The piece below is one I can agree with about the events in Charlottesville. I condemn the events of this weekend as does Brother Casey Cole OFM. I do not want there to be any place in my world for that kind of evil like the KKK, Vanguard America or any other racist or white supremacist group.
I also want to call out the groups who came or sent people to attend the counter-protest who couldn’t even be bothered to file for a Parade or Protest Permit. I don’t really feel like a permit should be required to exercise your 1rst Amendment rights but I also recognize the Cities need to know what is occurring inside it’s own borders. This is really a topic for another day.
The primary focus of his piece is that of reaching out and build bridges to these groups to help them to reorient themselves to a proper Christian Faith and renounce their white supremacist ways and opinions. I did not even think about that for a second until I read the piece on his blog and that says a lot about me. I was so focused on denouncing their actions that I did not consider the person performing the actions. Brother Casey did not make that mistake, he immediately focused on the person and not the action. I am of the belief that the violent protestors on both sides need to be punished for what they did and still believe that to be the case. But if we value our Christian beliefs we should try to reach out to those individuals in charity and help them develop true Christian beliefs and everyone around them should be doing the same thing. If that had been done by the people around him, would James Fields be sitting in the jail tonight? I don’t know the answer to this question and only God can truly give us the answer but Brother Casey does raise a question that we all must answer; Do my actions today advance the Kingdom Of God and Christs teaching or further hate and division? I know I was quick to think about punishing the guilty and never considered the bridges that we should build to end this hate. I know he has shown me the plank in my own eye in this instance, but I was more concerned about the splinter in other peoples eyes. We still have much to learn from Charlottsville I will hopefully carry forward this lesson from Charlottesville, it will be far better to be building bridges to the people around you instead of focusing on punishment for misdeeds. Because I know that I am not perfect and occasionally do things that others may not like!
In the wake of yet another tragedy yesterday, after yet another clash of ideologies that has resulted in violence, many Church leaders have called upon all Christians to “build bridges.” Taken at face value, who can argue with that from a Christian perspective? We are called to love our enemy, to include those who are different from us, to welcome the stranger, and to forgive those who offend of. Of course we are supposed to build bridges, we say.
But that’s not what I’m going to do. At least, not in the way that it’s normally meant.
You see, a bridge is a wonderful structure that connects two isolated areas and allows people to travel freely from one side to another. Generally, this is a good thing, as people who would otherwise never encounter each other are able to come together in the middle—maybe even go to the other side—to…
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