David Dorn’s Death Highlights the Godlessness of Excusing Rioting
As I watched the first couple of seconds of a video showing David Dorn lying dead on the street in a pool of his own blood, my immediate reaction was an utter lack of surprise. I watched the video for the same amount of time I watched the video of George Floyd’s murder because I am not the type of person who needs to see the gory details or hear the primal screams of someone dying. Unfortunately, I don’t need it because my imagination suffices in such instances, and I can understand the horrors of what will happen next.
It is also why I was horrified when I started to see a meme (see below) trying to explain how it is white privilege to call out rioters causing property damage. The meme horrified me because my imagination filled in the blanks; every single justification of rioting and property damage meant we were that much closer to more death. So when David Dorn’s video came across my Twitter feed, I simply nodded my head and teared up.
Condemning the killing of an innocent black man and condemning anybody engaging in rioting, property damage, and looting should never be mutually exclusive. But if you point this out and scream how dangerous it is to minimize “destroying property,” you are guilty of white privilege. The only privilege people like me are guilty of is the privilege of foresight and trying to defend life. I was horrified at how myopic somebody must be in order to post the meme because I knew that person was opening up a pandora’s box of evil. Every post, every hashtag, was a green light for more lawlessness and more godlessness, which could only end one way; in death.
The Lie of Atheism and Creating Your Own Morality
People scoff when you worry about the rise of Atheism in America, but the worry comes from imagining situations just like this. The problem is Atheism doesn’t have a moral code, not a real one anyway. The morality of an Atheist isn’t static because there is nothing forcing the code to remain static. It can change depending on a whim, and at that point, anything can be justified or excused.
Somebody who believes in G-d and a strict set of morals does not have that luxury. Somebody who believes in G-d and the morality handed down by G-d has a consistent base to work from, including such things as Thou Shalt Not Steal. The Commandment doesn’t say, “Thou Shalt Not Steal… Unless you’re angry over injustice, then it’s cool.” No, it is a blunt, and unequivocal, thou shalt not steal. End of the commandment. If you are rioting, damaging property, and looting, you are acting in a godless manner by breaking the commandments. Just because Charles Blow says it is understandable and justifies it in the New York Times, doesn’t mean it is excusable.
You might think it is a stretch, but think about what you are saying when you start justifying “damaging property.” You begin by justifying a blatantly lawless act. But the lawless act does not occur in a vacuum. Your morals now say, “Hey, this one terrible thing is acceptable,” and it lets others know you now deem this terrible thing is acceptable. Where does it stop? Why would somebody, who has no fear of retribution when committing one heinous and lawless act, stop at just one? If your morals are so fluid you can start justifying destruction, why not stealing? Why not death?
Yes, death. Death is clearly the final line, but you just spent an entire week justifying breaking laws and minimizing the evils of property damage because you felt righteous doing so. Your new set of morals excused it, even though it was clearly not righteous, moral, or godfearing. If property damage is acceptable, and damaging the property of somebody else causes them monetary harm, why not looting?
You already said it is fine to impose hardship and monetary loss on another person by destroying their property, so is looting and taking from them really that different? Are you surprised when a rioter who smashes a shop window then walks into the damaged store? Is it a shock the rioter literally takes the next step and starts grabbing whatever he wants? After all, you have given him the go-ahead to smash the store, what is the difference to now go and take from the store?
But what if there is a store owner or security guard, and he wants to stop the rioter? You have justified every action up until this point, so the rioter now believes he is justified to be in the store and to take and do whatever he wants. If the rioter is justified and excused of his actions, then anybody trying to stop him is unjustified. Therefore, of course, he can rationalize killing the man who tries to stop him; the rioter has been justified and excused from all of his prior actions, what is one more? When you start by tearing down one fence and bulwark against lawlessness and godlessness, it ends in no fences. It ends in the death of David Dorn.
How David Dorn Died as Celebrities Cheered
“MATCHED!” That was the message shooting across my screen during the first couple of days of rioting in the wake of the George Floyd murder. Celebrities like Chrissy Tiegen, Justin Timberlake, Seth Rogan, Steve Carrell and so many more, they all pledged to match donations bailing out protesters and rioters alike. They made no distinction between the two because in some places there was no distinction. They defended the rioters as just more active protestors, so the riots kept getting bigger and bigger because people felt they were justified. What is the problem with a little more property damage if we think it is an excusable byproduct of the protests? Worse for those that were worried about the path we were heading down, it was then deemed “white privilege” to point out the danger and evils of justifying this lawlessness.
But this was not a color issue. This was not a race issue. This was a godlessness issue and a defense of life issue. You took G-d and his laws out of the equation by creating your own set of morals. You justified, excused, and minimized the unjustifiable. And now David Dorn is dead. A community leader killed by the people he spent 38 years protecting, left to die in the street in his own blood because you were too myopic to see this happening. Because you felt you knew better, and you thought your anger excused and justified godless action. So a truly godless act occurred. Is that a surprise? Of course not. David Dorn is dead and we should have all seen it coming. May G-d have mercy on us all.