Let us begin with the larger context surrounding Covington Catholic, if only to explain how it became a national news story. The event happened the same week that Karen Pence had the audacity to begin teaching at a Christian school that upholds the church’s view on sexuality. As well, the students came to Washington D.C. to support the March for Life.
Where we are now
The left paints religious schools in general and Covington Catholic in particular as a hotbed for racism and bigotry in order to show themselves righteous.
Ironically, it is from the academic left that I have learned about how human beings create enemies in order to justify themselves; we all run the risk of becoming the thing we preach against.
If it were not for their self-justification, why would the left devote air time to where a private citizen chooses to teach art? We are told that issues about sex are the most private and personal, but the activities that Karen Pence commits to refrain from are national news. Why else would grown adults castigate high schoolers who by legal definition are not mature enough to be full participants in society?
Where We Came From
The New York Times, CNN, Buzzfeed, Huff Po, and many others mobilized to ruin the reputation of the high schoolers. As left wing media, they are now perpetrating the very evil that they ought to fight. This has become especially clear as footage from the day has shown that while Covington Catholic received epithets and were accosted by other groups, they did neither of those things themselves.
The well-documented move of the academy to the left is responsible for the proliferation of media games that we experience today. Yet, the very thinkers who are canonical to the left in Academia would have perhaps agreed that the media has begun to look like an ouroboros snake, consuming itself. Important figures–old and new–like Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler, and Chinua Achebe would all agree in their own way that an “in group” selects an “outside group” to stand in for the devil so that they, the “in group,” can justify themselves.
Each of those thinkers came to the conclusion that we create enemies to justify ourselves for different reasons. For Freud and Derrida, it was anti-semitism; for Deleuze, it was the treatment of the mentally ill; for Judith Butler, it was gender-based discrimination; and for Chinua, it was the legacy and reality of racism. In other words, if there is one thing that the left should fight, it is against those who paint another person as the face of evil in order to justify themselves.
Yet, after the event, Reza Aslan suggested that the Covington Catholic student had a face that needed to be punched.
Where we can go from here
Even as I write this, I run this risk of becoming the very thing that I write against. Am I making CNN, the Huff Po, and others out to be an enemy so that I can feel morally superior and more righteous?
However, I know the one who can fix our problem. When Paul writes the book of Romans, his first three chapters are a master stroke. He points out that regardless of race or identity, everyone has fallen short of the glory of God. What unites me to everyone is my fallenness and the love of the Savior.
So, if you are a believer, do not become angry when others revile you. The reason they do so is because it is the source of their righteousness. We have Christ himself. Let us be patient. Let us stand for truth with the wisdom of serpents, while being gentle as doves.