“You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe fruits, and of your liquors: the firstborn of your sons shall you give to me.”
Many past cultures offered human sacrifices by pouring out the blood of children onto the Altar of the Gods. This practice hinted at being voluntary, just like paying taxes pretends to be a voluntary practice today. Also like today, the political narrative of that time reinforced the concept that personal sacrifice was in the best interest of society – blessings from God bestowed on many would outweigh the loss of a few.
Ancient sacrifice not only produced mysterious blessings from a God unknown, it strengthened governance of the people by maintaining a lower class that feared the ruling elite. Since those sacrificed were members of the powerless, rulers would use their subjects’ fear of being the next sacrifice to manipulate them.
Sacrificial rites surrounding a reverence for a higher, heavenly source served to bond earthly communities in an outward expression for the need of a common good among men. The certainty of a promised heavenly reward in paradise for those that died honorably was part of the imagery ritualized on the altar. Rituals also eased the tension and pressure of life through processions that symbolically assured the masses that the heavenly ascension awaited those spared, just as it awaited those that were sacrificed.
With this backdrop, another decade of the Black Lives Matter movement is on the horizon. Deaths from police shootings will continue to spring up in city after city because they serve the same purpose for community activists and government officials as the blood of the firstborn did for our ancestors.
Time after time, under the spotlight and through the camera eye, ritualized lawyers and activists will continue to speak from their altar for the need of government reforms leading to social justice benefits so that the heaven-bound lives of the fallen are not lost in vain. At the same public altar, police departments and mayors will preach for new riot gear, modern high resolution cameras and totalitarian laws that will quell the disturbances of social unrest. DC bureaucrats will investigate the tragic incidents; write twenty-page reports, recommending funding for even more studies while wringing their hands and mourning the loss of life as they preach for a nationalized police force.
Protesters bonding in all-night, candlelit vigils will chant slogans praying for peace from powers unknown. More police shootings will feed the cause of more leftists demanding more social programs for the poor. Appeals by the right for law and order will fuel the need for more tax dollars, jails and police. Lost black lives will continue to matter as more blood is sacrificed to the diocese in DC. Bloated budgets built on barricades and belly clubs will get bestowed on society. Sacred chants of “No Justice No Peace” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” will continue from the altar. We need change! We need social justice programs! A self-fulfilling prophecy, the cycle of police violence leading to more protests, creating unrest and fear that leads to more violence and more protests will never end unless the power mongers are exposed from behind the curtain.
Instead of promoting change through government initiatives, the Black Lives Matter movement could lead voluntary teams mobilized and trained to intervene on behalf of families that need mental health help. Funding through outside donations rather than tax dollars would take the strain off law enforcement by using rotating shifts of private citizens and professional crisis volunteers. If stripped of a political motive, BLM could demonstrate the sacredness of each life by participating in a movement which could truly save once-broken lives. Voluntarism would overcome the financially motivated lawyers, politicians, activists, riot-gear manufacturers and news outlets that are incentivized by the status quo. The practice of spilling blood on the altar to the God of Government would end through a voluntary team that demonstrates that no life should be sacrificed for a political or social cause whimsically defined as the common good.
However, since the movement seems more politically motivated and statistics do not back up their narrative that blacks are being racially targeted by police to die – no volunteer program will ever emerge, police shootings will continue, social programs will be funded by our tax dollars and the police state will grow from the blood of those shot by local law enforcement.
* Brad Johnson has been involved with international trade compliance regulations for 30 years. He has promoted local initiatives that advocate individual voluntarism and personal liberty as an alternative to unconstitutional federal government regulatory burdens.
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