All Lives Do Not Matter
We’ve all seen the Facebook posts and the pictures flooding social media: Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. All Lives Matter started after Black Lives Matter. It was, in my opinion, a way of saying that black lives do matter but not more so than any other life.
The question remains, though, do we really believe that all lives matter? We have a tendency to politize things, say things that we don’t mean and mean things that we don’t really say. Do ALL lives really matter?
Let’s think about this for a moment.
Do the lives of the homeless matter? If so, then why do we have so many? Why are they passed by and ignored? Why are they silently judged and condemned? Most of us would like to believe that they are homeless by choice. Some of them are. Some of them have chosen that life. However, there are many that have not. They need help but there is no help for them. I have been guilty of ignoring their plight. I have been guilty of not wanting to give money because I don’t know their full story (i.e. whether they are worthy of my money or not). The problem is: to ignore someone is to say that they don’t matter.
Do the lives of the elderly matter? If so, then why do so many of them languish in nursing homes without anyone coming to visit or check on them? So many have families that never visit or check on them. So they stay there alone, ignored, and despised, sometimes for simply not being able to take care of themselves. Some do not have family and just do not have anyone to care about them. Again, to ignore them is to say they don’t matter.
Do the lives of the unborn matter? If so, then why are they aborted? Oh, I know that many would argue they are not really a life because they have not entered the world yet. But here’s the hypocrisy of that argument: how is that a man can be charged with double homicide for killing a pregnant woman but a pregnant woman aborting her baby is exercising her choice? Doesn’t make much sense to me. If it’s not a living being then there is no double murder. If it is a living being then abortion is murder. I know this is a touchy, hotly debated issue but if we are going to say that all lives matter, then ALL lives have to matter.
Do the lives of convicts matter? If so, then why are they so harshly judged and condemned. “Well, they are getting what they deserve. Don’t commit a crime if you can’t do the time.” That’s the prevailing attitude. I am not saying that people who commit crimes should not be penalized. However, when does that penalty stop? I’ve seen too many men get out of prison after serving their time, paying their debt to society and still be treated like animals because they did something stupid. But, I guess their lives don’t matter as much as a non-criminal.
I still believe in the death penalty but I know of plenty of Christians that do not because of the argument that if you are going to be truly pro-life then you have to be pro-ALL-life including convicted murders. To these Christians, ALL life does matter.
Do the lives of the LGBT community matter? If so, then why are they so harshly judged by the Church? Why are they condemned and considered perverts and outcasts? Most would answer, “Well, the Bible says so!!!” Yes, the Bible does speak about homosexuality. It also addresses fornication, adultery, lying, gossip, hate, overeating and other sins that we like to ignore and overlook. Most likely because these are “our” sins that we don’t want to be convicted of. Just a thought.
Do the lives of Muslims matter? If so, why are so quick to judge all Muslims as terrorists? I know that there are terrorists that kill in the name of their god. I know that terrorism must be stopped. I am not certain that our quickness to kill can be considered Christ-like, especially when we consider the fact there have been thousands of innocent civilians killed in drone strikes. Oh well, they were just born in the wrong country, to the wrong family in the wrong religion. Their lives matters if they do what is right (according to me that is).
I hope that you get my point. I recognize that there will be valid arguments on each of these issues that need to be addressed. However, at the core of who I am as a Christian, I must love people like Jesus loved me. His death on the cross proved that my life matters. I believe that my life matters. I believe that the lives of those I love and care about matters. And, I must believe that those that are different from me, even my enemies that might want me dead, their lives matter too. They mattered to Jesus because He died for them as much as He died for me.
The true test of whether we believe all lives matter is when we are faced with being offended or threatened. I can say that all lives matter, but if someone is trying to hurt my children then suddenly my children’s lives take precedence in that situation and their lives, to me, matter more. Most of us would agree with that. So, in that instance, all lives do not matter equally.
We must come face to face with our own hypocrisy, racism, and self-righteousness. We must learn to stop ignoring people that are different because to ignore them is to say they don’t matter. In my heart, I want to believe that ALL lives really do matter — equally. However, my actions, attitudes, and judgements don’t always reflect this.
We might believe that all lives matter, just not all lives matter equally.
I do know that to God all lives really do matter equally. He died to prove that.