At that time, some people came and reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And He responded to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all Galileans because they suffered these things? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen that the tower in Siloam fell on and killed—do you think they were more sinful than all the people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”

(Luke 13:1-5)

In the span of one week the American furor over race and social justice detonated and three lives were lost. On Tuesday, August 25, Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two of them. On Saturday, August 29, a man affiliated with the group Patriot Prayer, Aaron Danielson, was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon, as a caravan of Trump supporters clashed with protestors.

Three human beings are dead. Three bearers of the image of God have breathed their last, have had their lives extinguished at the hands of other image bearers. The killer of two of them has been whitewashed as a flawed but unsurprising symptom of contemporary anomie. The killer of the third was immediately maligned and the victim canonized before any details had even emerged as to what had actually taken place.

Sadly, these deaths have been instrumentalized so as to prove a point. The two men killed in Kenosha, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, have been claimed by some conservatives, including Rod Dreher, to be the “real” problem. Dreher writes,

All three of the men shot by Rittenhouse were bad guys who were only out on the streets of Kenosha that night to cause trouble. They are violent men who died violently, or, in Grosskreutz’s case, will live maimed as the result of his violence. Kyle Rittenhouse seems like a good kid who got in way over his head, but who is not the villain here.

The Kyle Rittenhouses of America are not America’s problem; the Joseph Rosenbaums, Anthony Hubers, and Gaige Grosskreutzes are. So are the Jacob Blakes.

In this instance as well as in the cases of George Floyd and others, criminal records have been invoked to demonstrate the victims of violence are not, in fact, victims at all but “bad guys” needing to be neutralized so as to restore law and order. Aspersions have been cast upon the character of these victims so as to invite the conclusion that the violence perpetrated against them was righteous, that they “got what they deserved.” The implicit reasoning at work here is that these persons’ injuries and deaths are witnesses to their villainy, displays of the proper outworking of justice in the universe.

But this is fallacious: affirming the consequent, to be precise. Their deaths do not prove they deserved to die. Kyle Rittenhouse did not execute a warrant issued by God or the universe against Rosenbaum and Huber. Furthermore, it glosses over the nature of Rittenhouse’s actions, rationalizing it according to the fallacy of relative privation: Rittenhouse’s actions may be bad, but they aren’t as bad as Rosenbaum’s or Huber’s.

No one should suffer any illusion that leftists are immune to such devilish logic. The reign of Sin binds progressive as well as conservative under its subjection. Theoretically, at least, there is little of which anyone is incapable, and to presume otherwise is to put too much confidence in the flesh: “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). But, despite affirming this is so, I must confess I have yet to find Aaron Danielson being hung in effigy by high profile, published leftists in the same way Rosenbaum and Huber have been.

Political urgency is a necessity in such a time as this, but the temptation to flatten the complexities of a Christian response to this crisis by attaching ourselves to a partisan narrative will present itself once the immensity of this moment is acknowledged. Constricted within the moral matrices we inhabit it’s easy to overlook how evil befalls all human beings indiscriminately: “Mankind is born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). It’s too simple, too cynically motivated, to conclude the sufferers of such disaster are especially deserving of such an end.

An incident in the New Testament mirrors this moment. In Luke 13:1-5, some people bring news to Jesus of a massacre of Galileans carried out by Pilate as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. Something in their account of these Galileans’ deaths provoked Jesus to criticize the presupposition they seem to hold that the mingling of their blood with their sacrifices evidenced the enormity of their guilt before God. They are wrong to presume these Galileans are exemplary sinners above all others, Jesus counters.

But he goes on. “Unless you repent you will perish in the same way,” he warns (verse 2). He then deepens the dilemma of rushing to such judgment by asking about a recent incident in which respectable, law-abiding people from Jerusalem were killed by the collapse of a tower. “Do you presume they were worse sinners than others in the city?” he asks (verse 4). Of course not, he tells them, before repeating his prior warning: “But unless you repent you will all perish in the same way” (verse 5).

What is Jesus doing here? Is he suggesting that all of us deserve such deaths?

Jesus employs two different words to describe the Galileans killed by Pilate and the residents of Jerusalem killed by the collapse of the tower. The Galileans are referred to as “sinners” (hamartoloi) whereas the people from Jerusalem are referred to as “debtors” (opheiletai). The designator “sinner” was a common one at the time, typifying the existence of those outside the norms of Second Temple Judaism as exemplifying sin, whereas the appellation “debtor” softened that charge to suit Judean prejudices.

