True history is a record of verifiable facts free from the prejudice of man. It must contain both his honorable, valiant, and noble deeds which ignite pride and gratefulness, as well as the deplorable and incomprehensible works of darkness that evoke shame and horror. Not one single piece of history is void of the deeds of both honorable and dishonorable men and women.
Because the heart of every man is filled with sin, every moment of recorded history is sullied and tarnished by his hatred, greed, and the effects of the natural depravity of his heart and soul. Every noble conflict is tarnished by the heinous deeds of inherently sinful and selfish men and women. Every vile conflict is filled with glimmers of light as men and women of honor and integrity stood against treachery, advocating for justice and equality for all. To demand that all history touched by the imperfections and prejudices of man be erased, as if by doing so you can punish those men and women for the sins they committed decades and centuries ago, is completely irrational!
The purpose of history, so wisely stated by Italian philosopher George Santayana, is to educate humanity about the past BECAUSE “Those who don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it!” History educates us! It helps us to see how the unspeakable became possible. History reveals how ignorance and prejudice has fueled hatred and the murder of innocent men and women for thousands of years. It lets us consider and become aware that even the most pure of intentions can be skewed by the natural depravity of man’s heart bent towards selfish sinful self love.
Erasing history is a global suicide mission with self destruction as the only possible end game! Systematically removing the monuments and records of every evil man, women, and event in this world, so that we can in essence remove any and all traces of his evil heart, will not end until every monument, statue, plaque and book is destroyed. Removing evidence of the the mistakes, sins, and ignorance of those in the past will not remove those very mistakes, sin, and ignorance still present in the heart of every man today.
Today I stumbled across an article that troubled me greatly. In the report a protester declared Christopher Columbus to be a man with a “White supremacist mindset.” How in the world this person or any person living today claims they are able to know and interpret the thoughts, intents, and heart of a man dead and buried over a thousand years baffles me. Based on that assumption this person felt they have the right to call for the removal of a monument erected in 1910, honoring the courage of “Italians who immigrated to Detroit” seeking freedom and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What’s even more disturbing was that this clamoring to remove the monument wasn’t the original object of the protest. This Monument only came under fire after the search for other politically incorrect monuments came up empty.
Perhaps the quest to remove the “monuments” of those we deem unworthy has more to do with hiding the conditions of our own hearts here in the present than it is about the exposing the evil in the hearts of those from our past. Maybe mandatory history exams should be required of all protesters before any more monuments and records of history are removed! The last time I studied history, the driving force behind the voyage that brought Christopher Columbus to America was the desire to find a new trade rout and resources with which humanity could sustain them self. Never in the annals of history have I ever heard it be charged that “white supremacy” drove Columbus or any other explorer to set sail, set foot, or ride to discover the unknown! If this protester were in fact correct, and the true motivation behind Columbus’ exploration was his own supremacy, it isn’t white man we would have to declare to be governed by a supremacist mindset, it would be Spaniard Supremacy we would have to go after.
Did prejudice, hate, murder, and slavery spread like cancer across the new world? Yes, and every other continent inhabited by mankind! Man abusing man existed long before Columbus set sail, and long before the Civil War began. Every act of hate exists because greed and self love has always existed deep within the core of his being. No human escapes this curse. It is a global fall and a global predicament. Native Americans killed, and were suppressed and killed by their own people groups long before Columbus showed up. Africans and people of all nations who were enslaved and brought to America (and the host of other countries riff with slavery), murdered, were murdered, and were oppressed by their own people groups long before they were violently ripped from the soil of their own countries.
Atrocities are perpetuated and wars begun when one person or people group asserts that their humanity, rights and desires are more valid and important than everyone else’s. At the core of this mindset it the sick cancer of self-love. A love fueled by the belief my life is more important than any others. Because my life is all that matters, I have the right to decide to do or not do anything that pleases or benefits me and me alone! This is how one man can justify the enslavement of another. This is how one can justify stealing the property of another. This is how one justifies destruction of another man’s property. This is how justifies murder, rape, adultery, theft, and abortion.
