All lives matter

Posted July 16, 2017 3:22 am by Editor

All lives matter
All Lives Matter

We all have heard of the Black Lives Matter marches and protests. But who are they? The Black Lives Matter website states that the movement:

… affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

And according to the group this means that:

When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.

The Black Lives Matter guiding principles are these: diversity, restorative justice, unapologetically black, globalism, collective value, transgender affirming, black villages, black families, queer affirming, loving engagement, black women, empathy and intergenerational.

Black Lives Matter also say that they are an “ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” This is all well and good. And it’s great to have lofty and general principles to guide our thinking and behaving. But who is going to recognize what we claim to be about if those who do not agree with our views are seen as the “enemy or the oppressors?” There is the risk that we end up acting in similar discriminating ways as those we criticize.

In the Vatican II document called Dignitatis Humnae, “On the Right of the Person and of Communities …” we find this statement about the value of human life:

It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth. However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.

Yes, all men and women are endowed with reason, freedom, equality and dignity from the Creator. However, we have the obligation to seek the truth for everyone, not just our group or movement or political party. If Black Lives truly matter then all lives must matter. The life of the unborn, the old, the disabled, the poor, the rich and the marginalized are all lives that matter. They are all created by God. This right that human life itself matters is true even for those “who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth.” This is the unqualified love of neighbour.

Every human being has the God given right and the freedom “to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” This includes the “coercion” of groups like Black Lives Matter. Because in making sure that all lives matter, black lives matter too.


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