Jesus raised the stakes in posing the question of the people of Jerusalem killed by the tower’s collapse. The Galileans were regarded with a measure of contempt by the Judeans, for whom divine judgment was a reasonable inference from sudden, violent death. Jesus complicates this inference, though: If residents of Jerusalem can die in a manner similar to the Galileans, does that make them similar objects of divine wrath? Are they guilty in the same way the Galileans have so easily been presumed to be?

The Galileans who were slaughtered as they were offering sacrifices aren’t far removed from the Jerusalemites who were likely purifying themselves in the pool at Siloam when the tower collapsed. Both groups were engaged in the apparatus of worship: how can the same outcome between them not hold the same verdict for both? Death doesn’t come for the deserving— it comes for us all.

The myopia of partisanship renders invisible the reality that all of us contribute to what is wrong with the world. That none of us are exempt from judgment. That all of us have wrongs to answer for which we hope we never have to. That the world is broken in painfully unique ways because of our actions or our failures to act. Those with whom we disagree are not solely responsible for the shape of the world’s brokenness. We are all participants in the ruination of our common home.

The uncritical assumption of purity and superiority will see in the deaths of Galileans and Joseph Rosenbaums and Anthony Hubers and Aaron Danielsons evidence of God’s judgment upon “bad guys,” upon sinners, just the same as the inhabitants of Malta presumed Paul’s being bitten by a viper evidenced his guilt (Acts 28:4). But Jesus’ warning extends to all who presume to penetrate through the operations of Death to pronounce the victory of right: if you will tenaciously cling to such moral blindness your own judgment will arrive in similar fashion.

This is not an exercise in moral equivalence. The sins of Donald Trump and his enablers are egregious and, as they are perpetrated under the guise of Christian values, the more heinous. But the fact that varieties and modes of sin can be weighed as greater or lesser and thus require different responses must not obscure how every human being born is a participant in the dominion of Sin, the anti-God and anti-human Power which has claimed our world for itself. The awareness of our collusion within Sin’s regime should chasten our claims to moral perspicacity and thus our proclivities to pronounce this or that person’s death as justice having been served.

The point is not that all human beings are equally in the wrong: this is patently untrue. This is the Jesus who said that temptation to sin comes to all but pronounced woe upon those through him those temptations come, solemnly stating that it would be better if a millstone were tied to them and they were thrown in the sea if they should cause others to stumble (Luke 17:1-2). He therefore doesn’t claim the category “worse sinner” is meaningless in Luke 13— he simply rejects the inference that the violent death of a person demonstrates their belonging to that category.

Schadenfreude is a rhetorical world of iniquity lit by the fire of Hell (James 3:6), feeding the flames of Hell already loose in our world. When it is indulged a false solution is presented to the world’s problems: If only those people got what they deserved. It comes to expression in glee over harm coming to those with whom we disagree. This is a failure of Christian moral imagination, one which views mercy and justice as separate entities. But the only justice worthy of the name is an imaginative justice which generates new possibilities by offering mercy within and besides the necessary pronouncement of guilt.

The tyrant Sin rules over the human race through the operation of our fallen intuitions of right and wrong which, in turn, are inculcated and reinforced by our social identities. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law,” Paul writes (1 Corinthians 15:56). Sin and Death are correlated with one another and their power distributed through the moral frameworks by which we define ourselves over against others. The reductionism which Charles Taylor in Dilemmas and Connections: Selected Essays dubs “code fetishism” (351-353) absolutizes communal moral codes and loses sight of the vertical dimension against which these codes gain any meaning.

Death is not God’s verdict echoing through the cosmos that this person is guilty above his or her fellows. Death comes for us all regardless of our relative righteousness before God and humankind. Death does not exist to satisfy our expectations of right and wrong or to validate our moral identity. It doesn’t serve the purpose of confirming our biases or our sense of moral superiority. It simply is. It is an enemy to be defeated, ours no less than our opponents’.

Neither the conservative nor the progressive are true to the principles they espouse if human deaths can be rationalized as the evidence of those persons’ unworthiness of life. Death is not the boundary marker of those who belong to righteousness and those who do not. It is not a tool of ideology. The storied architecture of partisan biases will imprison us in the very apparatus of Death we claim to be against.

