come to their senses, both our enemies and our silent friends.
If words are truly no longer enough, folks, then we need to think of actions. Perhaps as our founders we may start with boycotts or start by withholding taxes. We must assuredly start with influencing our Representatives though and talking to them, repetitively, or electing new ones if the current refuse to listen and act. Perhaps that will awaken our brothers and sisters to the tyranny of the actions of Congress, the Supreme Court, and themselves.
-JT Cope IV