The Riots

One of the mantras in the Church, is to stop, and ask, What Would Jesus Do.

The Death of George Floyd was tragic and a total abuse of police power. It needs a full investigation and an independent and multifaceted enquiry that will prevent things like this happening again.

The officer has been arrested and charged and we hope that he has been charged with the right crime. As far as I am concerned Floyd was in the custody of the officer, the officer and his companions had a duty of care towards Floyd. Instead they treated him like a piece of meat.

The after effects however has seen people rioting and looting, I have seen women punched, assaulted and abused by dangerous thugs - black and white.

The justification for this, is often "Black Lives Matter". They do. But so does every life. My life matters. Your life matters. The BLM crowd will say that responding with "All Lives Matter" is to shift focus away from BLM. They come out with such statements as would you put plasters on all kids of only one kid was hurt. My point is simply that what they're actually saying, is that if ten kids were hurt, they would only give plasters to the black kids because white kids have always had plasters. Where as I would say that all of them should have plasters. All injured children should get plasters.

So for me, I say All Lives Matter, because murder, is never an excuse for more murder, retribution for more retribution, violence for more violence. Some, of the BLM crowd, will turn a blind eye to black business owners who have lost their businesses in the riots, they will go as far as to say that only black people are suffering and turn a blind eye to the people lying crumpled and twisted on the floor having sustained horrific injuries. Feminists no longer care that women are being violently assaulted by a gang of men because Black Lives Matter.

George Floyd was the catalyst in this, and it is true that there is a lot of racism around the world and it needs to be addressed, it needs to be sorted out. I know I grew up with a couple of black friends, and I do miss them dearly. I come into contact with all sorts of people, and I don't care who you are as long as you're a good, honest, genuine person.

What Would Jesus Do? Jesus would not have tolerated the murder of George Floyd. But he would not have tolerated the murder or violence being targeted against anyone else - no matter what the provocation. He would call both out. He would say both are wrong.

I've seen a picture of the sermon on the mount, and after Jesus says blessed are the poor, someone chirps up to say "All are blessed". This is so depressing. Jesus wasn't segregating people along any gender or racial lines. He was talking about a state of mind, a way of being. He was looking at what is in your heart. He was saying that those who are oppressed, abused, victimised, harrassed, those who lack social justice, they will be blessed, they will be first. It's not about race. It's about character.

If you're not convinced on that, we're told later in the Bible that we're all one in the body of Christ, there's no distinctions. The hand cannot say to the ear, I have no use for you. We are one. You cannot rebut "All Lives Matter" with "No Lives Matter until Black Lives Matter" because, well, I cannot speak for others, but others like me genuinely believe we are one in the body. One. All Lives. All and the sooner we recognise our shared connections, then the sooner we start building bridges.

We are also made in God's image, every one of us, Black, White, Male, Female, and everything and everyone in between. Everyone of us has God (or Christ) in us. As someone interested in Benedictine Monasticism, I've learned that we're to see the Christ in another person. To say that we should focus on Black Lives while ignoring the suffering of others goes against my core and I see it as an insult to the individual, the group, society, and to God.

Yes, Black Lives Matter, but they matter because ALL lives matter. We are one. If one suffers, we all suffer. I will not step past my suffering neighbour whether they're white or black. I will do my best to help those who are in need. Jesus said whatever you did for them, you did for me. Yet some are actively encouraging the rioting and the violence where innocent people, both black and white, are getting hurt and even killed. Jesus would not want that.

And what our some of our Church leaders saying? They're criticising Donald Trump. They need to be teaching the bible and calling an end to the rioting.

So how should we respond to the death of George Floyd? Some will bring out Jesus flipping the tables of the money lenders in Church. I don't know if they're being serious, because the flipping of the tables was about purifying the temple, not about getting revenge.

I have three examples of what Jesus did. He stopped the woman being stoned by saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone. In other words, everyone of us, has done something wrong to some degree. So don't seek revenge, don't seek to judge. After Simon Peter cut off the high priests servant, Jesus restored it. We're not supposed to heap violence upon violence. He said give unto caesar what is caesars. He could have had a band of followers and gone attacking the authority or the non believers. He didn't. So likewise, we shouldn't.

Yes, we should campaign for better laws, for equality, for all to be treated the same, we should campaign to bring everybody up to the same level. We should march. We should demonstrate. We should sign petitions. We should donate to those who have had their homest and business destroyed. We can't all do the same, but we can do our own little bit.

Rioting isn't the answer, and to a good proportion of BLM supporters, you're turning a blind eye to the destruction of businesses and homes of the very people with which you confess to care about just so someone can grab a free TV. But it's OK right, because the building is insured? Who pays for that insurance - business owners, and who will be affected by higher insurance rates? Small business owners. Congratulations.

Stop rioting. Help your neighbour repair their homes and their business. Lets raise money not for the lawless, not for those killing and injuring people, but lets raise money to help those small business get back on their feet, lets raise money to help pay the extra insurance fees for those small companies, lets help the family of George Floyd, lets establish a fund to lobby government to change the laws and make this a fairer and better society for all.

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