Last night four major league sports boycotted their games. WNBA, NBA, Soccer, and Baseball decided that it was more important to address our cultural reality than to “shut up and play.” The Detroit Lion’s cancelled practice Tuesday, many teams across sports are doing the same today.
These are men (and women) who get paid money to entertain us. But they are also women and men with families, who live in communities, who watch the news and are affected just like us. They are human, and to be human is to have a reaction to what is happening in our nation.
I was raised in a conservative household. I lived in CO Springs at the height of Focus on the Family. Dobson claimed to have an edge on the politics of God and told us if we did not vote Republican, we were not really saved.
It has taken me time to separate out my religion from my politics. Neither party has a premium on God. And what often divides people along political lines are topics of humanness that (should) transcend the party trying to get a corner on them.
What is happening in our world should disturb you.
Doc Rivers, in regards to the shooting of Jacob Blake, said, “you don’t need to be black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged.”
Somehow, we have allowed basic human respect, the assurance of life, and that “all men are created equal” to be sliced along political lines.
It is not a political issue. This is we are all a human issue.
If you are a person of faith, this a God created all humankind issue.
To be a human on this earth is to be endowed with a level of humanity, dignity, and value. We live in a broken world that devalues, dehumanized, de-dignifies all over the place, but we do not have to accept any of these failures
As a person of faith, I believe that all humankind is made in the image of God. I believe all people, whether or not they believe in God like I do, is a brother or sister because God crafted each one of us uniquely and individually with the equal amount of love and care.
We are repeatedly told in scripture to stand alongside the hurting, to welcome the foreigner, feed the hungry, invite the stranger in, visit those in prison. We are told to cultivate a more just world through the actions of the church, and by helping to shape policies that do not favor the powerful. (Which does not mean blindly following a party!)
The value and equality of individuals, regardless of race, is all over the Bible. Jesus frequently engaged with those the religious establishment considered, “less than” whether because of their conduct or their ethnicity.
If we hold true to our faith, we will see the inequality, suffering, and murder of innocent Black men and women as wrong and speak out. We will care more about fixing unjust systems then keeping our comfort.
If we hold true to the ideals of the constitution and flag, then we will acknowledge that all men have never been equal in this country and again, work to fix and change the unjust systems, programs, institutions, mindsets, etc. that foster that inequality.
The value of a human life is not determined by a political party. We do not only have to care about the unjust treatment and killings of Black men and women if we fall into one party over another.
It is disheartening to hear the Black community’s repeated cries to be seen as human, and for a bit of empathy, fall on deaf ears. It is infuriating to continually see people of faith, people of character, people of deep conviction list excuse after excuse for why what is happening is not our issue – or it’s their fault. It is bewildering to see what people will put forth to justify not calling things what try are.
If we want a country with little police control, transparency, or accountability. If we want to live in a place with such an unequal justice system. If we want to live in a place with such flagrant racism and power disparities – that’s fine – but then say it. Come out and say that this status quo works for you and you do not care who it hurts.
But if you claim to love the flag, support out troops, think American is great, then help us reach the ideals you so blindly cling to above anything else.
A piece of cloth is not more important than a human life.
An ideology does not matter more than a human being.
Our comfort is not more important than the survival of other people!
Again I say, this is not a political issue. It is a human value issue.
If you are a person of faith, this is an all humankind is God’s creation issue.
Instead of division, let’s try empathy. Compassion. Hearing one another. Taking a step back. Let’s lay down this idea that my life and my rights are the most important thing. Listen. Put ourselves in the shoes of a community that is terrified and tired of being mistreated because of their skin.
If any of us are suffering such a gross mistreatment of justice, then all of us need to fight to make it right.
That is what it means to be a human being.
That is what it means to say all men are created equal.