Protest Futility

Productive Protesting

Dr. Steven Minor
Church Politics Facilitator

Protesting is back in fashion.  The 60’s – 70’s has returned with all its zeal and people just can’t seem to get enough of seeing themselves on TV, even if it’s just an aerial view, thousands of feet above that reduces them to a mere “dot,” in a sea of other dots we assume are a great crowd of people.   Ground level, the excitement of parades and shouting down the opposition may provide such a cathartic cleaning which psychologists can only fantasize might be achieved for their soul and maybe the whole nation — ??

But apart from all the intensity ushered in by egos demanding their way, or just the thrill of marching in a parade, we must finally evaluate these measures to see how effective they may or may not be.  We would encourage protest organizers to reconsider some strategies in favor of old, yet established methods to go beyond merely venting disapproval to gain the results our country urgently needs.  We need to reacquaint ourselves with the voice from Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr.

1) Be Proactive — Never allow your enemy to choose the battle field
Let your protest focus on the real problems we face as a community.  Publicize pledges of “Respect the people” is far more effective than “We Hate Trump!”  Never play their game.  Take control of these situations and guide them to higher places of dignity that will shame your adversaries.

     “Never allow you enemy to choose the battlefield”
             — Napoleon Bonaparte, Maxims of War


2) Empower the Media — Give them something to write about.  Let’s face it, the battle is not about you, it’s about winning the hearts of the people watching all this and trying to decide where they stand with it all.  Show the media respect and strength, good order with clear objectives that help the many.  Win the heart of those on the sidelines still deciding what to make of these causes and never assume everyone naturally agree with you.  Be the real people and forbid even a moment of pity for people with hateful motives.

P.S. and make sure your ranks are agreed to not be those kinds of people yourselves.   Guard against those hypocrisy story by-lines.



3) Never Empower Your Enemy — deny counter exposure

When good Dr. MLK planned marches they were normally on the “other” side of town, not the other side of the street.  When the counter-protest is held too close the news media has its lead story on the point of contention.  You have accidentally built the media’s push for a good story by intensifying the situation.

The original point of protest will receive the headline and attention.  By issuing your discontent through hostile measures you have served their purpose of free advertising for their issues (AKA, “news coverage”).



4) Sequere Pecuniam, Go After the Money — starve those resources

The allies won World War 2 on their superiority of resources.  They first of all fed supplies into Europe through marvelous fetes such as the Red Ball Express, and kept the resources flowing.  And then they depleted the resources of the enemy through bombing raids of factories and supply depots.  They denied their enemy resources to fight.

Modern protests needs to do the work — Google often supplies the information — and find out who supports these malevolent protests for white supremacy and other oppressive movements.  That’s where the pressure needs to be applied.  Who are the people supporting the efforts of hate?  Then expose them as broadly as possible.  You do not even have to mention much of the supremacists; but shine the light bright on their supply depots and banking resources.

Cui bono can be a helpful strategy for uncovering the plots behind the scenes, with the driving question of “Who benefits?”  Sequere pecuniam is another help, “Follow the money.”  Who is keeping these power forces functional and viable?  Who is shipping in their resources?  Who is making those signs? Who is providing their water and lunch?  Those are the ones to bring out into the open for public shame.

Believe in your cause and clarify your faith in it.  Show your passion and you will win the hearts of the people.  Our culture has much too much hypocrisy and self-absorbed agendas.  Be the true people of God practicing the heart of Jesus’ cry for peace, healing and reconciliation.  His message of love, not the spun religiosity meddling in his mission, is always good and strong.  That will win the hearts of the people.

Matthew 5:38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said,
    ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
    If anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
    turn to them the other cheek also.
40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt,
    hand over your coat as well.
41 If anyone forces you to go one mile,
    go with them two miles. 
42 Give to the one who asks you,
    and do not turn away from the one
    who wants to borrow from you.”


_____         _____

I am thankful for the guest blog to the Church Politics Consortium from a good friend, Johnnie Tigner, to affirm the call to spiritual renewal and transformation which fully energizes real and effective calls for justice and righteousness.       — SM


Black Lives Matter feedback:

The statement concerning Black Lives Matters as a movement has failed to employ Christian idiom (phrases, sayings…) undermined their ability to persuade white Americans to accept a change to a more inclusive economic and political system in America.

