I hesitate even wading into the racial tensioned waters that we’re in today. I will state from the get-go that I am against racism of any kind. I also come down strongly on the side of common sense and though I can have knee-jerk reactions at times, I try and avoid those too.
That’s why the reaction, some here in Louisville, about Confederate statues just doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, some of these men (not all of them and who can tell by looking at the statue?) owned slaves and some supported slavery. Others just didn’t like the idea of the Federal government messing in what they considered their own business and had more loyalty to their state than they did to Washington, D.C.
I do realize that some statues can be awfully offensive. That’s why there are no statues of Adolf Hitler (nor should there be). These men, however, were not Hitlers. There’s not a single one of them would ever measure up to his level of depravity. Yes, some, like Nathan Bedford Forrest were involved with the KKK; but, he’s the exception, not the rule.
Have you ever fought hard for something you believed in? Have you ever fought hard and later realized you were wrong? Perhaps you have or have not. But, that’s the case of most of the Confederate Officers depicted on statues. Some even freed their slaves before they were required to do so—again, before you tear that statue down, can you tell if he ever owned slaves or believed in slavery?
When they are cast in bronze or marble it’s easy to forget that they were once real men, with real families, real feelings, real convictions.
We’re all on this earth together and perhaps it’s time to remember that and start to look at what we have in common instead of what makes us different. When you put a label on someone, you de-humanize them and that makes it easier to hate them, to think they are wrong.
What happened to “love your neighbor as yourself?” I can tell you what happened—we don’t teach that anymore in schools. Or how about this:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. –Romans 12:9-18 (CSB)
If we spent more time building each other up, we’d have less time for tearing things down.