I want to say a few things about what happened in Charlottesville, but before I get there I want to first set the scene by talking about one of the most egregious errors of the modern world, which is the misunderstanding of how guilt is apportioned.

Let’s begin by imagining a squabble between two siblings. We’ll call them Joseph and Sam. They are arguing over a toy, and eventually Joseph snatches it, even though it belongs to Sam. Unhappy that his toy has been snatched, Sam takes it upon himself to pick up a stick and start whacking Joseph with it.

Joseph starts wailing and comes to his mother to complain that his brother was hitting him with a stick. Of course he doesn’t tell the whole story, but in the course of her investigation, she discovers that prior to being hit, Joseph had snatched the toy from his brother, even though it didn’t belong to him.

Now, which child is guilty? The answer is of course both. Joseph is guilty for snatching something which didn’t belong to him, and Sam is guilty of whacking his brother. But there is an extra dimension. Of the two actions, the sin of snatching is obviously less serious than the sin of whacking, so in one sense we might say that Sam is guilty of the greater sin.

However, the thinking that has become prevalent in modern times doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t just ask us to consider who is guilty of the greater sin, but rather asks us to consider whose guilt is the greatest. This might seem like a subtle difference, and even nit-picking, but actually the consequences of misunderstanding this are huge.

Think of it like this. Imagine guilt as a pie. Call it a “Guilt Pie” if you like. When a sin or a crime is committed, the way we are being taught to think is that it can be sliced up in order to apportion guilt. So in the scenario above, because Joseph’s sin of snatching was not as serious as Sam’s sin of whacking his brother with a stick, we look at the Guilt Pie and say that Joseph has about 25% of it, and Sam 75%.

This might seem sort of logical, but actually it’s a complete fallacy. There isn’t one Guilt Pie, there are two. Joseph has his own Guilt Pie, and 100% of it is his. Sam also has his own Guilt Pie, and he too owns 100% of it. Yes, Joseph’s Pie is smaller than Sam’s, but they are both 100%. So between them they have 200% guilt.

The reason this is so important to grasp is that if we think of guilt as being One Pie, we inevitably end up tending to either excuse or diminish at least one person’s sin. So if we take the One Pie approach, Joseph will try to minimise his guilt by pointing out that Sam’s is greater than his. And Sam will want to try and diminish his guilt by pointing the finger at Joseph as being the instigator of the whole thing. Yet the truth is that both are guilty. Both are 100% guilty. The fact that Sam’s sin was the greater sin, doesn’t in anyway diminish the fact that Joseph is 100% guilty of his sin. And the fact that Joseph sinned, doesn’t in anyway diminish the fact that Sam is 100% guilty of his.

And so onto Charlottesville. The idea of white supremacy ought to be repugnant to everyone reading this, and if it isn’t then I suggest you go and read Genesis 1:27-28 over and over and over again, until the message sinks in and you fall on your face before God, repenting of despising him and those he made in his image.

And yet there were thugs on the other side, weren’t there? Yes there were, and they were the same sorts of thugs that have been committing acts of senseless violence for the past few years, apparently in the name of opposing fascism. But whenever anyone tries to mention the fact that there were thugs on the other side, they get howled down in a deafening chorus: You are defending fascists.

How so? How is pointing out the odious thuggishness of the Antifa anarchists defending white supremacists? Maybe I’m just too thick to get it, but I’m not quite understanding how pointing out the obvious on one side means that I’m giving the other side any let off. It’s such a ludicrous idea as to be almost laughable. I don’t know about you, but personally I’m against people smashing people and things with baseball bats, regardless of their alleged reasons and ideology for doing so. Aren’t you?

Part of the reason is that the left doesn’t want to admit that there is a problem with many on its side, even when we see them plainly dressed for violence and armed with sticks, bats and clubs. And so they make out that anything other than a 100% denunciation of the white supremacists, along with zero condemnation of the Antifa mob is somehow giving oxygen to the white supremacists. You can condemn the neo-Nazis 100 times over, but if you then criticise the Antifa mob just once, you’ve somehow watered down your condemnation of the Nazis.

