Radio Interviews About My Speech in Baltimore
I was invited several months ago to speak in Baltimore, MD; as things turned out, the week I was scheduled to speak was the week of the riots. The events were recorded but not yet released to the public, however I gave an interview in Pittsburgh with my friends John Hall and Kathy Emmons, and another in Chicago (which is also believed to be a possible trouble spot for urban unrest) with my friend Mark Elfstrand, and you can listen to either of those interviews below. I should tell you that if you are uncomfortable with religious language, you’re not going to like these interviews. My friend Bishop Joseph Garlington of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh says, “In a divided society, only the Church can model unity,” and I take that as my starting point to understand the current racial crises in many American cities.
Let me quote another friend and mentor, George Gilder, who says that the modern model of top-down central planning which dominates social policy promotes a welfare state for urban women and a police state for urban men. Our modern political duopoly asks us to choose between those two things: a mommy state serving up welfare or a daddy state wielding the baton. But those aren’t two different systems; they are two aspects of one system. They promote each other; a welfare state creates a police state and a police state creates a welfare state. The state becomes a pseudo-family, and like a real family it involves a mix of compassion and discipline. But its compassion is conditional on political subordination and its discipline is without pity. And since a pseudo-family cannot replace a real family, it will always fail and the more the welfare state fails, the more disorder turns desperate citizens to call for more and more police, more heavily armed, more militarized. And the more police are seen as an occupying force, the more urban unrest rises in response and along with it political ultimatums for more ‘investment’ in ‘the community’ if we’re to avoid another ‘long, hot summer’ of violence.
Only Christ and his Church can circumvent this sick system and enable us to rise above the debate over which sick half to embrace. It’s not a choice between guns and butter (or government cheese), nor is it a choice between black and white. It’s a choice between the primitive world of ‘back to blood’ where race and tribe and power are all in all, on the one hand, and the new ‘race’ the people of the nation of Christ, the ‘One New Man’, who leads us out of all of that. Only He can free us from the guilt of slavery and Jim Crow. Only He as the greatest victim of oppression can free the victims of injustice from bitterness and violent revolution. Our generation, like every generation before and after, gets to choose between Him and Barabbas (whose name also implies that he is a son of the father (but which father?)). Between Christ and Caesar.