by: Rich Vaughan
I have been pondering for the last several days how I wanted to address the tragedy of George Floyd's death in Minnesota and the craziness that has followed. Most of us who know American history know that the young America was founded on protests that dealt with unfair issues. Think THE STAMP ACT REVOLT (trying to get the early colonies to pay the cost of the French & Indian War) and THE BOSTON TEA PARTY (unjust taxation).
What happened in Minnesota was a crime and a police officer has been charged. As an American I support PEACEFUL PROTEST. In fact, I imagine every American really does as we treasure our right to freedom of speech. I DO NOT SUPPORT VIOLENT PROTESTS/RIOTS which again, I think any rational American of every shape, race, gender, and creed would agree with. I will never understand how looting, destroying, and burning down stores and carrying off "booty” honors George Floyd. Somehow a stolen flat screen TV is supposed to make us believe that you are heartbroken over George Floyd's death? Give me a break. That is nothing but an excuse for sin and evil to run rampant under the excuse that a man was unfairly killed.
I am old enough (I was a sophomore in high school) to remember the Watts riots in LA. I remember the riots in Detroit known as the “12th street riots” in the 60's. I remember the protests of the Vietnam War (even then I was on the other side by supporting our troops). I remember the assassinations of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (June 1968) and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (April 1968), while I was in my early years of college. It was a difficult time in America. And through it all I never wavered on my belief that people had a right to protest (even when I did not agree with what they were protesting, as long as they did so peacefully to make their point). Once the line was crossed into riots and violence, they lost my support and my respect. For the peaceful protesters today, who are genuinely grieved by the death of George Floyd, I support you. As a pastor and a Christian, I believe in Jesus' words of “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR -&- LOVE ONE ANOTHER". I believe in JUSTICE FOR ALL. But for those who have crossed the line of protest, I am angry. I am angry that they have allowed Satan to grab your souls and control your lives. I am angry that you have hurt and destroyed the livelihood of many OF YOUR OWN NEIGHBORS AND CITIZENS. The riots have shown us the worst of humanity. It is up to US the church, it is up to us who follow Jesus, to show our community, our neighbors, even strangers what it means to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
So, pray for our law enforcement, national guard, all those on the front line. Several of those are part of our Holland's family. Pray for their families as they have to watch news reports and worry about their loved ones. Pray for the protesters, that calm leaders will lead and hot heads will be dispersed. Pray for the Floyd family as they deal with the heartache of not only the death of their loved one but also what they are seeing occur that does not honor his memory (riots). Pray that God will bring renewal and revival to the church that we might bring it to our land and lead in healing our nation that we love. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Dad, Papaw, Uncle Rich, "Butter, Rabbi, Turkey", Son-in-Law, Rich, & Rev. Rich