The Black Lives Matter set is ubiquitous.
And by ubiquitous I mean they’re everywhere conventional progressives don’t want them to be.
What really began as a social media hashtag a few years ago to express outrage over the state-sanctioned murder of several unarmed, young black men, has no doubt blossomed into a fully legitimate civil rights movement.
A civil rights movement that has found a great deal of success in persistence, discipline, and hustle.
It was the Black Lives movement and their persistence that prompted the federal Department of Justice to take remedial and punitive actions against the police department of Ferguson, Missouri.
It was the Black Lives movement that created the environment in which six Baltimore police officer were criminally charged for the death of Freddie Gray.
And it was pressure from the Black Lives movement that prompted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol grounds.
That’s enormous success in a short period.
And now, the Black Lives movement has set its sights on liberal progressives.
Unhappy with the lack of attention liberal progressives have paid to racial justice, the Black Lives movement has pressured liberal progressives to address the issue. In fact, in highly publicized showdowns, members of the Black Lives movement have interrupted at least two public speeches of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
I checked in with progressives about the Black Lives movement, and I heard some interesting things.
I heard from my progressive friends about how uncouth they believed the interruptions were.
I heard from my progressive friends about how great of an ally “Bernie” is to black people and how he marched with King.
I even heard that they believed the individuals who interrupted Sanders were dispatched by Sara Palin or Hillary Clinton to temper Sanders who was gaining momentum. Yes, because Black people can’t be strategic or hold politicians accountable.
But, the most surprising comment I heard in my discussions was how immoral, unethical, and even “Unchristian” the Black Lives movement was — that Jesus came to love and make all lives matter; not just the black ones.
I’m not a Black Lives Matter apologist. The movement and its people speak well for themselves. And they have nothing for which to apologize.
However, calling the movement Unchristian is simply wrong-headed. The Black Lives movement is the consummate Christian movement. And those aren’t simply throw away words.
Above the fact that Jesus was Black himself, his movement and public ministry operated in much the same way as the Black Lives movement. Jesus’s entire ministry was about creating equality by speaking truth to power. He often disrupted the speeches and gatherings of the establishment and their leaders. He was persistent and disciplined.
And he tailored his ministry to ensure that the marginalized knew that they mattered.
In his Sermon on the Mount, the template for his entire ministry, Jesus specifically blesses the poor in spirit, those who mourn, and the persecuted.
He doesn’t bless the rich or those who were faring well in First Century Rome because he didn’t have to. They were already blessed. It was clear that their lives mattered already.
This is, in essence, the work of the Black Lives movement — to make lives matter that did not before. Not to make lives matter that already clearly matter to the world.
This effort may be many things. But, Unchristian isn’t one of them.