Public schools today are on lockdown in Charlottesville, Virginia. My children’s private school headmaster sent an emergency email to parents about an hour ago regarding what media is calling “a social media threat”.
This threat comes because some human being believes that the massacre of Las Vegas needs to be duplicated here in Charlottesville. Apparently this human is upset about the recent Lee Statue debate and the city decision regarding it’s removal. Our nation’s racial history is the centerpiece.
What one person believes threatens us all.
Be sure, I’m a believer… of good health and wellness, in racial equality…in Christ. I believe in home cooked meals and a daily dose of dark chocolate, as well as the freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceful protest. Keyword: peaceful. Some of my beliefs threaten someone, somewhere. For example, statists despise my belief in parental rights and those who are pro-choice are dismayed that I am a pro-life African American woman.
Does belief have to threaten at all?
As a Charlottesville resident, I’ve written posts in the past two months centering on the problem and my solution for those who feel threatened by someone else’s belief system.
“Let’s be neighbors and respect each other’s individual intellectual property when it comes to belief and speech. I learned the importance of this at a very young age as a young black girl living in a mostly white suburb.” Respect the Rules of My House
“Some whites sincerely didn’t like the end of slavery, go figure. They really believe that they are being taken over by other ethnic groups. I don’t get it, but it’s true. They’ve suppressed their anger and fear until now. Likewise some black and other minorities are tired of not only systematic and institutional racism, but also of individual encounters with these white people. Some of these white and black Americans, have stayed segregated and have no one of another race to call friend. Some don’t want that blessing. They just want to unleash their suppressed anger.
1 John 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
If we truly believe that humanity is a band of brothers of every tribe and tongue, then there is a disconnect between our belief and reality. While there are those in our present day who would say that some humans are genetically inferior than others, most of us shake our heads and ignore their utter stupidity and warped need for self-adulation.” Who Let The Dogs Out?
What you believe doesn’t have to threaten or offend me.
IF you are a white supremacist, I’m okay with you. I have my own belief about the reason why you believe what you believe, but I’m not bothered by what you believe about my racial identity.
IF you are atheist, I am not insulted by the nonexistence of your spiritual belief.
The issue for all of us is when belief becomes action. From proselytization to Las Vegas shootings, protests, demonstrations to political legislation, we are afraid of the consequences of individuals putting their beliefs to action.
The problem we face, collectively, is that we cannot control what others believe. We despise this reality. But belief is innate to our human species. We can prosecute crimes when they come against our life or liberty. But we cannot, and I pray that we will never be criminally punished for believing what we choose to believe.