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And forget about Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forest, and Stonewall Jackson. Those are easy targets. Now the “unpardonable sin” crowd is targeting George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Regardless of what good they did, there is one blemish on their record, and, no doubt, it is a blemish. They had slaves.
Some former leaders in our country made a stupid choice when they decided to introduce slavery as a means to white people’s prosperity and their idea of national progress—in that order. Nobody with any common sense would hold to those positions today. The problem is that many people did make the “slavery mistake,” and it nearly ripped our country apart permanently.
Here we are over 150 years later from the Civil War, and a group of hate-filled protesters is attempting to erase all memories of our fallible leaders from the landscape. Ironically, though they deplore all hate and have hashtags to support their “no hate” cause, they are using hate as a means to squash the memory of any leader who committed the new unpardonable sin.
I don’t condone what some of our leaders did. I didn’t condone it when it was not the new “hot button” in our culture, and I don’t condone it now. I also don’t condone a person’s “right” to destroy public property because they are mad about something. The question I keep asking is, what is your point? I assume it’s to get rid of racism. If that is true, I support that cause, but I’m totally against using hate and even murder to accomplish a noble goal. Using hate to rid hate will only exacerbate hate…on both sides.
If I don’t like what you’re doing and throw a rock through your window to let you know that I don’t like what you’re doing, I doubt I will win you over to my side. My anger at you will only escalate our interaction so much that all that will remain is our unrelenting, reciprocating hate.
I am profoundly sorry for the sins of our forefathers. I’m not culpable for them, and if you want to stand with me in fighting against racism, let’s talk. If you continue to destroy property and live in the name of righteousness, I can’t stand with you. I don’t condone the sin of racism or the sin of hate in response to racism. If you’re serious about working together, lay down your rocks, and let’s talk. Racism is not an unpardonable sin. We all live in glass houses. There’s a better way.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).