In the movie The Judge, there is a scene wherein two opposing lawyers have a private conversation about the murder case they are both involved with. The prosecution lawyer, Dwight Dickam (Billy Bob Thornton) says this to defense attorney Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.),
“Now you may think that Mark Blackwell is white trash, and he may very well have been. But in the eyes of the state, his life matters. I’m going to impale your client on a first degree murder charge. And you get a front row seat.”
Mark Blackwell was found dead in a ditch after being hit by a car, and Hank Palmer’s father, Joseph (Robert Duvall), was charged with the murder.
Blackwell is a villain in the movie. He spent years in prison for drowning a high school girl after shooting at her house with a gun, and in his only appearance in the movie, he was found telling judge Joseph Palmer that he was excited to piss on the grave of Palmer’s recently deceased wife.
Mark Blackwell was unlikable in every way. He was a violent murderer. He was a despicable human being. Even his own mother rarely visited him in prison. Yet, as the prosecution stated, his life mattered….why?
In the Declaration of Independence, what is likely the most
familiar line of the entire document says,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
From African slavery to the modern day abortion holocaust, one wonders whether this has ever been practiced in this nation. That aside, on paper, the declaration declares the value and worth of every human being. In other words, Thomas Jefferson is technically the original architect of #AllLivesMatter.
Well…Moses is actually (Genesis 1:26; Exodus 20:13).
Today’s culture wants things short and fast. That, coupled with the utter degradation of the English language has given rise to the popularity of the hashtag.
The 21st century is a century of lazy slogans and empty platitudes. This culture makes words up that don’t mean what their parts mean. They and other words are used in complete opposition to what they should mean (homophobia,
Islamaphobia, tolerance, hate, cisgender, etc). Along with that, the invention of Twitter allowed these lazy slogans to “trend” so that their simplicity can catch like wild fire. Thus, hashtags find themselves battling each other in the social media world.
Three prominent ones right now are #BlackLivesMatter, #PoliceLivesMatter, and #AllLivesMatter.
People who believe there is severe, intentional,
institutionalized racism which is largely aimed at blacks in America prefer the first.
People who believe that police officers have largely been justified in the recent shootings by simply protecting themselves are fans of the the police hashtag.
People who feel by singling out groups, one inevitably demeans others prefer the latter.
The true question before us is in regards to anyone of these hashtags is who says? Or in other words, by what standard?
Where is the no lives matter hashtag? Why isn’t #NoLivesMatter trending? Where is the one actually trying to be consistent with their worldview?
Thomas Jefferson believed all lives matter. But Thomas Jefferson also knew the one thing that also has to be true, of first importance, before any and all lives can matter: the endowment of rights and worth from an ultimate Creator, God.
Without God, there is simply no objective foundation for believing any lives matter at all.
Thus, our post-Christian nation is arbitrarily stealing from the worldview they are shoving out the door.
There is a scene in an episode of The Office when Ryan (B.J. Novak) breaks up with his girlfriend Kelly (Mindy Kaling)
before going abroad with some friends, but he asks her if she has any extra money to give him for the trip.
He pushes her out the door but thinks he can take from her on her way out. This is essentially what is going on in America. We are trying to cram our Christian heritage out of the door, remove the Lord Jesus from all public squares, but we think we can hang on to the dignity only He provides once He is gone.
We simply cannot have the dignity we need from God if God isn’t there. If we want to pretend like God isn’t here, we need to act like it. We need to live that way. We don’t get the gifts if we erase the Giver. If God isn’t ruling over the universe than His image is not ruling in us. And if His image isn’t on us, than we really are all that the secular world claims we are: random, accidental, bags of water and bones, flying through the universe, headed toward oblivion.
And if that’s true, than there is no objective means for believing that anyone matters at all. We, as bags of protoplasm that managed to crawl our way out of primordial goo, have no reason nor objective obligation to value anything or anyone.
The majority of our country wants it to be the case that Jesus isn’t Lord. They don’t believe His words that He has all authority in both heaven and earth.
If Jesus isn’t Lord, than no lives matter but my own. That’s Darwinism for ya. All we are is stardust. We are organized, chemical accidents zooming around a dying material reality without purpose. And these fish-descendants have no obligation to say “pardon me” on their pointless journey. As Dr. White so eloquently puts it:
“How can the new world view say any ‘lives matter’ at all? The new world view has set up as its highest good the autonomy of the creature, man. There is no Creator, there is no objective truth, there is no objective morality. Reality is as man defines it to be… Since ‘lives’ are just the random result of impersonal forces acting upon nature, there is no way to speak of human life as sacred, or valuable outside of the value assigned by the currently popular governmental system. Without that infinite reference point provided by the Creator, ‘life‘ becomes a mere construct, capable of changing definition, and worth, on the whim of the majority. And this is why they can’t say lives, or anything else, really ‘matters,’ because what might matter to the randomly firing cells in my cranium today might well not matter tomorrow. Accidents of impersonal nature are just that way. So what we are seeing is the inevitable result of the new world view—the disaster of secularism taking deeper and deeper hold as the corpse of Western civilization finally begins to decay. The old world view, or, to be more specific, the Christian world view, if it is allowed to be fully biblical and radically Christian, shines a bright light upon the problem. Secularism destroys man because it makes him a mere animal. It dehumanizes, and as a result, destroys purpose, morality, meaning, and law. It is much easier to kill another human being when you believe at the root that you are both animals fighting for the same pile of goodies. And there is no judgment day coming—once you are gone, you are gone. Space dust once again.“
To say anyone matters at all is to borrow from the Christian worldview, the same worldview that apparently doesn’t belong in the public realm. The worldview we need to justify having law doesn’t belong in the legislator. The same worldview that justifies the morality of education doesn’t belong in education.
We have managed to steal something given to us already, the Imago Dei.
Do black lives matter? Yes. They do.
This means when a police officer unlawfully kills a black person it deserves true moral indignation.
This means it is evil when a black person is wrongfully convicted of a crime they are innocent of.
This means it is morally disgusting for Planned Parenthood to continue to chop up thousands of black boys and girls every year, even selling their body parts at times.
Black lives matter. Racism is evil, Planned Parenthood is evil, and all of these are true because Jesus is Lord.
Do police lives matter? Yes. They do.
They matter because they, like all races of people, are made in God’s image. Therefore, it is morally repulsive when a man murders five innocent police officers in Dallas. That’s why police officers are allowed to protect themselves against threats of violence against their person. This is why all people ought to respect and obey law enforcement. Their lives matter because Jesus is Lord.
Do all lives matter? Yes. They do. As the Declaration of Independence states, all Men have rights and value. All men matter, and they matter because Scripture reveals they do.
Mark Blackwell’s life mattered to the state….and to Jesus.
Pre-born babies lives matter… to Jesus.
Black lives matter… to Jesus.
Police lives matter… to Jesus.
My life matters… to Jesus,
Your life matters… to Jesus.
Therefore, lives ought to matter to us. Not because of Darwin, he hasn’t helped. Human lives matter because God matters, and humans bear God’s image. We are made by Jesus for Jesus (Colossians 1:16). He gives value. It is by His authority that people have objective authority and obligation to respect all life.
Every social war we are experiencing presupposes objective morality, and objective morality presupposes Jesus. These fights presuppose a worldview where Jesus is Lord. Jesus is necessary for these hashtags.
Without Him, there is simply sky above us and dirt beneath us. Sky and dirt don’t give value to anyone. Jesus does. Ironically, a universe of nothing but matter doesn’t matter.
If all there is around us is an accidental, temporal, material realm, then put it on Twitter, write it on Facebook, let it trend: