From riots to revival

Published 7:02 am Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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When the king was killed in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, one of the characters observed “Confusion now hath made his masterpiece”. That about sums up the unrest in our nation.

Portland, Oregon, has now experienced more than 100 days of riots. The people in charge should be ashamed; maybe they would be if they were actually in charge. They are a feckless bunch.

Let me demonstrate.

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According to The Oregonian, a crowd of more than 200 gathered at Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s apartment on his birthday. They lit a fire in the street, stole a picnic table to fuel the fire, shattered windows, broke into a ground-floor dental office, and then finally lit a bundle of newspapers ablaze and threw them into the building. They were singing “happy tear gas to you” to the sound of “happy birthday” as they attempted to burn down a 16-story building filled with 114 residences.

And don’t forget that these same groups stormed the federal building and attempted to burn it down with people still inside.

Had foreign nationals attacked the city the way these “protesters” have, it would be considered an act of war

Portland is where this open revolt began, and its lawlessness has now spilled over into other cities and towns including Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York.

But everyone in Oregon doesn’t act or think that way.

The small town of Sandy, Oregon, population 10,000, is about 30 miles outside of Portland. According to a story in the New York Times, their biggest fear is that the senseless rioting will slither its way to them.

Its people are preparing for the worst—since March they’ve bought 4.5 million rounds of ammunition.

One gun shop owner says that “There’s such a massive rush, people are taking anything they can get.” They estimate that about 70 percent of them are first-time gun owners.

According to the same New York Times story, one Oregonian just wants to be able to fly an American flag without being hunted down for it.

So while a few in a few cities want to overthrow our government, it is clear that most of us don’t.

I am in favor of truly peaceful protests. Correctly understood, the words you are reading are a form of peaceful protest. They are protected speech in a free country. I am a big fan of free people’s right to protest, complain, march, make their voices heard.

But no reasonable person can be in favor of what is going on.

I can’t help but feel that we are playing a game of chicken and that politics is at its core. No one wants to act until after the presidential election because no matter who acts, the other side will point fingers, wag tongues, and fix blame. 

And while all of that happens, these cities are being destroyed.

Be honest—would you move to Portland? Far worse than felling brick and mortar, we are teaching lawlessness, and those lessons will come back to haunt us.

When did politics have a say in whether someone is breaking the law?

For those who attempt to burn occupied buildings, when did politics get to weigh in on what some would call attempted murder?

And when will someone have the courage to act? The governmental blame begins locally but spreads to the statehouse and then, like poison running through veins, wends its way to Washington.

This is no less than an attack on our nation. They want to do away with capitalism and law enforcement. We can do without neither.

We’ve already begun to see the stirrings of counter-protesters.

What happens when the protesters and the counter-protesters clash and bullets fly? People have already died, so I suppose the question becomes how many people have to die?

This should not end that way.

Maybe the better answer does not even lie with the government.

A pastor in Kenosha, Wisconsin, had begun a street movement that he calls “From Riots to Revival”. There’s an idea.

Why don’t we join him? And why don’t we start by recalling the more than 125,000 missionaries we send overseas? Who needs them more than we do?

Politics is in the middle of this, but it is not the answer.

The answer has to come from somewhere much deeper than that.

Maybe it’s time we supplied that answer.