Resisting the Impulse to Evil in Uncertain Times
There is a great deal of fear and uncertainty brewing in the streets as Americans await the results of their latest attempt to continue the Republic.
When words fail to achieve an aim, men on both sides of the political divide are often tempted to violence. Those on the left have demonstrated this in recent months via Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots. The leftist unrest has not stopped with Biden’s supposed victory, either. Reportedly, Black Lives Matter activists dropped by a Biden victory celebration outside the White House, calling journalists and white liberals “F—— fools.”
Supporters of Donald Trump and those on the right may be tempted to answer violence with violence, taking to the streets in rage, demanding that any and every accusation of voter fraud be investigated to the hilt.
While the call for secure and fair elections is all well and good, Americans of all stripes need to take a step back and ensure that their actions do not feed into the narratives of those seeking to dismiss them.
America is not without a history of political violence. Such occurrences are certainly not endemic to the 21stcentury. The KKK is the most pernicious and enduring example of such violence, and the left and the DNC would like nothing better than to see right-wing riots tear up American cities. Just as Black Lives Matter riots inspired law and order talking points for Trump, so too right-wing riots would feed media and DNC narratives of white supremacists attempting to install a fascist order in America.
Leaving the political optics aside for a moment though, anyone concerned about voter fraud has better ways of addressing their concerns than violent engagements on their neighborhoods’ streets. Anyone with knowledge of voter fraud should step forward and report these abuses to law enforcement, and those concerned about election integrity generally should lobby for changes to their state’s election laws.
Beyond any of these concerns, it is fundamentally immoral to engage in political violence. The right that has called out this basic truth time and time again in the last few years cannot now abandon their adherence to these truths in the wake of an election whose results are still in doubt, but which seem to be leaning against them, at least so far as the presidency is concerned.
As the Apostle St. Peter writes in his first Epistle:
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right? But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…”
God-fearing Americans should seek to reshape and redirect American souls to follow God once more, but violent means will not accomplish this goal. Such tactics perpetuate just the opposite in the souls of those who carry them out, and will not persuade anyone in need of such guidance.
This does not mean that those espousing concerns about election results’ finality need to go quietly into the night. But as in all things, concerning the pursuit of truth and justice, those engaged in the pursuit should “be prepared to make a defense to any one,” while remembering that the Lord calls us to do so with “gentleness and reverence.”
Keep your conscience clear, America. There are higher things at stake in each of our lives than who wins an election.
Flickr-Daniel Arauz, CC BY 2.0