Opinion: Daniel Bendele, Esq.
Last week marked the anniversary of some important dates in world history. They are dates of little note here in America, but the echoes of what happened are still felt decades later and have rippled around the world.
On evening of July 16-17, 1918, Tsar Nicholas the II, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters and one son ages 13-22 were all brutally executed by Marxist revolutionaries. Their deaths and the installation of Communist government in Russia, would lead to almost 100 years of terror and violence, over 100 million deaths, and the worldwide spread of Communism.
On July 17, 1936, the Spanish Civil War began and pitted a coalition of Monarchists, Christians, and traditionalists against the Communist backed Republican Government of Spain. While we learn little about this war here in the United States, it was extremely important for world history. The battlefields of the Spanish Civil War were a testing ground for technologies and strategies that would be used during World War II. Thankfully, the Communists in Spain were defeated, but not before they had murdered thousands of Christians including many priests and nuns and destroyed hundreds of Churches and religious statues and monuments.
As I was contemplating these events last week, I could not help but see eerie similarities to our own time. Over the last few months we have seen Churches and monuments desecrated, people murdered for their political/philosophical views, communist agitators fighting street battles with law enforcement, babies abused to make political statements, etc. Even through all that violence and chaos, what has been most concerning is the number of friends, family, and religious leaders I know who seem to support the organizations and ideology behind this agitation. Folks are changing their social media pictures, sharing hashtags, and pushing a narrative that I am frankly unsure they fully understand. In all charity, I hope they are confused, because the alternative is even more upsetting.
Make no mistake, BLM and Antifa are anti-American, anti-Western, and most importantly, anti-Christian. By supporting their message and ideology, you are placing yourself in direct opposition to Christ Himself. It seems many honest and well-meaning people have been misled into thinking the purpose of these groups is to oppose racism and injustice, but that is simply untrue.
Antifa was the paramilitary wing of the Communist party in Weimar Germany. It started out as another group called the Roter Frontkämpferbund (Alliance of Red Front-Fighters). After the Roter Front was banned in 1932, the German Communist Party (KPD) formed the Antifaschistische Aktion to continue their street fighting against Right wing groups in Germany. These groups destroyed property, attacked religious institutions, committed political assassinations, and tried to overthrow the German Republic after WWI.
In a similar vein, the Black Lives Matter organization is a communist organization meant to agitate for the destruction of Western Civilization and Christianity, while claiming to fight racism and injustice. Don’t believe me? The leaders of the movement have openly admitted this is the case. It’s also posted proudly on their website.
From the BLM website: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement…” The nuclear family structure is only “Western” in the sense that the West was where Christianity flourished. The idea of a family made up of a father, mother, and children is God’s model not man’s. Their website goes on to say, “We foster a queer‐affirming network.” What about disrupting the family and affirming the LGBTQ agenda addresses racial injustice?
The dictionary defines racism as: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” No one who believes that one race is inherently superior to any other has held institutional authority in this country for decades. I do not believe anyone is inherently superior to any other person purely based on their ethnic background. I certainly agree that throughout history these ideas have been held around the world by people of all races, religions, and political ideologies.
Yes, we should fight injustice and race idolatry. None of that requires us to back communist organizations that oppose basic tenants of our faith and civilization. The answer to racism was already given to us 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus Christ. What is racial injustice except sin? How do we overcome sin? Through repentance and conforming ourselves to our savior.
As a point of clarification, let me note that you are not stained by the past sins of others. There is no collective “white guilt” for racial injustice. Just as you are not inherently superior to anyone because of your race, nor are you inherently guilty of any perceived crime because of your race. The only original sin is the sin of Adam and if you are a Christian, you have been freed from that burden.
America and the world need men and women of courage to stand up to ALL injustice. We need people to defend the family, the lives of the unborn, our freedom to worship without government meddling, and yes, we need people to speak out against injustice based on ethnic divisions. Again, none of that requires us to back organizations that expressly promote Marxist/Communist worldviews. That ideology is responsible for 100s of millions of deaths in the last Century alone.
Christ told us in Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (RSV). It is my fear that our lack of wisdom and prudence will lead us to repeat the errors of the past. I do not want to see my nation torn apart by violence like that experienced by the people of Russia and Spain. I know it is difficult to practice patience in this age of 24/7 news, and constant access to social media. I’m certainly guilty of posting or reacting without taking time to reflect on all the pertinent details, but we must strive to do better.
We must seek to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34). If we are actively practicing that in our homes and communities, Christ’s grace manifested in us will spread beyond our homes and communities and change both our nation and the world. We will not solve these problems by burning churches, tearing down statutes, and fighting one another in the streets. Together we CAN solve these problems! Let us reject ideologies that promote violence and anti-Christian worldviews and join together to model Christ’s love in our families and to those around us.