If you and I will not permit ourselves to enter into the holy scrutiny of the God who bestowed his own image upon us all we degrade ourselves and invalidate the visions of justice to which we subscribe. We will not be able to arrive at anything remotely close to a principled consensus of peace so long as any of us are unwilling to pretend we are morally untainted by commerce in this world.

The dominical command to attend to the obstructions in one’s sight before presuming to come to others’ aid in recognizing theirs’ (Matthew 7:1-5) is mordantly applicable here. One cannot presume, implicitly or otherwise, a God’s-eye-view of the events in Kenosha to claim that Rosenbaum’s and Huber’s deaths prove they were worse offenders, especially when a blind eye is simultaneously cast upon the misdeeds of those with whom we feel we can identify; in this case, claiming that Kyle Rittenhouse has beens misjudged and is “not a bad guy.”

The furor that comes to expression in statements such as Dreher’s masks a sinful inconsistency which must be exposed. Christian involvement in political matters can meaningfully distinguish between the categories of “sin” and “crime.” But this distinction cannot be absolute, for if it is one reality in which we are all enmeshed then a boundary exists at which the two meet or inform each other. But that boundary cannot be read off the surface of the world. Concrete knowledge of the good arises out of the encounter between human beings in their need or between humans and God. If that is so then the prioritization of religious belief and practice over good civic conduct is often, in fact, a cloak for motivated reasoning, a coping mechanism for adhering to one’s preferences in the face of contrary convictions and evidence.

This sinful inconsistency shows itself whenever “sin” or “crime” are arbitrarily assigned greater importance than the other in such a way that another misdeed is obscured. We neither can say that “sins” are more egregious, as if to claim that those who commit them are the ones who ought to die, nor that “crimes” are the real problem as that can paper over the fact that many injustices have been perpetrated which bore legal legitimacy; for instance, the 14th Amendment’s exclusion of Native Americans from citizenship. If one claims to care about wanton disregard of civic peace, good: now do so consistently and stop shielding Rittenhouse from scrutiny. But follow that same logic further and pursue the rectification of historic injustices. If you say you are committed to the broader shape of right and wrong in a world created by this God, then attend to those ramifications and engage in public discourse with others who do not share that same conviction precisely because you claim to care about the well-being of them as well.

Law and order are not upheld by teenagers breaking the law or by anyone else assuming the role of vigilante. Neither is rectification made by the death of a Trump supporter. The sorrowful joint that unites the two is the sudden death of a human being. To flippantly justify such a thing is to forget our own culpability before God, to disparage his image in human beings, and to invite the very same judgment upon ourselves.

The human face of sin is yours. And because it is yours is also Jesus Christ’s. Sin and Death are not overcome by motivated reasoning, by the pretense of moral purity, or by forceful coercion. So long as we pretend the world’s wrongs can be righted through the deaths of those we oppose we will go on contributing to the deadly stalemate between calcified code fetishisms. None of us can claim a moral superiority which refuses to reckon with the ubiquity of Sin’s influence and impairment, which pretends that influence and impairment has been effectively overcome in our case. For in so doing we prove the justice we endorse does not originate in God and, instead, present ourselves as servants of Death.

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Editors note: An earlier version of this essay used the phrase “the murderer of two of them” and “the criminality of Rittenhouse’s actions.” The piece has been changed to read “the killer of two of them,” and “the nature of Rittenhouse’s actions.” I (Jake) took this action because “murder” and “criminality” are terms with specific legal meanings and it is my general policy to avoid using those terms prior to a trial. In this case, I simply missed those words during my editing process. The error is my own and I apologize for the mistake.

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Posted by Ian Olson

Ian Olson is a grad student living with his wife and children in Wisconsin.

42 Comments

  1. Terri Rowley Rigby November 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Wait wasn’t he was defending himself when he shot those people? He was not a vigilante. Do you say also that it is wrong to defend yourself in this way when other people are trying to kill you?

    Reply

    1. Suspend the question of whether or not self-defense is credible in Rittenhouse’s case. That leaves us with a teenager entering into a volatile situation with an AR-15 is absolutely a vigilante.

      Reply

      1. Suspend the question??? Ridiculous and irresponsible! But since we’re playing *that* game, … what if neither of the two guys who got killed had attacked Rittenhouse, would they still have died?

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        1. “Irresponsible,” you say. Indeed: a teenager entering into that scenario armed is wildly irresponsible.

          No games are being played, because the question of self-defense has nothing to do with whether or not Rittenhouse acted as a vigilante.

