It’s also episode 296 on the “ Word on Fire “ podcast. Which I will most likely listen to at least the first part on the way to work today. Social justice, systematic oppression, and who is and who is not a victim and who is and who is not misplacing anger is all super complex. Kind of. Some of it is pretty clear.
After listening to the podcast I can respond specifically to the podcast but this is by no means a new subject. I’ve seen people on both sides of this abuse it. I’ve seen people who definitely make themselves out to be a victim over everything just so they can constantly justify in their mind the angry and hate they have. I’ve also seen people who don’t understand anything about compassion of historical injustices that just gloss over a issue and basically say, “ so what about everything in history just pull up your pants and get over it” type mentality.
When I think of the Bible though two verses come to my mind.
The one verse about not sinning in our anger. I think this is a straight forward literal command. Just because we are angry does not mean we can sin. We are not supposed to seek wrath. We definitely see people who have a lot of legitimate reasons to be angry expresses it through sin. Such as no matter how angry systematic oppression may make you no one has a right to approach random strangers on the street and hit them in the back of their head and you should not smash someone’s car window over a sticker that say Biden or Trump. But forgiving someone does not mean bending over backwards or being friends which them. You can be righteous by ignoring them. You can be loving to your enemies in need without being their bestfriend that chills with them.
The other verse is don’t let the sun go down while still angry giving the devil a foothold. This is not literal. It’s more abstract and philosophical than a actual command. Such as if I’m done wrong 10 hours before sunlight and you’re done wrong 4 minutes before sunlight it does not mean I had all day to processes it and you’ve only a few minutes. It means don’t let anger consume you. Don’t dwell in bitterness and allow your heart to be hardened. Otherwise you’ll find yourself justifying hate without cause.
Some things I have mixed feelings on. Like burning down empty buildings and cars on the street during a protest. Often these marches are 100% justified. Such as the Trevon Martin story. It’s mind blowing to me that a racist adult man can stalk a kid and repeatedly chase them through the streets because he thinks the kid does not belong there and then the kid fights back and the guy shoots him and it’s called self defense. I don’t see how the stalker chasing a kid can call the kids reaction violent and so he has to defend himself. It’s very angering. It’s still very angering. It’s angering seeing justice repeatedly being undercut. Like that white college guy that raped the Asian girl and then got sentenced to just 6 months and released after after 3 because “ he’s a good kid from a good family and Fox has good plans for him he just needed a wake up call” type mentality.
So marching often makes perfect sense. But the questionable part is the occasional building burning. I see two sides. What do you do when you are the weaker party and you can’t actually overthrow those causing you harm and the majority of Americans are either apathetic or just keyboard warriors and so the abuse keeps happening again and again. When you March and protest and nothing seems to change. When peaceful protestors are arrested , gassed and so on. If it takes burning a building down to get people in the community to care is that problematic.
I mean if it was me and me and my family and friends was being overlooked and harmed outright and the majority of the town did not care and my loved ones kept dying what would I do. If I had no where to run because it’s the same everywhere. If I burned down one persons car and suddenly everyone was like “ hey oh crap make sure they are treated fairly becsuse I don’t want my car burned down next” is it really bad. That’s where I don’t have a firm opinion.
But I’ll listen to the podcast nonetheless.