(Photo credit: Daily Wire)
Updated note to readers:
I've received a couple of messages this morning. I'm afraid I might not have clearly communicated that I watched the video concerning the boys from Covington High in its almost two hour entirety. I'm very much in support of them; so much so that I've written emails and contacted the school voicing my support. This post was intended to speak to our response, as believers, to controversial events. I believe that there are times we're called to get involved, and that our responses ought to always be seasoned with grace (unlike those who impulsively attacked these boys with name calling and threats.) We're all often guilty of either responding emotionally or turning our head the other way to these kinds of situations., to those things we strongly believe.
Last night my family went to the movies; something we never do on a Monday, but we'd been waiting for the "Glass" sequel and took the first opportunity we had to see it. I'd barely got comfy in my luxury lounger when I noticed that my son and his girlfriend were shining the light on their phone underneath their seat.
He had dropped his phone under the chair and was having a hard time reaching it. Undaunted, I stuck my hand under the chair and patted around the dark, sticky floor, touching pieces of popcorn, straw wrappers and lost Mike and Ikes. I finally grabbed the sucker and waved it victoriously in the air at Hayden who'd gone to the row behind to try and reach it from a different angle.
It was when I sat back down in my lounger that I realized my neck hadn't liked the way I'd contorted it to get to the phone. As the previews started, I was in pain. I grabbed the side of my head and pulled gently to the side; a stretch I'd learned in physical therapy years before. Those neck stretches saved me.
I wondered if I should have stepped in to get the phone. I'm pretty sure at some point they would have figured out how to reach it themselves. Maybe my getting the phone was just the right thing for me because this morning it's serving as a reminder of what we have to do sometimes in a sticky situation.
Have you read the news lately? Watched it? If you have you'll know that the world is in a number of fighting matches regarding "toxic masculinity" and racism (to mention a few things.) I've come to a point where I don't expect most media outlets to be honest. Some have become the guy at a fighting match who offers a fold up chair to the fighters in the ring so that they can smash it over their opponent's head. It disgusts me, but it doesn't surprise me anymore.
What does surprise me are the responses I hear from believers (both people who mention their identity in Christ, and those who I know are Christ followers.) In the past few days I've heard people who I love boldly claim that someone who supports Trump can't be a Christian. I've read comments that, maybe unintentionally, lump all men together as being sex-crazed cavemen. Likewise, I've heard sad comments from conservative mouths that seem to put all immigrants into a group that more resembles wild animals than people searching for a better life. We can argue for them pursuing citizenship legally and still acknowledge their dignity.
As ridiculous as I am, I got on Facebook again this morning and listened to an interview with four boys from Covington Catholic High (I hope that any of you who are aware of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial this past weekend have watched the full video. I know we still might come to different opinions.
Regarding the Covington boys, there are people that are wishing that these boys would be raped by their priests, placed in a wood chipper, locked inside their school and burned, amongst other disgusting things. Hopefully there's not a single believer who would wish them (or the other parties involved) harm. The world needs more people who can be passionate without aggression or violence.
I believe we can disagree on whether not these boys' behavior (to whom these comments were made online) was inappropriate. I would hope a place that all believers could come to an agreement is that threats are wrong, as is commenting that people who don't act as we think they should aren't Christian.
If we think there won't be people in heaven who've supported Trump, or for that matter, Hillary supporters, then I'm not sure we're very aware of the magnitude of our depravity or of the saving grace of Jesus. I think we'd all be surprised if we really knew how many things each of us have wrong. We all have a long way to go in terms of repentance.
Of course these conversations aren't best held from behind screens. They're better had around a table. We aren't called to join every debate or social media war. But, sometimes a light shines on a sticky situation and we know that it's our responsibility to get involved...to stand.
When we do , are we standing up with a closed fist or are we reaching out in humility, maybe even on our knees, in love...even when it's an uncomfortable stretch?
We will work with each other
we will work side by side
And we will guard each other's dignity
And save each other's pride - "By our Love"
...and they'll know we are Christians by our love
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35