Antifa violence appears to be a regular occurrence. Recently, a man was stabbed for the crime of being white, and having a haircut that someone thought was reminiscent of the Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis in the Charlottesville rally. Any law abiding American should be appalled at such political violence, and the silence of the moderate liberals against Antifa is deafening. We have utterly disowned and distanced ourselves from the Alt-Right, and we have done our founders, our party, and our God proud, by doing so).
Why is it that those on the Left cannot find the moral courage to do the same?
Naturally, people have been asking, "Well, shouldn't we retaliate?" The impulse to do so is strong. I certainly feel it, but I do not think that would be wise, either politically, or Biblically.
First, the general advice for non-believers and Christians alike: for every one of these incidents where we are the innocent victim, and Antifa is the unprovoked aggressor, we gain more credibility, and they lose it. This is what is called the "long game— " the strategy for more long-term success.
Not giving into emotionally satisfying, basic instincts, fighting back or violence, in general, helps draw the distinction in the public eye between us and them, regardless of the efforts of CNN. It exposes Antifa for what they are, a violent band of street thugs, and highlights our calm moral courage, our fitness for responsibility, and our worthiness of being entrusted with public office and leading the nation.
We're being watched, all the time. By God, to whom we should answer first and foremost, but also by the voting public, the majority of whom is not terribly passionate or ideological. There are people in the middle out there who aren’t partisan zealots, and they are, in fact, the majority. They mostly care about their lives, livelihoods, and things that they feel are more directly connected to their immediate well-being.
Chaos and disorder in the streets undermine these things. Antifa’s lawless violence increasingly makes them look like the partisan street thugs that they are. The more we abstain from such violence, the more glaring the distinction between us and them, in the public eye.
This is more than just the moral high ground. We don't want to be like Weimar, Germany, or like two men in a bar fighting. People lose track of who's right, and don't care; they just know that they're disgusted with two people ruining their good time. A man savagely beating a defenseless person, or someone who is electing not to retaliate for the sake of a higher moral cause elicits a great deal more sympathy and concern for the one, and condemnation for the other. They aren't two faceless, equally immature brawlers. The situation becomes one with a monstrous oppressor and a victim.
This strategy worked for Jesus, for Gandhi, and for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each of them of them got what they wanted without firing a shot or throwing a punch, and by their conduct cast their enemies in such a bad moral light that they had to cave and retreat before the public outcry. Images of unarmed black protesters being savagely attacked by police dogs, and beaten mercilessly, without resistance, helped provide the moral groundswell for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They lost teeth, bones, and even lives, but it worked.
The Bible confirms what I have stated above, that taking the high ground will serve to ruin and discredit the reputation of a violent band like Antifa: "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you" (Pro 25:21-22).
If they hadn’t? What if they had followed the words of Malcolm X instead of Dr. King? Surely, we would see Civil Rights more in the same light we see Antifa or BLM. Instead of being the victims of evil, they would be participants. Their enemies would be ready-armed with plenty of ammunition to paint them as violent thugs bent on destroying social order and law.
This is the example we must emulate. We must show God, America, and the world, that we are the side championing order, prosperity, and peace, and that they are the side championing wanton, unprovoked violence. Nothing will dig their grave faster or discredit them more, than taking one for the team. Or two. Or three, or however many it takes.
Currently, our best weapons are cameras. Let the world see them, especially the police. The police are doing their jobs, arresting Antifa when they have proof enough to issue a warrant. As dramatic as their tantrums are, the system’s mechanisms for dealing with violent mobs is still working. We are not at the LA riots just yet.
For now, Antifa is a very long way from being an existential threat to the United States. They do not presently constitute a force on the verge of conquering America and defeating its armed forces. As such, cries to take back America with street violence are doing great harm to our long-term viability as a prosperous and peaceful nation.
For Christians, the words of Jesus are clear: But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also— Matt 5:39. Christianity abhors violence and vengeance in particular: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom 12:19).
Believers or not, wisdom and sense dictates that we must always resist to resorting to violence out of personal anger and vengeance. Giving into anger makes it easier the next time, and as Jesus warned, getting into the habit of using violence will always end poorly for all parties: "Return your sword to its place, for all who draw the sword, will die by the sword” (Matt 26:52).
Make no mistake: this is a hard teaching, requiring a very great deal of faith and moral courage. The right path is almost always the harder, less emotionally gratifying one. I am not arguing cowardice, nor appeasement, nor silence. I am arguing bravery and confrontation, combined with a large amount of self-control. I am calling for us to prove that we really are superior to these violent, immature children.
America deserves no less than us at our best, rising above a world already well supplied with violence and death.
- Joshua Nybo