In history, when armies fought on a battlefield, each side had a flag. A flag is only a piece of cloth with colors, but it is a symbol of something one side loves, and the other side hates.
We have flags today, made with words: Systemic Racism, Defund the Police, Black Lives Matter, Hey Boomer. These slogans are used to rally people on one side of a struggle, and to make the other side hostile and angry. There is not much analysis, mostly just angry emotions. In the demonstrations, the flag words are written on signs and shouted.
The news is also full of stories about violent demonstrations and ruined careers, when famous and privileged people offend someone with their words. These are dangerous times and it is dangerous to have an opinion different from a flag.
I often visit a town called Killam, and I have a standard bad joke, “On Friday I’m going to Killam.” It sounds funny to some people. I was not there on the day, but people in the area decided to ‘defend’ the police, instead of saying ‘defund.’ I know people in that town, and I believe good people did a good thing. Unity is better than division, healing is better than destruction. Everyone smiled in the parade, but I know the opinions were strong:
That would be a bad time and place to wear a ‘Defund the Police’ t-shirt or to pull down a statue. When the flags are flying, you should know where your side is.
One common slogan is “Systemic Racism.” People in many places are accused of this. Many others disagree and are offended by accusation. We seem to be looking at flags on a battlefield that people rally around, or attack. I believe one side in the argument is mostly a new social class “Doomers.”
Doomers are contrasted with Boomers, baby boomers in an older generation. Boomers are supposed to be optimistic and confident, sure that life will reward them for doing the right things. Doomers are supposed to be much younger and very pessimistic about society. They don’t expect to find a prosperous and happy future.
With that pessimistic and disappointed attitude, Doomers easily believe that the world is corrupt and an older generation of selfish Boomers is ruining everything for them. It is easy for Doomers to believe that corruption is systemic, woven into all parts of society, and corruption includes subtle “systemic” racism. It’s what they expect, and people find proof for what they believe. Everyone does that.
The division in western society generates arguments that no one can win. The other side is wrong before they speak, and everyone finds evidence to support their side. There is probably truth on both sides, but they each believe that all the truth is on their side. It’s not a pretty picture:
SOURCE: Systemic Racism
There is a third way. A man named Jesus lived in a polarized society, where opinions were strong and people fought for their side. When He confronted the powerful people, the systemic power, they had Him arrested and nailed to a cross. Among Jesus’ close followers or ‘disciples’ was Simon Zelotes, a violent activist Zealot.
Jesus did not take any side; He had His own revolution. He told us that we all needed the same thing; we were alienated from our creator, and each one of us was wrong, until we were restored. Two thousand years later that third way is still growing.
This world is a corrupt place, but the pessimists are just as wrong as the optimists:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2: 15 to 17)
In a divided world filled with anger and hatred, we are told to love:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4: 7 and 8)