3. At the National Review Online, David French calls for an effort to tap the breaks on the cultural and political divide that seems to be pushing us toward the abyss.
Last night, as the shots rang out across Dallas – as protesters scattered, and we watched the horrible, endlessly replayed video of a police officer’s cold-blooded murder on cable news – I felt that we were witnessing an unraveling. Our unrest hasn’t yet reached the levels of 1968, but it’s moving in that direction – against the backdrop of the worst partisan polarization in decades.
We are faced with choices today. At a time when all the short-term incentives point toward unreason, our leaders, political and cultural, must choose reason. At a time when group solidarity is trumping individual accountability, we must choose individual accountability. At a time when the loudest voices don’t wait for evidence to make sweeping judgments, we must wait for the evidence.
4. John Piper deals with the larger issue of truth in relation to the racial tensions, protection of the unborn, and potential for deception. We must pursue truth, particularly the truth found in the person of Jesus Christ. Some might see this as a deflection of the central issue of the week--the ongoing racial tensions--however, I think Piper is trying to reach the audience of white conservatives struggling with how to engage that issue by relating it to an issue in which they are already engaged. In any case, I think it's worth a read.
Finally, the reality of truth. It is a great irony that the philosophical, academic, and social power of left-wing elites since World War II have devoted themselves to showing that there is no truth. It has no transcendent reality. Truth, they say, is an outmoded enlightenment construct created to justify political, racial, and gender privilege.
This is an irony because it is precisely these left-wing elites that cry most loudly against injustice, not realizing that the limb of truth that they just sawed off is the only one that can provide trans-racial, trans-political, trans-gender, trans-cultural support for justice, and decisive resistance to injustice.
5. Russell Moore writes to help the church process the this week's events. It originated at his blog, but has been reposted at The Gospel Coalition. We have to talk about it. We have to deal with it. The moral fabric of the nation may well depend on it.
What we should understand, first, is that this crisis isn’t new. Many white evangelicals will point to specific cases, and argue the particulars are more complex in those situations than initial news reports might show. But how can anyone deny, after seeing the sheer number of cases and after seeing those in which the situation is all too clear, that there is a problem in terms of the safety of African Americans before the law? That’s especially true when one considers the history of a country in which African Americans have lived with trauma from the very beginning, the initial trauma being the kidnapping and forced enslavement of an entire people with no standing whatsoever before the law. For the black community, these present situations often reverberate with a history of state-sanctioned violence, in a way that many white Americans—including white evangelicals—often don’t understand.
Second, we should understand the peril here. These shootings, and the root causes behind them, come at a time when the United States is hyper-polarized and socially fragmenting. In addition, there’s a resurgent wave of blatant racism and anti-Semitism on display in social media channels and in upheavals around the world. The social bonds in our culture are weak indeed, and ought to cause us to have the same gravity Great Depression leaders had, not knowing whether the crisis would propel the nation to greatness in problem-solving or to meltdown.
6. A post from the Reformed African American Network on processing pain in a time of grief: