There’s a lot of craziness going on lately. That’s evident.
To many this is not new craziness but just the same old injustice made public. We are dichotomized by our different alliances. We are tired and uneasy. To those who apathetic at this time, well this post isn’t for you. I’m not exactly sure why you’re not feeling anything, I could blame white privilege but truth is you may not even been white, I could say it’s class privilege but there very well may be rich and poor people alike who just don’t care right now. That’s besides the point. This post is for those who are feeling something, outrage, hurt, confusion, rage, whatever. If you’re feeling something I wanna write to you.
It seems like we are rallying around causes without a justification for our indignation and passion. Black Lives Matter, Latino Lives Matter, Unborn Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, LGBT Lives Matter, All Lives Matter etc.. I think most of us would agree that all lives do in fact matter but in allying ourselves with one or more of these specific groups we are seeking to draw attention to the lives that are being shown injustice currently- right? Cool. I’m all for that. We can talk about that till we’re blue in the face, but I want to talk about the underlying presuppositions that must be true for any life to matter at all.
We don’t all operate on the same worldview. We have different conceptions of reality and based on these conceptions we take in information and make sense of it. In order for any of the “Lives Matter” movements to have momentum, their followers must have certain underlying presuppositions. Presuppositions like: human life is valuable, this or that group’s lives are just as valuable as another group’s lives, that Human lives are more important than say the tree’s life that was cut down to make the poster boards they use in protesting, that humans have rights and some or all of those rights are being violated unjustly, that we are rational creatures capable of intelligent thought which allows us to read and listen to opposing arguments and weigh them for validity and soundness.
There are a lot more presuppositions that we could list but you get the point. One crucial question that is hardly ever asked of these various groups and their presuppositions is “why?”. I think a typical five year old could really rattle some social justice advocates now-a-days by just asking their favorite question: “Why?”. “Black lives matter”, why? “Blue lives matter”, why? “Latino lives matter”, why? “All lives matter”, Why?
Why does life matter? Is it because we are a highly evolved primates? Why aren’t the other primates on the same par with us? Where’s the rally cry for gorilla suffrage? Do pig lives matter in the same way that all human lives matter? How about a bug’s life? Should we march when the grasshoppers beat up on ants and various other invertebrates who won’t store up food for them? Maybe it’s our rational capacity? Is that why our lives matter- because we can think? What about grandma when she’s senile? What about someone on the Autism spectrum who’s capacities are less than average? What is it exactly that gives justification for our indignation when we see a people group (or multiple people groups) being treated as less than human? Why does life, especially human life, matter?
Well our Founding Fathers said it well in The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Notice they didn’t say these truths are self-evident brute facts. They didn’t say these truths are just there because they’re there, they are groundless and can be justified-just because. The Founding Fathers grounded our human rights and human equality in the fact that we have been made by the Creator God. These rights may not be stripped from us because of our relation to our Creator who has endowed us with Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We have been created equal by God and and thus we should not find our worth or justification for life outside of that criterion.
The biblical narrative gives justification for the belief that mankind is equal and valuable above the rest of the created universe, why? Because we are made in God’s very own image. We are made with some of his own communicable attributes like: love, abstract thought, compassion, speech, creativeness, empathy, and so on. Our value is rooted in the fact that we resemble the Great God of the universe. So regardless of social status, ethic background, cognitive abilities, perceived worth, or anything else- if you are a human being, then you have intrinsic value because of Who’s image you’ve been created in and that can never be taken from you. The human race has been made to be God’s arbiters here on earth, to cultivate and subdue the earth, to live in harmony with one another as we love God above all else and love our neighbor’s as ourselves.
The biblical worldview gives us the justification for believing in self evident truths such has inalienable rights, it tells us why we continue to infringe on our fellow man’s rights (the fall, human sinfulness), it gives us hope for reconciliation between God and man in Jesus Christ and between man and man through forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us.
God continually reminds us that He is in control of human history and He has a plan, we don’t know all the details of that plan but we know He’s worthy of our trust and adoration. What we do know is that mankind is made in the Image of the God of the Bible. As such, we are to love Him first and foremost and as we do that we will grow in our respect and love for our fellow man- our fellow image bearers. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, from Creator to man, man to Creator, and man to fellow man. That’s evident.