Regardless, as humanity once again turns against itself, to its own demise and destruction, every protest and every news article makes a most excellent “Case for Christ.”
This past week former President Obama also lit up the internet, responding to racial unrest by tweeting a famous quote from Nelson Mandela. For those seeking answers and desperate for any semblance of a return to sanity in the midst of dark chaos, this quote rang true. While I am hopeful that our world might finally be ready for a wake up call, I find myself apprehensive and doubtful that we are actually heading in the right direction. You see the very quote encouraging an end to racism and hate in truth reveals why it still remains and will continue to exist and divide nations.
Contrary to Mr. Mandela’s claim, man is born filled to the brim with the capacity to hate and the natural desire to do so. Did you teach your kids to hit each other, steal from one another, devour the spirit of another with their words? NOPE! That came natural! Jeremiah 17 states that the heart of man is the most deceitful thing in existence and beyond that Jeremiah asserts that man’s heart is desperately wicked. Yes, society plays an active role rationalizing the hatred of a man directed towards those it deems undesirable and worthless, BUT the fact is, before hate is given socitial permission to flow, it all ready resides at the core of man’s soul. Hate never lays dormant! It is violent, angry, and always calling for action and an avenue of expression. Even if we were to abolish all forms of hatred directed towards a person simply because of his/her skin color or nationality, we would be no better off as a society.
All forms of hate are vile and detestable, but a moral shift in society has proclaimed that certain forms of hate are permissible. Every single human on the face of the earth was born with a heart filled with hate. Without ever being taught or coaxed to explore that emotion, every living breathing human on the face of the earth will not only demonstrate that hate but also look for ways to rationalize and justify it, FOR the root of all hate is self love. Self love raises its head when a man steals an item from a store, a boss, or a neighbor. Self love is evidenced when a woman kills with her word or wounds with her hands. Hate extinguishes lives, abuses the innocent, bullies the weak, demeans the downtrodden and declares all others different from themselves to be less than human. Self love declares I am the most important thing on earth and anything that gets in my way or keeps me from what I want is the enemy and worthy of my anger, ire, and retribution. If a baby gets in the way of my career I have the right to kill it. If a man is married to a woman I like and find desirable I will steal her……and the list of acceptable acts of hate multiply because I have given myself the power and authority to make any decision because I am all that matters. What happens when masses of humanity, each with differing opinions about what is worthy of life (based on whether it adds value to their existence or helps them attain the life they want) rise up ????? You get what you have seen the past few days, weeks, years, decades, and centuries, anarchy, Hate, chaos, hAte, riots, haTe, beatings, hatE, theft, Hate, vandalism, hAte, murder, haTe, war, HATE………………………………When my happiness and success is all that matter, all that matters is that I get what I want, not the means by which I attained what I want!!!!!
While the world engages in an battle of epic proportions over diversity, arguing to the point of violence and then excusing the bloody and violent outcome, the very nature of self love is on display. When man cares more about the right to say I am right and you are wrong than he does for the human life and relationships he violently sacrifices in order to be able to brag he has won, self love is at its best. When society can stand and fight for the rights of one people group while at the same time justifying the total extermination of another based on brain faculty there you see the dark face of self love!
Racism isn’t our problem it is merely a symptom. Self love is the monster we must address and hedonism the dragon to be slain! So what is the cure? We are told that there has never been a more powerful demonstration of love towards mankind than when one man laid down his life for another. The kicker is that this actual physical sacrifice and death wan’t an even exchange. It wasn’t a good man dying for an even more noble and worthy man. It wasn’t a good man repaying the favor of another. For while we were still sinners, swimming in the mire of self love and depravity and hate, Jesus Christ died for us. This is what true Love looks like. It is a love that can abolish racism and all other acts of violence. It is a love that sees fellow man as beautiful and worthy not because I deem him so but because he was created in the very image of the God of the Universe. True love understands that when much has been given much is required in return. The only hope we have to end racism and ALL other forms of hate is love and the only way we can exchange hate for love is to accept the Love of the one who first demonstrated what love looks like.