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          1. Any comment to add after watching the actual trial Mr. Olson?

  2. […] Mbird contributor Ian Olson has a zinger at Mere Orthodoxy: “Death Does Not Come for the Deserving“. […]

    Reply

  3. Rittenhouse acted as he did because the police was unwilling or unable to preserve order. That is not a slight thing. Kenosha was beginning to look like Dresden after the RAF paid it a social call. Does that register at all with you, in even a modest form? If this were happening to your neighbourhood and the police were impotent, what you would do? Grovel to the looters? Offer them your home as a kind of danegeld? Appeal to their better nature as they rob and beat the hapless and the weak?

    This may come as news to you, but people are generally unlikely to accept their businesses and homes being incinerated while those charged with preventing this just sit on their hands. Maybe you live in a place where you don’t think it will happen to you. That is a dangerous assumption.

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  4. How can you write this whole article without touching on self-defense? Was Rittenhouse putting himself in a dangerous vigilante position? Yes. Was he attacked and did he act in self-defense? Yes. This is absolutely essential to an honest discussion of the morality of the situation. It is telling that this topic isn’t addressed at all. I don’t think Dreher, or anybody else, is saying that the fact these men were killed is the evidence they were “bad guys.” Rather, the fact that they violently attacked Rittenhouse and he had to defend himself with lethal force is evidence they were “bad guys.” It’s wrong to attack people. What is so ambiguous about this? This article is such lame sophistry.

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    1. Much is ambiguous about this precisely because the sequence of events is so difficult to ascertain. Your certainty that he acted in self-defense is simply not warranted. I will not belabor how armed vigilanteeism is arguably a provocation as you no doubt are aware of that. Nor will I belabor how we simply don’t know when or by whom shots were first fired. In the confusion of that moment it would make sense for people who believes themselves under threat to attempt to disarm a person with an AR-15, does it not? But for some reason “self-defense” doesn’t enter the equation here— these people are simply in the wrong.

      “It’s wrong to attack people.” Would that it were so simple.

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      1. Popvaditecclesiae November 29, 2020 at 3:27 am

        Hmmm, seems like a courageous, yet naive, 17 year old kid is being destroyed by evil people to me. “Describing the events of the incident, the statement noted that Rittenhouse was on his way to a mechanic’s shop when multiple rioters accosted him, recognizing him as one of the people trying to protect the shops in the area. The teen tried to flee as he was chased by the “mob,” and “[u]pon the sound of a gunshot behind him, Kyle turned and was immediately faced with an attacker lunging towards him and reaching for his rifle. He reacted instantaneously and justifiably with his weapon to protect himself, firing and striking the attacker.”

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      2. Have you seen the footage of Mr. Rosenbaum’s behaviour that evening, and Kyle Rittenhouse’s desperate attempts to run away from him? He may have made a foolish decision to be there with a rifle, but you cannot blame him for being attacked. This would be an equivalent argument to blaming a young woman who was raped because she was wearing an immodest outfit.

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      3. Referring to Rittenhouse as a vigilante is, according to the evidence presented, a misuse of the term. It was a bad idea to bring a rifle to a riotous protest, but it seems clear that his purpose was not to administer justice — the proper meaning of vigilantism — but, as he said, to protect property. That the police seemed impotent against the rioters is a serious issue that deserves at least as much attention as a contributing factor to the dire outcome.

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  5. I’ll say it: yes, they deserved to die. Most people do (myself included).

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  6. Let’s revisit this, Ian, since Kyle was declared fully innocent of all wrongdoing.

    Let’s revisit the urge to jump to conclusions that you condemn in others while assuming, wrongly, that his actions were criminal.

    Let’s revisit how Kyle was defending businesses, putting out fires, and offering medical aid, which you termed “criminal actions.”

    Do you have any retractions to make?

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    1. If you read the text of this essay I never identify putting out fires or offering medical aid as “criminal action,” because I’m not an idiot. Only a very stupid person would call *those* things criminal. If you have any good will at all you will recognize that the criminality I mentioned was shooting and killing people. And now, he has been exonerated. The retraction has been made and I stand by it.

      For the past twenty hours I have been responding to people decrying the protection of Rittenhouse over against the rights of anti-racist protestors and this, too, is an extravagant claim. It seems to me that Rittenhouse did open fire in response to a person pointing a gun at him. Within the scope of the law as it stands, this is justifiable.

