Mike Brown

Denounce Ferguson protesters but remember to forgive

“Instinct is something that people have got away from! It belongs to animals! Christian adults don’t want it!” – Amanda Wingfield

Since the days of Aquinas and Dante, the capacity for reason has been the defining feature of man. The leopard acts by instinct. Man is endowed with better capabilities. Christian theology holds that free will and logic are God’s gift to humanity. Without them, we would be left grazing in a field, not striving for better or to achieve oneness back with our Lord.

If using reason to make sense of the world is man acting at his best, what should we make of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and the ensuing “protests” across the country? The killing of unarmed black teeanger Michael Brown by a white police officer has predictably aggravated race relations in the U.S. Rather than focus on the clear-cut evidence of the case — which appears to exonerate officer Darren Wilson of wrongdoing — the shooting is being used to prove a point about police discrimination in America. The means of distribution are simple: destruction of private property and interference with commerce. In other words, brute thuggery and ignominious acts of violence.

From a practical standpoint, the disruption of people’s everyday routine doesn’t accomplish anything outside of ratcheting up annoyance. A casual look at social media reveals that most folks are annoyed rather than sympathetic when a few delinquents shut down a major highway. The random acts of disturbance are doing little to support the cause of equitable punishment.

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