I am concerned about several things as I speak to my sisters about the issues surrounding race relations and the impact of those issues on the church today. The first is the apparent expectation of loyalty that seems to be so prevalent in the black community. By this, I mean that, if you are a black person, there seems to be a great deal of pressure from community to adopt a particular narrative. One evidence of this is in important elections, and the predictable delivery of a block vote from African Americans. Perhaps this is driven partially by the media which consistently seems to be talking about the “black caucus” or simply even the “black vote” as if to suggest black Americans are always united in a singular cause, following one united way of thinking. I hope that my black sisters are not influenced by the assumption that they must vote with the majority of black people. But there have been times when it has seemed that some were under tremendous pressure to bend the knee to such a political power block over blood-bought Christianity.
Closely associated is the embracing of the Black Lives Matter movement among some of my brothers and sisters. I have sisters whom I love dearly who have defended the movement, believing that one can support the movement without supporting violence. I do not believe that can be done. I believe the movement is known for violence and that to try to detach it from its reputation is an exercise in futility.
But even if we could separate Black Lives Matter from destruction of property, harm and loss of life (i.e. even if it was a non-violent movement), I would still have a big problem with supporting the movement. The group’s website states clearly its agenda. Here is a portion of that statement:
Black Lives Matter is “a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes” and, embracing intersectionality, that “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. (http://blacklivesmatter.com/about)
All three founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are women, and Garza and Cullors identify as queer. The founders believe that their backgrounds have paved the way for Black Lives Matter to be an intersectional movement. Several hashtags such as #BlackWomenMatter, #BlackGirlsMatter, #BlackQueerLivesMatter, and #BlackTransLivesMatter have surfaced on the BLM website and throughout social media networks. Marcia Chatelain, associate professor of history at Georgetown University, has praised BLM for allowing “young, queer women [to] play a central role” in the movement (https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/women-black-lives-matter-interview-marcia-chatelain).
I understand that there may be some variations in the purposes and activities of organizations that align themselves closely with the movement, but I am also certain that the voices across the board for “queer” and “trans” to be a part of the “intersectional” aspect of the movement are far too loud and too frequently communicated for anyone who is examining it to believe BLM is not allied with sin. The movement itself is an attempt to embrace and give dignity to evil in the culture with regard to gender identity.
There is a part of me that wishes I did not have to say that I believe it is a breach of our covenant with God, as New Testament Christians, to support Black Lives Matter . But I cannot investigate a cause, find that it is involved in the promotion of sin, and still lend my moral support to that cause.