In 1918 a new strain of influenza emerged which eventually killed as many as 100 million people. Unlike most illnesses, most of the victims were young and healthy. The reason for this mystery was soon discovered: the victims were not killed by the disease, but by their own immune system’s response to the disease.
Like the human body, our social body also has an immune system designed to fight off toxins. The immune system is composed of our laws and those who enforce them. The toxins are people whose behavior is damaging to society. But in America we are reaching the point where, like the 1918 influenza pandemic, our immune system is attacking the body.
Take the war on drugs. We all know that drug abuse is a terrible thing, so we passed laws against drug abuse and drug dealing. The effect of those laws was to criminalize common behavior in many minority communities and thrust the drug dealing business into a highly profitable big business. We passed more laws with tougher penalties, sending many minority community members to prison and allowing law enforcement to seize suspect property. The result is a devastated minority community and laws that let police confiscate cash from anyone, as in a recent case where a man on his way to buy a car had his money seized by police. The immune system has turned on the body, creating toxic results.
The recent tragedy involving the death of Travon Martin is an example. The oppression of young black men comes not from the old evil of racism, but from the modern war on drugs. The black community lives this reality, while most middle class whites are unable to understand what would drive a young black man to respond the way Mr. Martin did. Thus, more division is created as the social body is infected with more and more toxins.
It is time for Christians to deploy their spiritual weapons to bring healing to our society. The spiritual weapons needed are love and forgiveness, and we are going to have to let go of some of our cherished political positions to do so. We must admit that the war on drugs, like prohibition before it, is a good idea gone bad. We have made criminals richer and prisons fuller, destabilized minority communities and put all of our freedoms at risk, caused crime wars in our cities and abroad, and subsidized killers and terrorists around the world.
Drug crime can be stopped the same way prohibition era bootlegging was: legalize it, tame it, and tax it. Laws can be changed to restore our freedoms, and restoration can begin in the minority communities. Such monumental changes will not come unless the Church humbles itself, prays, seeks God’s face and repents (2 Chr 7:14). Then God will forgive and heal our land.
Let us pray that the Church will awaken to society’s immune system disorder and use its spiritual warfare weapons to heal our land.