After the recent outbreak of violent events which have taken place in this country, Facebook is filling up with pictures being shared by those who want to show their support for our police forces, and those who want to show support for those who have suffered from police brutality. It is striking to me that people seem intent upon choosing their “side,” and filling up their feed with posts which represent only that.
We have lost the point.
Lives matter. All lives matter. Police lives matter, and it is important to show support for them because of all they do and the many brave sacrifices they make.
Veteran lives matter, and it is wrong that we parade this about on special days once or twice a year, but conveniently forget about them when we walk by them homeless on the streets, and vote for politicians who cut their benefits and refuse to support veterans programs.
Young lives matter, not just before they are born, but when they are two and hungry, or four and need a good preschool. We should be ashamed that we parade this around when we fight abortions, but forget when we vote for politicians who vow to dismantle healthcare reforms or end school lunch programs.
Lives matter. Teachers, nurses, clergy, journalists, farmers, and even rich old white guys matter.
But many in our society are treated differently due to skin color, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or just historical tradition. Therefore, it is our duty as human beings to speak up and seek to enlighten others in situations where many lives have been devalued, misrepresented, attacked, and ignored. And if we fall into a group where we are not treated differently because we are white, protestant, and heterosexual, it is even more imperative that we use the voice we are privileged to have to seek to work with those whose voice is often silenced.
Therefore, while my support and gratitude for police officers, teachers, fire fighters, farmers, and many others is something I work hard to show every day, but in our current society, there are many who face exclusion, and even danger, due to the circumstances of their lives.
So today I specifically want to show appreciation for them, not to say they are the only lives that matter, but to say that their lives are just as important as everyone else’s and they matter, as well.
And as a Christian, and a human being, I rebuke all violence against these people, I call for reform to save them from being victims of police brutality and give them equal opportunities in life, and I demand the politicians I elect to see that these things happen.