Dan Popp
Which lives matter?
By Dan Popp
September 3, 2020

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27, NASB)

Imagine that you come across a man about to kill a child. You have access to a weapon, and a split second to decide what, if anything, to do. In that moment, does that man's life matter?

No, it does not.

That's interesting, isn't it? With that one little thought experiment we proved that not all lives matter. Not all the time, anyway.

From there it's easy to show which lives matter, and which don't. What if we introduce race into the equation: What if the would-be killer is white and the child is black? What if the man is red and the child is yellow? What if they're both brown?

What if the intended victim isn't a child, but a mother? Or an empty-nester accountant? Or an unmarried assembly-line worker?

None of these categories makes any difference, does it? The only relevant distinction is between innocent life versus wicked life. Or maybe better, the harmless against the harm-intending.

"All lives matter" turns out to be a pleasant-sounding absurdity. If all lives matter, then no lives matter.

"Black lives matter" substitutes race – which we know from our thought experiment is insignificant – for rightness. Inverting Dr. King's dream, it replaces "content of character" with "color of skin." If black sociopath's lives matter, then the lives of their victims – mostly black victims – do not.

Now let's draw another word picture. Let's think about one life, and how it may or may not matter to others. I don't mean this to be snarky, but the point may be sharp.

A baby is conceived. The father is gone before the pregnancy test is confirmed. Does that baby's life matter to the father?

Does that tiny black life matter to the government, or to the various envoys of the Left who want to make sure it's easy to end his life in the womb?

Assuming the boy is allowed to be born, does his life matter to his mother, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his teachers, friends, mentors, pastors, etc.? Do they teach him to fear God, to do right, to obey the law, to stay away from gangs and drugs and alcohol? Does anyone care enough about this young man to teach him to aspire to make something of his life? Is he encouraged by the proverbial "village" to work hard, to study hard, to aim high? To view as enemies those who tell him that acting responsibly is "acting white?"

Do his spiritual leaders have enough compassion for him to tell him that his existence is no mere accident; that he was created with a purpose? That, despite years of tax-funded brainwashing in nihilism, his eternal life matters to God?

Out of the many people who will interact with this young man in his formative years, does his life matter sufficiently to any of them to train him to comply with police instead of trying to overpower them? Will no one teach him respect for society, for society's laws, and for society's agents?

If he does commit a crime, and is confronted, and chooses to put the lives of himself and others in jeopardy rather than submit to law enforcement officers, doesn't it raise the question whether his life even mattered to him?

In this imaginary scenario, only after his life is over – a life that apparently didn't matter to his father, his mother, his family, his government, his neighbors, his church, his friends, his school or even himself – only then will some stranger take a Sharpie to poster board, and march in his name chanting, "Black lives matter."

Doesn't it almost seem that his life mattered only after it was gone, and only to those who could exploit it for their own political purposes?

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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