Trump Protesters as Argument for the Existence of God
Not since the sixties have we seen protest in America like we have in the few years.
Whatever your opinions might be of our cultural situation, one thing is for certain: People who have long since denied the notion of objective truth and absolute evil are now crying out in protest.
For the last 60 years or so, there has been a progressive movement in our country that has mocked the notion that there are such things as absolute truths and absolute goods. From “COEXIST” bumper stickers to pleas for tolerance to “what’s right for me may not be right for you,” there has been an insistent push in our culture to move away from claims to hold to absolute truth or absolute good.
Many of these claims have emerged from the very same communities who now rally in protest. I have no intention of defending positions on these issues, but I do find this terribly curious: On what foundation do protesters stand in order to protest? If truth is relative, as many of them might claim, than why the outrage about “alternative facts?” If good and evil are subjective, as many of them might suggest, than how can an immigration ban be “evil?”
Here’s the reality: protesters function as a kind of simple argument for the existence of God.
How? I’m glad you asked.
Protest assumes that a given person or institution is behaving in a way that is false or evil. The reason protesters come out against the President is they genuinely believe that he is behaving in a way that is not good or he is propagating beliefs that are not true. They are mad about this, because they believe the President should behave morally and believe rightly. When protesters rally against pro-life policy, they do so because they are outraged at a belief they believe is morally wrong.
Since this is the case, protesters must believe that there are true beliefs and good behavior and that false belief and evil behavior should be measured against these truths and goods. Protest always raises this question: How do we measure things that claim to be true, good, or beautiful?
The Christian has a solid answer to this question. We measure all things that claim to be true, good, or beautiful against the revelation of God in Christ, in scripture, and in nature. When a Christian hears of anything or anyone claiming to be true, good, or beautiful they can quickly discern whether this claim is accurate by measuring this against God’s revelation.
So, when Christian’s protest, like Martin Luther King Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Richard John Neuhaus, they do so while standing on an unshakeable foundation that gives them lenses to accurately assess truth, goodness, and beauty. You can only face down Jim Crow, Hitler, and the abortion industry with your feet firmly planted on an unshakeable standard of truth and goodness.
But how can protest be effective or accurate in its aim if it denies any ability to measure truth or goodness? On what basis does someone who denies that there is absolute truth and absolute good protest anything?
Here is a basic way of approaching the issue:
The nature of protest is rooted in objection
Protesters object to things that they believe are not right
In order for the there to be rights, there must be a way the world should be
If there is a way the world should be, then the world has purpose
If the world has purpose, then someone must have intended it
Someone did intend the world, we call this person God
So, when it really comes down to it, when someone picks up a sign in protest of anything, they immediately surrender their ability to meaningfully deny absolute truth or absolute good. Protesting assumes objective truth and good. It assumes that there is such a thing as “inalienable rights.”
And objective truth and good, meaning goods and truths that exist universally whether a given person or culture believes them, are rooted in the belief in a God who created the world to work a certain way.
Protesters are a simple argument for the existence of God. Every protest sign is a placard reading, “This isn’t right because there is a way the world was created to be.”
So, when you are talking with a neighbor or scrolling through social media, and you run across an act of protest. Someone objecting to that which they believe is false or evil, regardless of whether you agree with them or not, realize that they are protesting because deep within their soul they know there is a way the world should be. They believe a truth is being denied or evil is being perpetrated.
Even if they are confused about how that world should be, even if they believe the Christian account is silly or unpersuasive, the Christian has an immediate contact point with the voice of protest because they can come alongside them in conversation and say, “I want the world to be made right as well, let’s talk about why and how that might happen.”