The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
 
 

Social Justice Vigilantism
 

          This was the only brief phrase that seems to sum up the current rash of random crimes being committed against random individuals for no apparent reason other than “payback.” 


          Unbelievably, one of them fell on Chris Lane, the young Australian baseball player gunned down, shot in the back while jogging in a small town in Oklahoma.  I was trying to wrap my mind around his family's grief-stricken reaction to their son's death, and how it could have happened in mid-America, thought to be among the safest environments on earth.
 

          Since all the official rhetoric we've heard of late has seemed to be an attempt to stoke further racial animosities, it occurred to me that there would probably be no official apology offered on behalf of the American people.  I began trying to compose something to reflect our despair, shame and guilt for what has happened.
 

          “We are so terribly humiliated that such a thing could happen to your fine athletic son, who made no mistake other than to jog a route close to a neighborhood where social justice vigilantism would be turned against him.  Our leaders don't see this one as representative of any broader problem, but many of us do.  You have our great sympathy, our ashamed apology for this evil phenomenon that infects our country now.  We hate the fact that national leadership, even top justice officers, seem to have emboldened those who would commit such an act.  We are just devastated, for your son, and for our country.”
 

          No sooner had I painfully grappled with the weight of the situation and the searing emotions involved, than the next story about eighty year old “Shorty” hit my screen, a WWII veteran of the battle on Okinawa, attacked and bludgeoned to death by two unidentified young blacks with flashlights.  Social justice vigilantism.  It is off and running.
 

          This phenomenon is very similar to the sentiments expressed in Cairo only a couple of years before the lid blew off.  The idea was telegraphed in oratory that bolstered the confidence of people with lots of hatred and absolutely no conscience. 
 

          Let us hope this burgeoning trend is not one that will take hold and sweep every place in America, but it may be.  This is the kind of race war the social justice crowd has wanted all along.  And it's one more reason that our days as world leader, world benefactor, peacemaker, liberator, ally and trustworthy partner to the rest of the world are just about over for good.
 

          Europe and others will take America's place now, trying to grapple with a Middle East spinning out of control and a pope who thinks he has the ability to determine the future of money.  What a time we live in.  We will not shrink from any of these realities as they continue to take shape, and point out the relationship it all has to the witness and the warning with which we've been tasked. 

 


Mark Armstrong
 

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Further reading:
Resources
Chris Lane website
 

Photos:
Left: Delbert "Shorty" Belton
Right: Chris Lane