On The Rioters

What do I think about the riots going on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

By now, everyone should know about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. If you don’t know about this, I can only assume you’ve been in a coma and are just now waking up and for some reason my blog is the first thing you want to read. If so, I appreciate it, but you need to just take a minute and turn on any news station and you’ll hear about this immediately. This is such big news now that I’m hardly hearing anything about Coronavirus any more.

So now some people are looking at this awful death that took place and are out there saying they’re demanding justice. Nothing says that like tearing up cities that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the event. Right now, I am hearing from so many people that “We need to listen to the oppressed.” Oppressed people usually don’t have the means to destroy historical landmarks and break into stores and steal items they want or break into Planet Fitness and actually start using the workout equipment.

Furthermore, if you want me to hear, I need to hear more than just that you’re offended about something. I need you to give me real data that there is a real problem and not just that you think that there is. I also need to hear a realistic solution you want to see and not only one you want to see, but a way to get there.

However, if I see you going out and rioting, then I no longer see you as the oppressed. I see you as the oppressor at that point. After all, this event happened in Minneapolis and I write this just outside of Atlanta that had NOTHING to do with what happened, and yet we have rioters gathering. I remember reading one night about the College Football Hall of Fame being looted.

I don’t even care about football a bit and yet that bothered me. I couldn’t tell you a single college football player on the field right now, but I know that in that place there is some history and it matters to a lot of people. I know about other losses that have taken place.

I know about Historic St. John’s Church in Washington D.C. being attacked and firefighters having to put out the flames. I know about the Lincoln Memorial and about the World War II Memorial being vandalized. (Strange that rioters complaining about a black man being killed have no problem vandalizing a memorial dedicated to a man who freed the slaves.) I know about the black business owner in Minneapolis who owned a sports bar that he put his life savings into and he had to start a GoFundMe.

I can already hear the pushback though.

“Nick! These are all businesses! These are landmarks! I’ll grant you it’s horrible, but it doesn’t replace human life!”

That’s true. Human life is first. So let’s talk about human life. How about this one?

This is Dave Patrick Underwood. He’s a law enforcement officer who was shot and killed during a riot in Oakland. If rioters say they care about life and justice, then what about this life? What about justice for Underwood? Right now, he’s actually the only one I know about. There could be more and I am sure if this keeps up and he is the only one now, he is the first of many.

Wanting justice is a good thing, but wanting justice by doing injustice to others is not a good thing. No one is denying a right to protest. Whether I agree with your reason for protest is irrelevant. If some Georgians wanted to gather to protest the Heartbeat Bill here in Georgia, that is their right. I would think they are 100% in the wrong, but I would defend 100% their right to protest.

In this case, yes, I think the original police officers did a great evil. Also, here in America, I think they should get justice like everyone else. They should have a trial and get to present their case and be treated accordingly based on the evidence.

It has been a long time since I watched Batman Begins, but I read about a scene in it recently where Ducard orders Bruce Wayne to kill someone. Bruce will not do it without trying the man with a trial first. Ducard tells him that his enemies will not share that sentiment. Bruce responds that that’s what will separate him from them.

Right now, I know at least one officer has been arrested. Let him have a trial and be dealt with accordingly by the law. Unfortunately, what is going on now is just more injustice and more innocents are being hurt by it.

What about racism? Racism is a great evil wherever it takes place. Race is one of the central facts about who a person is and is something sacred. Rob Bell is definitely out there these days, but one quote I remember from Love Wins is that heaven will be a hard place for a racist to be. I think he’s absolutely right with that one. (This is in no way an endorsement of his teachings. It’s just acknowledging he got something right.)

At the same time, I have not seen the hard evidence any of the police officers who did this evil were doing it because of racism. It has just been assumed. I am not saying it isn’t racism. It could be. I am saying we don’t know.

However, what concerns me more is the narrative of racism. No one is denying that racism exists in this country. It always will. As long as there are sinful human beings around, some of those sinful humans will be racists. They exist in all races and groups as well. Anyone of us can succumb to that kind of thinking. No one is immune.

However, I also do not think it is the norm. The majority of Americans today do not live with a racist mindset. While I will grant I cannot prove this, I do not have any reason to believe it. If this is right though, then we have a problem where racism is treated like the norm instead of the exception. With that, we have what is believed to be a spark of racism and the world today pours gasoline on it.

That is far more concerning honestly.

I also think the media loves the stories that look like racism. The “Hands up, don’t shoot” was never true, and yet it was paraded around as racism. As a conservative, every Republican I see running for president has been proclaimed to be a racist repeatedly. After the first few dozen times, the cry just loses its effect.

How’s it going to end? Rioting won’t end it. If anything will end it, it’s the gospel. It’s changing people through the love of Christ. It’s recognizing everyone of every race is fully made in the image of God.

I have no delusions that the riots will end because I post this, but I can hope that someone might give up or might persuade someone else to not go out and do this rioting. I can dream.

In Christ,
Nick Peters