      What remains unjustifiable is a child entering a scenario like this, brandishing an automatic weapon and exacerbating an already tense and incredibly dangerous situation. What he did was stupid. As was looting and arson and every other stupid thing that happened. There is so much wrong that took place and what I still protest is that at the end of the day lots of people are okay with saying this or that person is justified in killing another person, whether it’s Rittenhouse killing Rosembaum and Huber or, hypothetically, Grossekreutz killing Rittenhouse. All of it is sickening, all of it is eager to make meat of human beings in the grinder of ideology. And so I will not ever concede that there is a clear-cut good guy, Rittenhouse, and the clearly-deserves-to-be-dead bad guys.

      Reply

      1. When people say that X “was justified in killing those who tried to kill him”, they usually don’t mean that that was an optimal result. And yes, the deserves-to-be-dead narrative is bad (though I might accept an argument in the pedophile’s case), they did not ‘deserve’ to die. But it was their actions that brought their deaths.

        Far left mobs should have an 101, 1st sentence: “Don’t try to lynch a guy who has a rifle, even if he hinders your looting”.

        Rittenhouse ain’t a child by the way. And most adults would’ve acted much more reckless in that situation, he really only shot those who were an immediate danger to him.

        About the “he should not have been there”. Well, there are people who, when they see that a neighbourhood is looted and burned down by scum, go and try to stop it. I’m not one of them, but I get the urge. And that’s not vigilantism. He did not go there to threaten looters and to try to stop them by force: THAT would’ve been vigilantism. He treated wounds and put out fires. And were he unarmed, he probably would be in a hospital or in a grave today.

        And, still by the way, there were many others there doing the same, but they did not seem easy prey, I guess, so they — miracle, miracle — did not have to shoot anybody.

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        1. I agree completely Ashe!

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      2. An AR-15 is in no way shape or form an automatic weapon.

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      3. And now you say he was “brandishing” a weapon. That’s an emotionally loaded term, which is not accurate in either the colloquial or legal sense. It was not an automatic weapon, either.

        Stop digging, Ian. It’s clear from your comments that you did not watch the trial, and have relied on media summaries that align with your preconceptions. Rittenhouse fired several times before being confronted with a gun, and each of them was a justifiable attack.

        Tactically, Rittenhouse made an error by going alone. It would have been far better and achieved more for keeping the peace, if he had been accompanied by a much larger contingent of men who cannot be cowed by violent arsonists in the streets.

        You did not make a retraction. Your editor made a half-effort, and didn’t apologize, merely noting the change of words. So, you have nothing to stand by yet, because you haven’t taken any stand at all except the ill-informed and defamatory one you took last year without enough understanding to justify it.

        In a word, you’re a couch warrior who sits back and criticizes men braver than yourself with moral posturing about how sickened you are.

        Reply

        1. There is nothing to apologize for as at no point was it a hit piece. You demonstrate time and again in your wrangling over words—a wrangling which makes the mistake of claiming Rittenhouse was “declared fully innocent of all wrongdoing” (that didn’t happen, as being found “not guilty” of specific charges is not equivalent to “fully innocent of all wrongdoing,” but hey, just focus on phraseology I used that you don’t like, sure)— that you have not read the essay and are not interested in discussing what is actually argued there. And you descend further by mounting your personal attack on me at the end. Your attitude and posturing are components of what I was addressing in this piece, as your remark about “men braver than myself” demonstrates.

          Reply

          1. Gentlemen, a man who can nuance himself into not condemning violent child rapists as bad guys is saying that I wrangle over words.

            Why yes, I do wrangle over words, because they have meaning. Your haste to apply incorrect ones is why your editor had to edit your article in the first place, and why you may have opened this publication to defamation charges.

            You’re right – a piece written by someone who can’t support Kyle Rittenhouse, praise his courage, self-restraint, and feel glad at his acquittal is not a piece worth consuming. I read the whole thing, but found it a grasping after vapor, another waffling attempt to walk the middle line that pleads for approval from both sides by committing to neither, and ends up being rejected as lukewarm.

            “The point is not that all human beings are equally in the wrong: this is patently untrue.” – you, in the article. And yet, and yet, you seem so eager to balance the two sides by saying “it was all stupid.” You seek out the fault of Rittenhouse, and praise the “humanity” of the man he shot, while ignoring that he was a violent rapist who made death threats. Keep in mind that under God’s law, that first man DID deserve death in a way that Kyle Rittenhouse did not.

