Surfing the blogosphere, I’ve seen about every current debate from both sides: gay marriage, abortion, gun control, religious freedom, boxers vs. briefs, all that good stuff. I have my beliefs (boxers), but I can easily admit that my “opponents” in these issues (I hate talking like we’re enemies) have some darn good arguments against me.
But there is one argument used in a lot of debates (on whichever side you please) that just drives me up the proverbial wall. It’s one that sounds good from the start, but when you examine it for 5 seconds, it’s not only ridiculous, but it’s actually immoral by any standards.
“It doesn’t affect/involve/concern you.” This argument says that if you’re not X, then the X issue doesn’t concern you. Like I said, it sounds nice at first. This has nothing to do with you; butt out. But then I realized something.
That’s is what the rapist says to passers-by. “This doesn’t concern you. Keep walking.”
He’s right. I’m not affected by his assaulting a woman. No skin off my back, as they say. Should I keep walking?
No! Hell, no!
Selfishness is the only excuse for this kind of thought pattern. “It doesn’t affect me, so I’ll leave it alone.” How cruel! How completely self-absorbed! Who would dare commend a man for staying out injustice because it didn’t affect him?
Genocide in Africa doesn’t affect me. Sex slavery doesn’t affect me. Domestic abuse doesn’t affect me. Hunger in foreign countries doesn’t affect me. The Boston massacre didn’t affect me here in St. Louis. I’m safe in my white, American bubble.
But this does NOT excuse me.
True justice, true righteousness, true goodness, and Heaven help me, true LOVE does not stop at my own skin. So what if it doesn’t affect me? If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Genocide, sex slavery, poverty, world hunger, Boston bombings, all those things are horrible, horrible realities and if I call myself a compassionate human being, I need to be concerned with them, at least on some level. It’s the only way I can call myself good, and the only way I can call myself a Christian.
James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” If I see a girl getting assaulted in an alley and I just walk away, that is sin, that is lacking in love, and that is negligence of my responsibility and my humanity. If I ignore the issues of right/wrong that don’t directly affect me, I am no good man and no Christian. I want to be both.
Jesus didn’t live by the “It-doesn’t-affect-me” motto. He wasn’t going to be punished for our sins; he was perfect! But he loved us. He loved us enough to butt into our issues and take them upon himself.
So excuse me for getting involved, but that argument really doesn’t hold water. Because love is messy. Love gets in other people’s business. Love is affected. Love is involved. Love is concerned. It does not ignore.
If you don’t like it, I don’t care. I love you.