How Church Teaching Can Help Explain Why 'Black Lives Matter'

I’m glad you read it. What do you think of how he addresses this point?

I think the most important part is this:

Yet the residents of these neighborhoods are the most important agents of all. Participation and decision-making are ways in which people affirm that their own lives matter. This is all the more true for the Black community, whose autonomy was for far too long legally denied.

The foundation for building genuine autonomy all begins with our homes and families, regardless of our racial identity.

Subsidiarity is the ingredient that is missing in the left-wing “progressive” approach to racism, because it’s the blind spot in any socialist solution. But socialist solutions have been tried for decades now; it’s in families and communities where racism — and fear of racism — is rooted.

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I just don’t understand why all the gyrations to get people to say “black lives matter.”

Why not “every black life is precious and made in the image and likeness of God?” This accomplishes two things: 1) avoids the political slogan, and 2) goes further.

Is there an issue stating a truth in a way other than the popular slogan?

@blackforest - I’d like your take on my question. If I had the chance I would ask the bishop the same question.


I don’t either.

Just because someone doesn’t want to embrace the slogan “Black Lives Matter” does not necessarily mean that they don’t care about black people or are automatically racist.

I would go so far as to say that given the violence and destruction associated with the protests, in addition to perceived COVID transmission risk, not embracing the protests doesn’t mean one doesn’t care about black people or is automatically racist either.

There is an unfortunate perception that if one doesn’t agree with whoever is the black spokesperson of the moment - and many of them don’t even agree with each other - it signals that you are a racist and need to learn or get woke or something. Needless to say I don’t buy into that. It is important to listen to each other, but I am not going to agree with everything I respectfully hear.


He tries to take both sides of the fence.

The photo at the beginning of the article suggests support for the BLM, but the Archbishop goes on to distance himself from the organization, but I read this as more of a tap dance around the reality of what we’re seeing in the streets at all the protests.

I don’t believe Catholics need to be preached to about racism, we all know that racism is wrong.

However, what needs to be preached is against the BLM protests which are drawing in the anarchist and rioters.

It doesn’t matter that the latter are the blame for the violence itself, but the BLM opens the door for them at every protest

No, I don’t see an issue with it. I also don’t see any issue with saying that black lives matter. If you truly take issue with those three words, I ultimately just care that, like the Archbishop, you accept Catholic Social Teaching as it applies to this matter.

As you stated, African-Americans are made in the image and likeness of God. There are times when they’re treated like they’re not.

Yes, this precept applies to other groups as well. But there’s nothing wrong with focusing on one at a time as BLM does on African-Americans, the same way pro-lifers focus on the unjust killing of the unborn, while other human rights organizations focus on the unjust killing of the elderly, certain ethnicities, etc.

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The teaching of Jesus is that all lives matter so that’s how I will look at this issue.

Of course saying that can get you canceled, beat up or worse so that’s an indication that this particular agenda has some problems.

I absolutely agree and support Catholic Social Teaching.

Here is the root cause of the issue, IMHO: words mean things. Unfortunately, the words “black lives matter” has been been co-opted. It does not just simply mean the concept “black lives matter” which I agree with, but it also designates the marxist group, Black Lives Matter. To constantly use the phrase “black lives matter,” IMHO, gives publicity and some legitimacy to a group that needs to be derided and condemned. Many people in the US are not educated on this topic and may falsely think a group named after the concept would have to be a good group. They might even donate to that unworthy group.

Fact of the matter is that there are approximately 171,000 words in the English language in current use, and I am perplexed that 3 specific words must be said in the exact order to convey a concept that I’m pretty confident can be conveyed with other words, or with a different ordering of words.

I’m not the only person with this perspective


You might read the article just posted by @DeaconJeff Catholics can co-opt these words, too.

Thank you, I just read it…and I disagree.

As a student of theology, we find the Church itself agreeing that there are better ways to say a truth. A dogma can be infallible, but the language used to describe the infallible dogma is in itself, not infallible.

You would certainly agree that the meaning of words can change over time. Gay Catholics take great issue with the Church’s use of “disordered” to describe same sex attraction. The word “gay” itself no longer means “happy.”

From the article:

This is a phrase that embraces and acknowledges the tradition and culture of African American communities for 400 years and that applies the timeless value of human life to the particularity of the African American experience today.

This statement assumes that the meaning of words do not change. I assert that the following statement both fits the concept we all agree with, and conveys a more Catholic interpretation of that concept:

Every single black life, from the moment of its conception to its death, is a precious child of God, and must be treated as such.

We can absolutely show our love and support for our black brothers and sisters without giving free advertising to a marxist organization.


That’s all well and good. Just don’t use the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and we can promote Catholic values in other ways. But the words, have been coopted and poisoned by a group with some fundamentally wrong goals.

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It’s a long statement, for starters. Short catchy phrases catch on. My body, my choice. Love is love. Etc.

I do not think people will force you to say these 3 words if you said the above. They’ll get angry when you can’t even say the race specifically. (eg all lives)

The latter seems justified, because even in my own experience I notice people being able to say very comfy, generic statements about how we are all important. But when you stop them and give them a specific person, group, etc…there’s a push. But I think it’s necessary for one’s soul.
(reminds me of the time I told my mom I love everyone, but she immediately replied with, “OK, do you love your brother though?” and I had to say yes begrudgingly)

I think he is naïve to believe that you can separate the two in people’s minds. I will not associate myself with a slogan that is as poisonous to Catholic goals as that one thanks to the founders.

He should either encourage his flock to try and have the organization’s name changed, or promote a different slogan.


I’d expect the same response if I started a pro-abstinence group driven by the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage, and announced our slogan was “Ku Klux Klan.”

I am guessing folks who agreed with me wouldn’t want to chant my slogan.

it would be so easy to pick a different slogan for the cause, yet the proponents refuse to, and as such, they lose so much support. That makes it appear as though they really don’t care.

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I get all of problems regarding “all lives”. What is interesting is that many of the people that insist on repeating “black lives matter,” really don’t agree with “all black lives matter,” because they are quite pro-abortion rights. They also don’t like to talk about the institutional racism inherent in Planned Parenthood.


Yes and the liberals co-opted the phrase as another means to attack pro life President Trump.

I don’t know why anybody is sitting around helplessly letting others dictate the narrative for them. I refuse to give others that kind of power.

An apt analogy is pro-life feminism. Around the time of the Equal Rights Amendment, there was a schism in the feminist movement between those who did and didn’t want to include abortion rights in the platform. Now, enough women have been standing up and saying that no, it is not a feminist statement to lie down on the abortionist’s table to have our offspring sucked out of us just to have the same rights and opportunities available to men.

From this notion, Feminists for Life was born. Now, if anyone tells me I can’t be pro-life and a feminist, my response is three words: “Hold my beer.”

Just as I don’t have to support abortion choice to be a feminist, I don’t have to support Marxism to state unequivocally that black lives matter.

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I hope you realize the irony in your statement. You seem to want to dictate the narrative for me. I refuse to give you or others that power over me.

Now, come on. At no point did I tell you that you have to say “black lives matter” in order to be Catholic. In fact, I told you just the opposite a few posts ago.

I just don’t want to be demonized for my own choice to use them.

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