Sorry folks, but this is just plain bonkers. White supremacists are vile and despicable. Period. And the Antifa anarchists who claim to be opposing fascism are vile and despicable too. Period. Back to the Guilt Pie: those white supremacists who used violence are 100% guilty. And those Antifa goons who used violence are also 100% guilty. Both are 100% guilty. 200% guilt.

3 thoughts on “Charlottesville and the 200% Guilt Pie

  1. I have thought about it, and let me add this:
    Brother, perhaps I am saying things you already think: do you think comparing the violence of white supremacists to “liberal goons” is a significantly uneven (basically, moot) comparison in human terms? I have to say, though, the rioting and violence of the “liberal groups” scares me personally at times. Not far from here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, they not long ago had some race riots where mostly ex-convict black men used that as an excuse to murder and pillage.

    1. A lot depends on the distinction between sins and crimes, which most people confuse. A white supremacist who hates black people and who goes on a white supremacist march is committing sin all the time, because he hates the Image of God, and therefore the God of that Image. He will be judged by God, lest he repent. Yet until he commits an act of premeditated violence, he has committed no crime (yes I know that there are some grey areas where speech itself can be seen as incitement to others to commit crime, but in reality this is a tiny grey area).

      So do I think that white supremacists should be allowed to assemble around a confederate statue? Yes, albeit with a heavy police presence. Does that mean I endorse them? Why would it? I loathe their ideology with all my heart. But until they commit an act of violence against a person or property, they have committed no crime.

      But let’s just take a hypothetical situation. Let’s say a group of WS’s get a permit to hold a rally in a certain place, and let’s say there is a police presence. And let’s imagine that the Antifa types turn up as well. And now let’s imagine that according to the police, and CCTV cameras (or whatever you call them in the States), and reporters, the Antifa guys surge past the police and start whacking the WS’s with baseball bats.

      Now if I was a police chief, who should I condemn? I would condemn the Antifa mob because they are the ones in this hypothetical situation that started the violence. They are the ones that committed the crimes. I don’t need to comment on the views or ideology of the WS’s in this situation, because that’s not my job as a police officer to comment on people’s views, however repugnant. The question is who is responsible for the violence (and by the way, this is a very hypothetical situation and definitely not a comment on Charlottesville, since I am in no position to know what happened there).

      But what the Antifa side want to do is to use the ideology of the WS types – repugnant though it is – as at least some justification for their criminal actions. And I must say that so far, from what I’ve seen in the media, they’re making a pretty good job of it and the media is helping their cause.

  2. I actually agree with pretty much everything you had to say, here. But I also think you are missing the point. The “Antifa goons” you mention: how much violence have they done? How many people have they killed? Sin and God’s judgement is one thing. In a spiritual sense, sin isn’t proportional according to human values. But violence and destruction *is* very much a proportional matter, in human terms. And you are right: condemning that there “is violence on both sides” as Trump said is factually correct but like Trump does over and over is use factually-correct statements to avoid saying much of anything. Those are the two major reasons liberals hate hearing (justified and factual) criticism of Antifa or Black Lives Matter or other liberal groups. 1) Smacks of the hypocrisy we hear over and over of “But…But…Obama/HRC/etc did This or That” when they are not at all on a similar scale. Sometimes they are, but so very rarely. 2) Smacks of the hypocrisy we hear from conservatives all the time where they use factual words to avoid saying anything, using their de facto silence as indirect approval.
    When I first say this article, I figured that’s what it was about, then I read to the last few sentences, and changed my mind, and now circles back again to this thought: Thank you for justly condemning white supremacists and violence and horrible behavior from whatever quarter. But you need to acknowledge the reason the liberals are mad whenever conservatives mention violence on both sides, because that’s a false equivalency and often used by conservatives to save face rather than commit themselves to controlling the white supremacist violence.

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