The Declaration of Independence declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We all want to be able to have the freedom to simply live our lives. That is true of everyone not just a privileged few. And so to be in favor of addressing the inequities in our system doesn’t make someone bad or unpatriotic. Upholding the belief that there must be order to a society makes complete sense. We ALL need these things and desire them. In America we are raised with a sense of fairness, of giving everyone a level playing field. But the reality is we aren’t there yet. So instead of an “us” against “them” mentality we need to seek, even pursue a course of action that puts us all on the same team working for a common good.
Christians should have already known this. Christ is the great emancipator and equalizer. To the Galatian church the apostle Paul said we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26-29). To the Ephesians Paul said that Christ himself is our peace, making the two one (Jew and Gentile) by destroying the dividing wall. He has brought us into one body and then reconciled us to God (Eph. 2:14-18).
If one part of your body is hurting, how does the rest of the body feel? Do we simply ignore the injured part, treating it as if it has no place in the body or no right to hurt when the rest of the body is feeling fine? Of course not, if anything that part of the body now receives all the attention. The rest of the body is moved to comfort and heal that which is hurt, because until that is resolved the body as a whole has no peace. If there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are hurting because the system we have in place has flaws then are we to turn our back on them because we aren’t experiencing the same pain? Are we to ignore or even criticize their pain? We all want to live free of oppression and tyranny.
We need to pray for and support our police; they hold a position of authority over us (Romans 13:1-5). But we also need to be willing to hold them accountable to do their job fairly, without prejudice, equally to all people. James warns us about showing favoritism and the consequences of it (James 2:1-13). We also need to pray for those who have and are suffering injustice. And to simply say that all of this discord is just from the devil is to be blind to the truth. AA teaches us that until a man stops denying his problem he can never overcome it. The same is true for a nation. We will never heal, or even begin healing until we are willing to accept the reality of the problem. Then we need to do what Solomon led Israel to do – repent and pray. Not everything is bad; we DO have the greatest nation in the world. But it is because we have the right to criticize and point out what needs fixin’ that makes us great. In dictatorships there is no freedom of dissent, everyone is expecting to blindly follow and think what they are told. That is why the freedom of speech should be and is one of our greatest freedoms.
Pray for our nation at this time, all of it. Pray for our leaders, all of them. Seek to listen to and understand the views of those you differ with. What is it they are asking for, what is it they need? I think once you really see what they are asking for you’ll find that it is something that you yourself expect to have and receive.