The United States of America has become a nation of multiple ideologies, hundreds of special interest groups, varied political persuasions, militant factions, aggressive obstructionists, and some belligerent coalitions seemingly bent on anarchy.
Our country has always been a melting pot made up of people from every country, culture, and clime in the world. I have always liked it that way. And while there have been differences of opinion and sometimes obvious struggles, we have remained one nation under God.
However, in recent days, we have had venomous charges recklessly hurled at first one organization and then another. Certain alliances have been labeled as “hate groups.”
It is amazing to me that the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, D. James Kennedy Ministries, Family Research Council, Liberty Council, and Traditional Values Coalition are now considered “hate groups.”
It is also interesting that while the Southern Poverty Law Center has made a long list of “hate groups” and condemned the actions of the Antifa group, they stopped short of adding them to their list. The Antifa group has been called an amalgam of left-wing anarchists and activists. In recent weeks they have made themselves known in the riots in Charlottesville, VA and Berkeley, CA.
Antifa is short for anti-fascists. Jessica Suerth, writing for CNN, identified them as a “broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left – often the far left – but do not conform with the Democratic Party Platform.
“What they ‘re trying to do now is not only become prominent through violence at these high-profile rallies, but also to reach out through small meetings and through social networking to cultivate disenfranchised progressives who heretofore were peaceful.
“While it can be difficult to distinguish Antifa activists from other protesters, some dress head to toe in black. They also wear masks to hide their identities from the police and whomever they are protesting.
“The group is also known for causing damage to property during protests. White nationalists and other members of the so-called alt-right have denounced members of Antifa, sometimes calling them the alt-left.”
Southern Baptists passed a resolution at their annual meeting in June in Phoenix, AZ to affirm their opposition to the alt-right movement, which seeks a white-only state. It was a good decision, but now perhaps it is time to denounce the Antifa movement and any movement that appears to foster anarchy or fails to measure up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s model of non-violent, peaceful protests.
When George Washington gave his farewell address as President of the United States, he stated, “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.
“They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force… to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.”
The Christian Index expresses strong support for the First Amendment of the Unites States Constitution including the “right of people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
However, the mask-wearing Antifa thugs were not peaceful protesters. They smashed windows, punched and kicked people, and turned the streets of Charlottesville and Berkeley into battlegrounds. In Charlottesville three people were killed and at least 33 injured after a series of violent clashes
What we are seeing in our country today is beginning to resemble what happened in November of 1938 when Nazi thugs moved through the cities of Germany smashing the windows of German homes and shops and burning synagogues. Innocent people – men, women, and children – were beaten and killed simply because they were Jews.
Anarchy and chaos becomes commonplace in a society when God is removed from the schools, the Sabbath is no longer kept sacred, the Bible is no longer read, and Jesus Christ is longer revered.
Daniel Webster exclaimed, “When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see it shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched in fraternal blood.
“If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendance; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”
If the United States is to be preserved as “one nation under God” it must be saved through God’s people aggressively, faithfully, consistently sharing the Gospel and pastors proclaiming God’s Word with the clarion call of the trumpet, because if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself for the battle” (I Corinthians 14:8).