“___ Lives Matter” cheapens life, so stop already.

I am so sick and tired of these campaigns. Black Lives. Police Lives. Military Lives. And on and on.

These campaigns are trying to place value on certain groups of people whose lives, in someone’s eyes, have lost value in the sight of society at large. The truth is that these campaigns cheapen lives by inherently placing the value of one group over another.

A pretty bold statement, you say?

Then why do the campaigns continue with an infinite variety of lives that matter? Why is the slogan not simply “All Lives Matter”? That is the truth. Every life matters.

Black. White. Rich. Poor. Young. Old. Unborn. Severely mentally ill. Severely cognitively or physically disabled. The jerk who used to be your coworker who is now your boss. The heroin addict whose sole thought from one minute to the next is how to get more heroin. The meth addict who broke into that family’s home and stole their valuables and killed their dog. My friend’s mom whose addiction finally killed her. The guy who raped your seventeen year old cousin and got away with it. The girl who was kidnapped from her village and sold into sex slavery. Her pimp. Drug lords. War lords. The young woman who has had multiple children and given them all up. Christian. Jewish. Muslim. Hindu. Scientologist. The man who has infected countless women with AIDS. Tyrannical dictators. Mass murderers. The pedophile who molested sixteen young children before finally being caught. Gay. Straight. Smart. Stupid. Somewhere in between.

Every life matters because it is human. Being human and being alive are in and of themselves enough to determine that a life matters. It is not what is done or how that determines worth and we place ourselves in the position of God when we start to decide which lives matter and which ones don’t.

The only way to ensure that fewer lives are lost unnecessarily is to decide that every life, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us, every life matters. Even if they are despicable. Even if we don’t see a purpose to it. Only when we can finally stop creating divisive mindsets can we truly be free to accept this truth.

However, we live in evil days and evil times, where the profitability of divisiveness draws in the influential and marginalizes those who desire unity. Only when we can value human life for mere fact that it is human can we ever expect needless killing to stop. Every life matters and it’s time we who believe that step up and boldly claim such. Even the scumbags. Even the people we don’t like. Even the people we hate. Every. Life. Matters.

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