Protests in Iran

Welcome to the blog, dear readers, and we thank you for your time! We’ll be giving you one or two dedicated news posts per week here at Fundamentally Free, so why don’t we jump right in.

Let’s be honest: 2017 was a crazy news year, and 2018 is already shaping up to be no different. Aside from reading how the Bishop of Liverpool has criticised Evangelical Trump supporters, or about Trump’s latest tweet-based game of chicken with our most fun nuclear powered enemy, the largest story this week by far has been about the Iranian protests.

These protests started last Thursday in Iran’s second-most populous city, Masshad, as a response to high food prices and high unemployment.  They’ve spread quickly across the country, with thousands taking to the streets to denounce their government.  To date, about 400 protesters have been arrested, and nearly two dozen have been killed in clashes with police. That number will likely grow higher in the coming days as government forces increase their response to the rapidly growing movement.

Now, here’s the kicker: Evangelical and conservative leaders have largely been supportive of the protests, calling the Iranian people brave for standing up for their freedom.  Even Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (who I have my own issues with but that’s neither here nor there) has chimed in, hailing this “noble quest for freedom”.

Here’s the thing: while they are not wrong for praising the exercise of peaceful protest, one can’t help but put that in context with the Right’s condemnation of peaceful protests here at home.

People like Colin Kaepernick and Deray McKesson have been vilified for protesting against our nation’s growing problem of excessive police violence, and the Black Lives Matter movement has largely been written off by Conservative White Evangelicals. How, then, can leaders on the right support the demonstrations in Tehran and Qoms while condemning the demonstrations in places like Charlottesville without recognizing their hypocrisy.

The truth is, we should be encouraging any movement that asks people to be critical of their structures of power in a way that might lead to positive reform.  I only hope our Evangelical brothers and sisters will keep that in mind next time someone marches against Trump.