All Lives Matter! #TraditionallySouthside

My heart breaks for the country I love. We are in a mess politically, racially, and, most importantly, spiritually. In fact, if we could get the spiritual aspect right, all the others would take care of themselves. Sadly, as I look out over the spiritual landscape of the Church Universal, I do not see any evidence that we will experience spiritual awakening any time soon – but I keep praying and trusting God. Throughout the Bible, the situation had to become hopeless for the people of God before He acted; as bad as things are now, I see them getting a whole lot worse. Maybe soon we will be convinced that we are hopeless and helpless and will turn to the ONLY ONE who can save us.

My heart breaks for the country I love. I can remember as a child how, if our political leaders said it, it must be true. Then along came President Nixon who made some mistakes, owned up to his mistakes, and resigned from his office. At least in my lifetime, that was the moment that it seemed doubt was placed into the hearts and minds of the American people, and trust became an issue. It is sad to say, but it is almost impossible to trust any politician because so many seemingly good “Christian” people are doing incredibly bad things. You see the evidence of this in our very own state. It seems that the old saying is true: power corrupts. As you look into national politics, we find the next part of that old saying to be even more true: absolute power corrupts absolutely. As I have watched the news in recent months, I knew in my heart that Hillary Clinton would never face the consequences of her actions – willingly or otherwise. If she were half as honorable as President Nixon, she would voluntarily withdraw from the presidential election and disappear quietly into her mansion never to be heard from again. But that will never happen.

What broke my heart even more and has no doubt decreased the national trust level by epic proportions was to see the Director of the FBI delineate what was obviously criminal actions on the part of Hillary only to say that no logical prosecutor would press charges against her. What? She broke the law, but according to Director Comey, she didn’t know that she was breaking the law and she did not set out to break the law, so she shouldn’t be prosecuted. Really? All my life I’ve been told that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but I guess that is no longer true. But think about it – could someone with Hillary’s background as a lawyer, as a Senator, and as a Secretary of State be that ignorant? I don’t think so. As for intent, there are probably thousands of people in prison for crimes that they did not intend to commit. Will the Justice Department go back and reexamine all those cases and release the prisoners based on this new precedent? Never. Why? Because we have reached the level of judicial tyranny that most of us never believed would happen in these United States. Was it Jefferson who said that tyranny is when government is allowed to get away with things that ordinary citizens are not?

Please do not think this is a rant against the Democratic party. It is not because my heart is filled with pain and disgust over the actions and inactions of the Republican party as well. From our own State House Speaker being sentenced for his crimes today to our Governor’s actions leading to a lawsuit that will cost the taxpayers of Alabama hundreds of thousands of dollars to the impotence of a Republican-controlled Congress to a childish, bullying Presidential candidate going around singing, “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” I am so fed up.

But then, I wake up to the news of police officers killed and wounded in Dallas in what was obvious retaliation for the senseless deaths of black men in recent days, weeks, months, and years. Please do not misunderstand me! When I say senseless, I am not passing judgment on anyone; I am simply stating that all “killings” are senseless – some more so than others. As I watched the video of police officers shooting a man they had wrestled to the ground, my anger swelled. I cannot imagine any scenario where that action was appropriate, but I was not there, and none of us have the full story. My heart breaks for that family as it does for the officers whose lives will never be their own again. I will be honest with you. Unless there is incontrovertible evidence that their lives were in danger from this man, they should go to prison, but until all the facts are in, shouldn’t we refrain from passing judgment? And shouldn’t we understand that it is no excuse to go on a shooting rampage aimed at police officers in another state? And shouldn’t we understand that the results of all of this is that we are all less safe today than we were yesterday? Black. White. Hispanic. Asian. All of us will be looking over our shoulders wondering if someone is going to take aim against us or if our police officers, having become hypervigilant because they have to, will overreact to situations because they are, after all, only human. Again, don’t misunderstand. I have the greatest respect of law enforcement officers. Had God not called me to become a pastor, I would most likely be an officer of the law. In fact, I applied to the FBI and U.S. Marshall’s service many years ago, but God had other plans for me. But all of us must be held accountable for our actions.

As I’ve already said, our only hope is that we get the spiritual issue right, and that will only happen when the church – and by that I mean true believers in Jesus Christ – are willing to humble ourselves before God and experience the healing that we desperately need. But until then, as human beings on the face of planet Earth who must somehow learn to live with each other, can we not recognize this one fact: ALL LIVES MATTER!

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