It’s time we admit that they’re right. Yes, them. The people protesting the protests. The ultimate universalists. The brave warriors fighting back against the perceived danger of emphasizing the rights of one ethnicity over another. The ones chanting back at us: All! Lives! Matter!

Because they’re right. All lives matter.

Including the lives of criminals and thieves. The ones who steal from a convenience store. The ones who sell cigarettes without a permit. The ones who argue with police. Even when they’ve done something (maybe) to break the law, it’s time we acknowledge that they don’t deserve to be executed in the streets. To be robbed of a trial. To be met with immediate death upon the suspicion of some petty crime. They deserve to have a voice and to be treated justly by those who have been called to serve and protect.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of immigrants. Yes, even those immigrants. The illegal ones. The ones who cross our borders in search of safety and stability, so desperate for a fresh start that they’re willing to forego proper documentation. Our consciences shouldn’t allow us to treat them like animals in cages. These men, women, and children deserve respect. They deserve the common dignity of being treated as a human being. They deserve care and consideration. And who knows, maybe even hospitality.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of Arabic-speaking people on the other side of the world, worshiping Allah and living in total ignorance that they’re being watched by deadly drones, ready to extinguish them at the push of a button. We’re unlikely to ever meet them. And even if we did, we’d probably never agree with them on any topic related to religion or politics. But they shouldn’t be considered expendable just because they’re not like us.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of teenagers struggling with questions of sexuality and gender identity. The ones who experience such hopelessness and rejection that nonexistence seems better than the alternative. No longer can we write them off as freaks and weirdos. We must find every way possible to love them and care for them, walking with them through some of the most frightening experiences they’ll ever face. They deserve hope to keep going.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of native men and women. It’s so easy to forget about them—the ones whose ancestors roamed this land long before anyone with white skin showed up to steal it from them. But they matter, too. Our legacy of violence against these communities should haunt us, propelling us into a new reality of repentance and restoration. We can’t pretend they don’t exist. We can’t pretend we don’t owe them anything.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of those on the wrong end of our second amendment “rights.” School children shot while learning to read. Shoppers shot while picking up some groceries. Concert-goers shot while singing along to their favorite song. It’s time to stop accepting mass shootings as an inevitable trauma for our communities.

Because all lives matter.

Including the lives of every other person we despise. Every other person we deem a threat. Every other person we conveniently overlook. Every other person whose existence undermines our well-protected sense of comfort, security, and privilege.

If all lives truly do matter—as some of our friends so adamantly tell us they do—then there are no exceptions. Our commitment to peace and dignity must extend in every direction. We can thank our friends for helping us see that.

Unless, of course, “all” isn’t what they actually have in mind…

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks Drew. We need to see these people primarily as humans and image bearers of God. Once the church does that we must be compelled to fight for all of them. Unfortunately we of ten let our politics influence our theology instead of our theology dictating our politics. Miss you brother.

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