The police beating of Tyre Nichols does not conveniently fit the popular, simplistic narrative of police racism against blacks, as the perpetrators were all black. Nor does it substantiate the principles of those who believe America is a racist nation founded upon racist principles. The officers involved also did not use guns, so we cannot speak about gun violence and call for gun control.
We can search for explanations for this and the many other atrocities and injustices in our turbulent world. We can apply band-aids of solutions to the problems of injustice. But the events just witnessed in Memphis, Tenn., present us with an uncomfortable and undeniable truth, namely, we will never stop injustice until we deal with the root cause of all injustice: disrespect of human life, which results from disrespect for the Creator of all life.
This is the common denominator of injustice everywhere. History shows terrible atrocities committed against humans when people lose their fear of a righteous Creator who holds them personably accountable and judges them for injustices.
We must stop misdirecting and pointing to symptoms concealing this truth. Until we, as a people, confess this and cause it to echo in the halls of our government institutions, injustice will abound, and people will suffer for their negligence in honoring their Creator.
The Creator of the universe created all humans in His image and likeness. Injustice against any person is, in His eyes, an injustice against Him, for it disrespects His creation and desecrates His image and likeness.
Remember what God told Cain, who committed the first recorded crime of injustice? God said that his brother Abel’s blood cried out to Him. This meant Cain had not only cut off his brother's life, but also Abel’s descendants, and God would hold Cain accountable for both. This reality, and the accompanying punishment from a righteous and just God, is greater than any human can bear.
For this reason, many seek to dismiss God from our public discussions and thoughts, enabling the ungodly to feel peace and liberty to commit more injustices. They want exclusive rule and impunity over humans with no reminder that they will be judged by a righteous God and punished eternally for their actions.
And they have been successful. Millions have been abused, mistreated and subjected to all types of injustices by those who judge and rule by personal whim.
Almost 250 years ago, a group of wise statesmen recognized the injustice perpetrated upon people throughout the ages because of a lack of respect for the Creator, and formed a nation to respect the unalienable rights given individuals by their Creator. They codified those rights as the law of the land in the United States of America. They wanted to create a nation respecting God with liberty and justice for all.
About 180 years later, a black minister and man of God appealed to that nation's people and its government to remember its founding principles and respect the inherent worth and dignity of all human beings. He encouraged us not to consider others by outward appearances, but by the content and character of their hearts. He declared that the only way to overcome injustice was by the power of nonviolence and love as commanded by our Creator.
His words—and those of our founding fathers—are still true today. But we, as a nation, have turned far away from those fundamental truths of our founding, and we no longer recognize the God-given right to life and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Isn't it time we, the people, return to our founding principles and give proper respect and honor to our Creator? Isn't it time we consider the words of that black minister, who also unjustly lost his life in Memphis? Isn't it true we must learn to live together as brothers respecting one another, or risk perishing together as fools, rejecting one another?
It is time we stop reusing our failed, manmade solutions to injustice. It is time we face the uncomfortable and undeniable truth. We need to honor and respect our Creator! If not now, when?
Bishop Jim Lowe is the senior pastor of The Guiding Light Church in Birmingham and a survivor of the 1963 bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819news.com.
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