            You seek to minimize one, and build up another. You court the favor of those beguiling, nuanced, and utterly lost people who refuse to draw firm lines anywhere.

            Any last words?

          2. Carson Spratt — you wrote here “Any last words?”

            Was that a threat? Speaking of firm lines…

          3. Ian…I have authorities on speed dial. You just give me the sign.

          4. Also,

            “Why yes, I do wrangle over words, because they have meaning.”

            You do know that, “Any last words?” have deeply entrenched, historical and traditional meaning right?

            Cool. Just checking.

      4. Rittenhouse’s AR-15 wasn’t automatic, and automatic weapons (sadly) are illegal in the USA. Perhaps such an ignorant comment in passing is a clarifying window in your own ignorance in the rest of this article, careful before you boast about your intelligence.

        It baffles me that the Christian Intelligentsia has lost its moral compass, or worse, ceded it to the Woke Left. Rittenhouse was acting as an EMT, and helping maintain some semblance of order. Rather than acknowledging that a young man acted when others wouldn’t, as an EMT, and with restraint in self defense, you chose to wax poetic about the truly depraved.

        Shame on you for publishing this, and Mere O has clearly gone to no place good.

        Reply

  7. And editor – let’s talk about the fact that you allowed this article to describe Kyle’s actions as criminal for over a year, and only edited it after Kyle’s acquittal. Surely your note should reflect the length of time it took for your correction to appear, and an apology that this article slandered Kyle for that period?

    Reply

  8. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

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  9. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  10. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  11. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  12. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  13. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  14. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  15. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  16. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  17. […] శీర్షికతో ఎడిటర్ నోట్‌ను జోడించింది.అర్హులకు మరణం రాదు,” రిట్టెన్‌హౌస్ మరియు అతని చర్యలను […]

    Reply

  18. […] statements. Mere Orthodoxy recently added an editor’s note to its November 2020 piece entitled “Death Does Not Come For The Deserving,” apologizing for using words like “murderer” and “criminality” to describe Rittenhouse […]

    Reply

  19. Most of the comments here are embarrassing in their blatant misreading of the primary point of this essay, which is a call for us to be slow in judgment, and to refrain from quickly resolving who the “bad guys” and “good guys” are when matters of life and death are concerned. We should turn our attentions inward and allow ourselves to feel the gravity of what it means to take a life when none of us can give it back.

    Rapid efforts to justify or vilify are cheap and easy. Efforts to change and grow take patience and humility. And work. And this isn’t leveled at partisan shadows of shallow righteousness. It’s the hard truth of sin and death and grace and mercy, all of which are beyond reductive quips and banal finger-wagging.

    Regardless of your feelings of Rittenhouse’s actions, or the delivered verdict on them, the writer is urging a deeper reflection on our sensibilities around life and death. One clearly warranted if the comments are any indication.

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  20. The kid was attacked, the first time by a man bent he was attacked for either the fact someone sensed a potential target in a riot or because they wanted to stop someone they felt was dangerous. I’ll leave it as I don’t know as I didn’t find Grosskreutz testimony credible (he lied under oath and then reversed his story when it it appeared perjurious to keep up the facade.).

    That this publication claiming to be of the Lord cannot see past its own blinders is telling.

    Reply

  21. All these “It isn’t an automatic weapon!” comments pretending that has anything to do with the appeal being made in this article are the equivalent to those Nicolas Cage “My hair is a bird, your argument is invalid” memes.

    Reply

  22. Ian,
    37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

    Luke 6:37 | NASB

    I carry a concealed weapon frequently when I go into dangerous neighborhoods to help people. If I’m attacked by someone and forced to defend myself with my gun, killing them, would you write an article calling me a murderer? The reason you are getting “attacked” in here is because you are condemning a good man, who by the way, is old enough to go to war for his country, but can’t carry a concealed weapon because of anti-gunners like yourself. A gun in the hands of a good man is a good thing. As far as your church is concerned, I hope you have good men there willing to defend it (my church is heavily armed and prepared to protect the flock). It is men who hate those who are willing to take up arms to defend their family like you that have caused churches to lose members to gunmen who were unopposed. Your consumption of ungodly material from the mainstream media has put blinders on you. The right to self defense is a God given right that is protected by the second amendment. Please stop attacking it. The church needs more good men.

    Reply

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