I was both saddened and amazed as I read left-wing social activist Shane Claiborne, a man who often touts his commitment to the Gospel of Jesus, post on Twitter his pleasure with the mass of people that descended on Boston Commons to protest a free speech gathering:
“Boston, you were beautiful today.”
Claiborne didn’t specify whether it was the bottles of urine being thrown at police officers that was beautiful to him, or if it was the rocks that were hurled at law enforcement, the mobbing of a group of peaceful pro-lifers and destruction of their signs, or the harassment of black police officers by protestors shouting, “You stupid a** b****! You’re supposed to be on our side!”
This is the grave danger of associating the cause of Christ with a political movement. While Claiborne and many others rightly bemoan Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s Christ-ifying of the Donald Trump administration, they fall guilty of committing the same offense, giving moral and Christian endorsement of causes, leaders, movements and events that are anything but Christ-like.
The social justice movement in America is a political cause, not a spiritual one. It is predicated upon grievance, is fueled by resentment, and sees worldly power structures as savior. None of this sounds like Jesus. What it sounds like is the racist, white nationalist garbage it claims to despise.
Author and journalist Brendan O’Neill, a man who claims to be part of the far-left but has strong libertarian leanings, explained this phenomenon perfectly:
“It’s becoming so clear now why the war of words between SJWs and the new white nationalists is so intense. It isn’t because they have huge ideological differences – it’s because they have so much in common.”
It’s the same principle you see unfold when a mom and daughter are very close in personality. Their conflicts are flashy and fiery not because their traits and characteristics are so different from one another, but because they are so much alike. And make no mistake, leaders and participants of the social justice left are eerily similar to the so-called alt-right:
“Both are obsessed with race, SJWs demanding white shame, the alt-right responding with white pride. Both view everyday life and culture through a highly racialized filter. SJWs can’t even watch a movie without counting how many lines the black actor has in comparison with the white actor so that they can rush home and tumblr about the injustice of it all.”
The perpetuation of race as a distinguishing and identifying element in the human experience is the precise opposite path anyone who desires racial reconciliation would counsel. Yet that is precisely what social justice advocates facilitate by going so far as to deem any white person who promotes Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a colorblind society a latent racist. When they should be promoting the Biblical view of “one blood, one race,” they elevate racial divides and make sweeping generalizations about races that are just as repugnant as the idiotic neo-Nazi signage.
“Both have a seemingly boundless capacity for self-pity. Both are convinced they’re under siege, whether by patriarchy [and] transphobia (SJWs) or by pinkos and blacks (white nationalists). Both have a deep censorious strain. And both crave recognition of their victimhood and flattery of their feelings.”
In a sane world, the church of Jesus would be boldly confronting both of those manmade movements and presenting the better way forward. Unfortunately, at least for now, a portion of that church has chosen to identify itself with those who think politics and manmade power will solve a problem only God can heal.