Sample Religious Studies Essay Paper on Black Lives Matter

History of Black Lives Matter Movement

Social groups are formed to defend the oppressed against the oppressors in the wake of social unrest and discrimination. The Black Lives Matter social group was made from aTwitter hashtag after the exoneration of a police officer, George Zimmerman that shot and killed an African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin. Three activists, Alicia, Patrisse, and Opal initiated the slogan. The three chose to stand in solidarity with the black Americans to show dissatisfaction with the jury’s pronouncement on the case (Garza et al., 2014). Eventually, the slogan was echoed by many people leading to the formation of the activist group to demand fair justice to the Black population living in America. The movement came to full formation as an international activist movement campaigning against violence and systemic racism against African Americans (Garza et al., 2014). It has evolved into an activist group.  The group held demonstrations and tackled problems such as racial profiling, racial inequalities and police cruelty in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Principles of Catholic Social Teachings and Black Lives Matter Movement

The Catholic religious faith is anchored on principles that promote equality, fairness, and non- discrimination. The life and dignity of humans, one of the principles of the Catholic social teaching, is anchored deeply in the principles of the movement (Novak et al., 2017). The principle advocates for the dignity and sacredness of the human life and the right to be treated fairly. Additionally, the church states that who people are or what they do does not qualify or disqualify them from being treated with dignity. Rather, being human beings makes them deserving of dignity. The Black Lives Matter principle of ‘unapologetically black’ has led the African Americans to value themselves and demand respect from the society (Rickford et al., 2016). Additionally, the principle has made them come together to break the barriers of racism. However, the movement has established a set of rules to weigh the extent to which the dignity of life and respect for other people is valued. The group does not advocate for favor, but to be treated like every other citizen. For example, if a Black person commits a crime, he or she should be punished in the same way a White person or any other citizen who commits the same crime is.

Catholic’s principle of equality and dignity of all persons defines justice and fairness. The faith advocates for the treatment of all human beings with fairness and justice even when they are on the wrong side of the law. Moreover, Black Lives Matter has adopted the principle of retroactive justice that is aimed at giving the group a more organized approach to their goal of promoting equality among all the human races. The group is committed to a collective responsibility to ensure equality and fairness, as well as the consideration of freedom and justice of the African American community, and to reduce the intensity of discrimination in the country. Moreover, the group fosters to build and nurture a new generation of a loving community that promotes the principle of equality and respect for other people’s rights regardless of their social or cultural backgrounds.

However, the movement has been criticized on several occasions due to its biasness in responding to other vices such as violent demonstrations. Other slogans such as ‘All Lives Matter’ have been developed by opposing human right groups that consider the objective of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan as misleading and promoting acts of discrimination in the United States (Chatelain et al., 2015).

Works Cited

Chatelain, Marcia, and Kaavya Asoka. “Women and Black Lives Matter.” Dissent 62.3 (2015): 54-61.

Garza, Alicia. “A herstory of the # BlackLivesMatter Movement.” Are All the Women still White (2014): 23-28

Novak, Michael. Catholic Social Thought and Liberal Institutions: Freedom with Justice. Routledge, 2017.

            Rickford, Russell. “Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle.” New Labor Forum. Vol. 25. No. 1. Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2016.