The Gospel Coalition, seemingly on a suicide mission to shed whatever last vestiges it had as a credible gospel-centered organization, released an article by member Dr. K. Edward Copeland that compared the actions of 17-year Kyle Rittenhouse who shot three assailants in self-defense in Kenosha, to the Charleston Church shooter Dylan Roof.
The post, which we’ve linked here and have attached as a PDF here for eternal posterity or until Christ returns, begins with the authors lamenting some bad memories from the month of August he’s had in his past, then launches into an ignorant, slanderous, objectively shocking article for a professing Christian organization. Copeland writes:
I wouldn’t have room to finish this article were I to list all the hashtags of unarmed black and brown bodies who’ve been killed by law enforcement without the benefit of due process or a trial. As Hurricane Laura decimates the South I’m also haunted by the black and brown bodies that were stranded on rooftops during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Copeland certainly could. The Washington Post keeps a running tally, and the statistics bear out that between 8 and 25 unarmed black men were shot and killed by police last year, depending on how you count. (I.e., If a man has a knife and then drops it as he is trying to stab an officer, and then gets shot afterward, is he considered “unarmed” because technically he was? Some say yes.)
So, after the past few months of horrible racial atrocities, when this August comes around, and I watch a video of a police officer pumping seven bullets into an unarmed black body, my heart hurts all over again. Until an hour before I wrote these words, Jacob Blake’s paralyzed body was handcuffed to a hospital bed, clinging to life by the grace of God. I was once again reminded of something August won’t let me forget.
This August, however, the hurt is amplified by an egregious contrast.
Kyle Rittenhouse killed people in the middle of the street (on camera and in front of witnesses) and then, smoking rifle at his side, casually strolled past law enforcement. He didn’t run away. He didn’t hide. He showed no fear. He assumed there was something about his person that would allow him to approach law enforcement with a visible automatic weapon that had just taken lives—and live to tell about it. More than a few witnesses pointed out that he had just shot several people. Yet he was able to leave the scene and the state.
There is no evidence that deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, or Breonna Taylor’s deaths had anything to do with race. None. Perhaps he’s taking lessons from race-baiter SBC President JD Greear, who has likewise referred to all the deaths as racist, despite zero evidence.
Furthermore, Copeland offers his version of events without context, failing to add that Jacob Blake was a convicted sex offender with an open warrant who resisted arrest, fought off several police officers after being tased and was reaching for the inside of his car where he had a knife on the floorboards when he was killed. But no. The whole thing was just a casual “police officer pumping seven bullets into an unarmed black body.”
When armed mass shooters (Kyle Rittenhouse, Dylan Roof, etc.) are apprehended without incident, and unarmed black people are killed out of fear that they might be armed, we have a more insidious problem than “a few bad apples.” This thing is cultural, pervasive, and abominable.
Take a bow, TGC, for comparing a deranged and unabashed white supremacist who premeditatedly killed nine people in a church with the intent to start a race war, to the young man who came to help out and defend peoples lives and businesses, cleaned up graffiti along the way, gave medical aid to protesters, and then shot and killed two people in self-defense who were seeking to do him gross bodily harm, or worse.
On one hand you have Dylan Roof who only shot innocent people, and on the other Kyle Rittenhouse, who defended innocent people and only shot guilty people. These are very different, but the author doesn’t see it that way.
Not only does Copeland compare the two shooters and lumps them together as ‘armed mass shooters’, but he by necessity likens the victims at the church to the lawless looters and rioters, drawing parallels between the three shot convicted criminals to the five congregants, three pastors and one bivocational state senator killed in Emmanuel.
What sort of despicable comparison is this? This divisive, dishonest, and needlessly provocative piece that is ridiculed on arrival. This is unambiguous evidence that TGC has gone off the deep end, with this article being the proverbial rock tied around its ankles that sinks it to the bottom. Now all that’s left to do is watch it eventually float to the surface and poke it with a stick.
From now on, whenever someone asks us “why are you always beating up on TGC?!” we will show them this article to be demonstrative of what the old Green Gang at the Coalition is putting out.
Friends, this sort of thing is poisonous. This is pure slander. It’s as if the Gospel Coalition is asking evangelicals to mainline some spiritual strychnine, probably cut with a dash of Falwellian Fentanyl to get the heart rate pumping. If TGC had a morsel of integrity left, it would retract this as soon as possible.
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