“Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will stand with Me against evildoers?” ~Psalm 94:16
Thought for the Week
Nazi Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s words burn a hole in my conscience every time I read them. We must always take a stand against oppression, whether from high or low, within our own families, or even our own compromised hearts. However…
We must also strive to discern the difference between oppressors and those whose opinions simply differ from ours, or whom we deem guilty by association.
Last week, after my city’s football team won their first league championship in 33 years, I posted a congratulatory kudo on Facebook. This brought Likes and good-natured jeers from the opposing team’s fans. In short, a good time was had by all.
A person I don’t know (not a Facebook friend) called me: “A radical lefty who despises God, America, and Whitey!”
Um, what? Quite a response to a verbal “yay, team!” pennant. And how did he conclude this about me?
- My city’s team is a member of the NFL (National Football League)
- The NFL supports a program called Inspire Change
- Inspire Change donates money to social change organizations
- Some of those organizations are against racial injustice
- Which sometimes leads to public protests
- Which have in some instances included violent acts by some people
- And/or “defund (dramatically reform) the police” campaigns
- Ergo, I despise God, my country, and white people.
I had to fight to keep my fingers from firing every word missile in my arsenal. But I didn’t. Why? Because it would be particularly hypocritical for me to mistake as an oppressor someone who has mistaken me for one. True, his “logic” is breathtakingly illogical. But he’s also, I suspect, highly volatile. How ironic, therefore, if I should be the one who fans the flames of that volatility. So, I joked:
“Gee, am I? I hadn’t noticed. ;>)”
To which he replied, “Work on that.”
To which I answered, “Dear ______, the second I detect anything radically lefty or America-despising about me, I’ll get right on it. I don’t know anyone named Whitey, btw, so I guess I don’t despise him either; unless you mean someone who hates Black people, then, yeah, I do despise him.”
I didn’t win a friend. But neither, I trust, did I top off his burgeoning vat of rage.
Should we take sides against oppressors like Nazi Germany? Yes. Always. Even if we lose our lives in the process. But we must always keep the ultimate objective in mind: Ending oppression and hatred. Not feeding it.
We must always discern when to use our swords (very rarely), when to fall on them (once in our lives), and when to leave them mounted over the fireplace.