Capital Hill Occupied Protest (or CHOP) was established June 8, 2020 in Seattle, Washington in response to the murder of George Floyd. The protest was comprised of a few different groups, but predominately the Black Lives Matter movement. Initially, CHOP was described as a “festival of love” and even encouraged by Seattle’s mayor. The initial demands of CHOP were the following: the dismantling of the police department, the abolition of ICE, reparations, a phased-end to imprisonment, the removal of Confederate statues, anti-bias training for educators, rent control, free college, and a decentralized election process. Other demands included funding for socialized medicine, public housing, and the naturalization of immigrants. In regards to healthcare, they sought more black nurses and doctors to aid black patients. Overall, it was an extensive list of socialist policies. Since we have a free election system in which we vote for policy makers (who, in turn advance our desired policies), the demands became less about advocating for policies and more about condemning opposing views.
Six months later, CHOP still stood holding tight to its small piece of earth. A place where the public was free of restrictions and laws and could live largely as they chose. In theory, this place should have been the tangible embodiment of every socialists dream where the unseen arm of government only inserted itself to provide basic human necessities like portable bathrooms. It should have been utopia, right? We could assume that within CHOP a harmonious collective anxiously awaited the day their perfectly crafted demands transformed the world. Yet after less than a month, the “festival of love” crumbled. Leaders shouted demands and profanity through bullhorns, arguments broke out in barricaded city streets, visitors and local residents with opposing views were harassed, litter was abundant, theft and damage to private property abounded. And as of June 30th, there had been 5 shootings resulting in 2 deaths within the boundaries of CHOP. So what went wrong?
We seem to find the same human dilemma that has always existed—imperfect people. Well-intentioned maybe, but still teeming with flaws. People of rich and poor upbringing, religious or secular perspectives and varying political foundations having all committed unimaginable wrongs alongside remarkable rights. We all have a heart and mind capable and wired for the darkness: jealousy, hate, vengefulness, deception, etc. And in the midst of our imperfection, we fight fervently for causes we’re sure will change the world. And as a result of our hypocrisy, the division only grows deeper. Are we fighting for the right cause(s) or is there something (or someone) fundamental to all of this that we’ve rejected? Society would have us believe utopia is possible and that we all have the power to achieve greatness. The examples are endless: ‘Yes, we can’, ‘You are enough’, ‘Believe in yourself’ and so on. Is this just positive thinking or is this a standard we’ve set that we can’t possibly achieve? Let’s take a look at what else our society likes to tell us.
Science and facts have become a focal point in America. Society encourages us to put away silly books like the Bible and faithfully follow a sea of scientific experts. While science is a beautiful construct that somehow exists from seemingly nothing (seemingly), it is not a series of facts; it is a series of proven theories. We forget this sometimes. For centuries, scientific theories have been undone and rewritten with each new discovery, but the truth that God reveals in the Bible will never be undone. Scripture is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. The life and purpose of God’s son Jesus will never be altered, added to, or taken away from and it works in perfect harmony with the world as we know it today. The Bible tells us that God gave us life. God wanted us to live not as robots or slaves, but as His children. Adam and Eve desired precisely what we desire today; to live as we choose, independently and without authority. So we turned our back on God. He could have abandoned us or perhaps done away with us all together; but as a Father, His love for us wanted us redeemed. That redemption came through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus. Jesus’ perfect, sinless life was given so that we could be saved and His resurrection confirmed that death was conquered. Realizing and accepting the gracious gift of Jesus’ sacrifice is our salvation. This gift ensures that we don’t simply return to dust at our death, but to infinite life with our heavenly Father. This is the only utopia. But in place of biblical truth, our society has adopted a popular mindset called “your truth.” Society no longer recognizes specific wrongs and rights, but instead a subjective creation of whatever we individually believe to be right. This ever-changing meandering Goliath of thought convinces us that we need nothing more than ourselves, our perspectives, and our desire to feel good and right. With science and subjective truth at the helm, our soul purpose becomes a futile quest to live our “best life” before we are reduced back to dust and for the majority of us almost entirely forgotten after a generation or two. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a very meaningless existence. Could it be that there is something more? Have you ever honestly considered it? Perhaps you should.