As the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protestors continue to riot across the United States, reports emerged of Bible burnings in Portland. Some sources say that as many as 100 Bibles were burned, the reason given that Jesus is portrayed in Western society as white.
The Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media, Vladimir Legoida, has condemned the Bible burnings, which have reportedly been committed by BLM rioters.
Mr. Legoida was quoted by the Union of Orthodox Journalists as saying:
“Insulting the religious feelings of the majority of the country's population (about 70% are Christians), allegedly in the name of fighting racism, looks very unconvincing and, first of all, discredits the movement itself.” He added that, in the context of actual peaceful protests, there can always be found “grounds for dialog,” but that “when the main mode of action of the protesters becomes violence, robbery, and the destruction of cultural and religious symbols they dislike, then they lose any moral right to speak out against injustice,” the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church concluded.
“The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers…We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.”
This is an issue where the Russian Orthodox Church has great wisdom from the painful experiences of the twentieth century. Russians were among the first victims of Marxist-Leninist-Communist oppression which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions, and if we include other nations which have adopted this destructive ideology, as in Asia, then around one hundred million people have perished under totalitarian regimes inspired by the same basic ideology of Marxism.
The experience of Orthodox peoples, both in the homeland and in the diaspora, is that revolutionary ideology was always designed to sew chaos and strife for the purpose of taking power, after which all utopian ideas are quickly abandoned.
This was perfectly explained by His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, during his homily at the liturgy on the centenary of the execution of the Russian Royal Martyrs. His Holiness said:
“Indeed, the idea of changing the life of the people for the better arises whenever there is a plan to abruptly change the course of history. We know that the worst and bloodiest revolutions have always occurred in view of people’s aspirations for a better life. The leaders of these revolutions instilled in the people that there is no other way to make life better—only by blood, only through death, only through the destruction of the existing way of life. And at some point, having abandoned their spiritual birthright, having lost their true connection with the Church and God, the intelligentsia, aristocracy, and even, as I have already said, part of the clergy were darkened in mind and infected with the thought of the need to drastically change the course of our national history and to try to build as quickly as possible a world where justice reigns, where there is no bygone separation according to material indicators, where people live peacefully and happily. As a result, many of those captured by this idea reach the point of committing crimes.
A question arises: “Is it possible through crime, through blood, through violence, and through the destruction of holy sites to build a happy life?” History clearly testifies: It is impossible!”
These are the words of not simply an academic theologian, but a Christian shepherd who has lived through the godless regime built by the ideology of Marxism, which the BLM Co-founders claim has trained them.
It is therefore not surprising some BLM supporters have engaged in Bible burnings, as the message of the Bible is contrary in practice to their own.
Revolutionary ideology purposes that only violence and force can achieve a better future for oppressed people, whereas Christianity teaches only the Love of Christ conquers hate, liberates the oppressed, and puts an end to all violence through the power of the invincible Cross—a weapon of peace—which is a stumbling block to the godless.
The ideology of the BLM has much in common with the pharisees who wanted a Christ who would wage war against Roman slavery, and not the Christ who loved His enemies and prayed for them on the Cross.
Instead of those promoting violence, hatred, and ideological division in societies, akin to Marxist “class warfare”, the BLM movement should consider the example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who constantly stressed nonviolence as the key to achieving positive social change. Dr. King was of course, famously a Christian minister, who certainly would not approve of bible burnings. It was precisely that idea of nonviolence, which he championed, that won the day for the civil rights movement, whereas the violent rioters who claim to be anti-fascists are employing the tools of totalitarian regimes that killed millions.