I was hoping not to step into the sticky wicket that the Charlottesville protest, counter-protest, and attack created. All discussions of fault or causation carry the risk of being labeled a bigot or hater. But, for a number of reasons, fearful silence is not a justifiable response.
Southern Poverty Law Center
One of those reasons is that the Plainfield Patch published an article titled “Illinois Hate Groups: Map Shows Active Racist Organizations” in which the Patch cites the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to alert Illinoisans to the presence of “32 hate” groups in Illinois, including the Illinois Family Institute.
It is both morally indefensible and intellectually dishonest of the ethically impoverished Southern Poverty Law Center to include the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) on its list of “hate” groups, alongside repugnant white supremacist groups/white separatists/white nationalists.
IFI is included on this list because we espouse theologically orthodox views of homosexuality, marriage, and the intrinsic and profound meaning of objective, immutable biological sex—views that are held by the Catholic Church, a dozen Protestant denominations, the Mormon Church, Seventh Day Adventism, many non-denominational churches, 2,000 years of church history, the Bible, and Orthodox Judaism.
Other Christian organizations included on the SPLC “hate” groups list are the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and the Ruth Institute.
The goal of the SPLC’s malignant slander is to stigmatize and marginalize any group that defends marriage and sexual morality. Is the Plainfield Patch absolved of all moral culpability for smearing IFI because technically all it did was cite the anti-Christian hate group known euphemistically as the SPLC?
To be clear, the Illinois Family Institute and its sister organization Illinois Family Action—both of which have blacks serving on our boards–unequivocally denounce racism and hatred directed at any persons.
White Separatism and racism
Every decent person and certainly every Christian should denounce the vile racist beliefs of white separatists/white supremacists. We should condemn the actions of the domestic terrorist who launched his car into a crowd to mow down those whose beliefs he rejected. His actions (and the beliefs that impelled them) are as repugnant as those that led to lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and the Holocaust.
Christians must speak truth even when doing so is difficult. In a letter to his son who has embraced the ugly and false beliefs of what has come to be called the “alt-right,” a father reveals what commitment to truth may entail:
The proper response to racial hatred is not the curtailment of speech rights, the destruction of property, or violent vigilantism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mr. Tefft understood what antifa anarchists clearly do not.
Peter Beinart, associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, writes about the history and current incarnation of the troubling antifa movement in an article in the Atlantic titled “The Rise of the Violent Left”:
The causes of both racial hatred and anarchism are numerous and complex. As Americans grapple with understanding them and finding solutions, I hope and pray they will think deeply about the causative roles these three phenomena play in rendering young people—particularly young men—vulnerable to racist or anarchistic ideologies:
- the absence of faith in the one true God
- the break-up of nuclear families and the concomitant absence of fathers
- the dissemination in government schools of Critical Theory, which teaches students that whites are oppressors based on nothing other than their skin color
Pastor and theologian John Piper reminds Christians that what unites humans—what humans of all races and ethnicities share in common—is far greater, more profound, and more substantive than the things that divide us:
Recovering and passing on to our children an understanding of the political principles on which the greatest country in the history of the world was founded is essential to fostering unity amid diversity. So too is faith in God.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
(William Butler Yeats)
Taggs: Racism Radical Left 1st amendment riots right to assembly Antifa