On Veteran’s Day, of all days, news broke that a branch of the Georgia NAACP “honored” Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia teen who was videotaped in a sex act with an under-age teen and sent to prison. Wilson, was in the midst of serving a lengthy prison term for breaking a law intended to protect young women from predatory older males. He became a celebrity for refusing to accept a plea deal and became a “cause” for many in the black community who felt he was being persecuted. In the eyes of many, this was not a crime — nor was it immoral, it was just a couple of teens “getting it on” and who are we to judge?
A Georgia court eventually threw out the sentence finding it too “excessive” and since his release, Wilson has been on the circuit receiving adultation and admiration from people who have apparently lost their collective minds.
The Georgia NAACP and other African-American groups have recently also expressed public support for Michael Vick and the Jena Six much to the bewilderment of those who actually believe that people who commit crimes are not worthy of “hero” status. What kind of message is this sending to the millions of black young people who are trying to do right, to their parents who are trying to raise their kids in such a way that they don’t end up in handcuffs and to those who believe that morality and virtue lead to success and real freedom?
Such seems to be the case in more groups other than the NAACP. Indeed, even evangelical and fundamentalist churches are using similar “ends-justfies-the-means” philosophy in what they embrace as appropriate, “normal” or acceptable. We claim to love Scripture and then we ignore it when it becomes inconvenient. We ask for the Lord’s blessings, but choose positions and practices that invite God’s judgment or at best, a loss of his protective covering. We accept questionable conduct, shakey doctrine, unprincipled behavior and ineligible leadership and wonder why our prayers go unanswered and we don’t see growth, change or progress in our fight against the culture. We strain at gnats and swallow camels for the sake of maintaining “appearances” or to make some “lesser” point.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, it isn’t that Satan wants us to hate God, he just wants us to forget about Him. God’s Word matters. Truth matters. There is such a thing as right and wrong. How we behave is a reflection of what we believe. What we worship, what we elevate, what makes us laugh, what makes us spend money, what makes us cry — all tells us a lot about ourselves.
Maybe it’s time we take a look…a LONG LOOK…at what we consider to be “heroic” and ask, “How did we get here?”