I agree with that statement, our black youths and a few old black guys like me, are not interested in getting white Americans to validate our position. Today, thank God, our Black youths appear to be more interested in real change that can be measured and evaluated and sustained over time. Some see the fight for change should initially involve whites taking a more responsible role in getting whites to change their racist behavior. Recently, Heather Heyer, one of that young white leader gave her life for the Black Lives Struggle (she was the victim of a hit and run 20-year-old white bigot) as she was protesting for parity between the races in the political arena.

Honestly, real and lasting change can only happen If it is ordained by God. If this nation of sinners kneels on their knees and wait on his presence and guidance. Through prayer and spiritual guidance this nation can experience a spiritual step towards a covenant experience with God. However, it would not eradicate troubles or sin, but it would give America a chance at experiencing a unity that would be unparalleled in history. The trick would be how close could we get to God and His will for us in the interim, before we mess it up with petty prejudice and unsubstantiated fear again, because of the color of our skin.

The primary issues would begin with how to line up with God’s will and not our greed. Man, without God, is not capable of sustaining a moral revolution. We are the enemy until God changes our heart and resets our spirit. So, PRAYER IS PARAMOUNT in seeking His face!

God has shown us in the Bible how HE intended for us to live. I believe we all have seen that little babies and toddlers are not born with prejudice, they must be taught to hate and overtime without parental intervention they will suffer from the illness of racial prejudice. I suggest we accept this challenge and set up an early educational system that follows God’s plan to validate and appreciate His creation regardless of their skin color. I truly believe God really appreciates diversity.

If we earnestly seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways, He will bless our heart, and open our mind to hear the word of the Lord by the reading of His Word, and patterning our walk after a spiritual mindset. We will respect the garden, God wanted for Himself. Our time is short, and our impact will be minimal, but God is not limited on any level.

Johnnie Tigner



Tragedy of the Commons

More simply titled, “jackassery.”

The theory believes that humans will usually exploit shared resources, pursuing their own selfish interests.  It was originally proposed in an 1833 essay regarding overgrazing on common land in England.  Ranchers would corral as many of their own cattle, or sheep, onto “the commons” as possible.  The core of the problem warns that the shared parts will be abused and everyone will eventually when grass no longer grows for anyone at all on the commons.

Viewing the church as a shared ventured, the “Tragedy of the Commons” has insight for us.  Being human, we will have a tendency to resort to self will and thus our carnal nature till deprive strength in the entire spiritual concept of Fellowship.  Instead of positive power through “Synergy,” we weaken our vision and hope through a few draining the active flow of potential.


1) Job Descriptions, clarify and not assume committee duties.  Go ahead and list the objectives in summary, bulleted fashion should be sufficient to guide the tasks.  Do whatever you may to kick out any assumptions, which leave vulnerable holes in any venture.

2) Board clarifications – clarify and rule on committee boundaries, like an NFL referee.  An important reason for a “report and permit” emphasis in meetings.  It may be a primitive method, but we should not stray too far from it.  Informing Board is good so they may clarify plans and vision for the rest of the church, but also as a means of keeping everyone honest and on track.  If conflict has been an issue in the past, then make sure the Board Chair/Moderator has a regular checklist for all tasks, and do so before problems may arise.  Be proactive and undercut potential conflict before it can generate steam, Who will do what, when, where; and who will not do what, when and where?

It may feel like you are stating the obvious because you are stating the obvious, but when dealing with humans you must continually remind them about their tasks parameters.  It will keep them on course and expose any selfish preferences which may arise that might tread on another’s work.  Do it like a girlfriend reminding her boyfriend that “after all, we are in a relationship.”  She is smart enough to know that sometimes wayward thinking boys need altering to wayward courses.

3) Shaming:  confronting the “greed is good” influence in our society, which has been eroding social integrity for decades.  Expose it for what it is, selfishness; Shame the adolescent behavior, but with some effect of empathy.

Dr. Steve Minor, Administrator