by Chris Queen, PJ Media:
Every week I listen to the podcast from the Bible Project, and hosts Tim Mackie and Jon Collins are currently in a series exploring the theme of the city in the Bible. Confession: this hasn’t been my favorite series of theirs because they approach the subject from the perspective of urban dwellers, which doesn’t interest me as one who lives along that exurban line between the suburbs and rural areas.
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The overarching theme of this series is that the city tends to represent both the best and worst aspects of human nature. (If you’re not interested in my theological columns, don’t worry. I’m going beyond the Bible in a minute, so bear with me.) We see the good of the city in Genesis in the way Joseph uses the urban structure as a way to help people from neighboring nations during a famine, and we see the worst nature of cities in the sins that plagued Sodom and Gomorrah just a few chapters earlier in Genesis.
Naturally, that theme extends beyond the Bible. Throughout history, we can see how culture and art flourish in cities; at the same time, we’ve witnessed how crime and corruption plague urban areas. It’s no secret that cities take the positives and negatives of the human experience and multiply them exponentially.
Of course, we know that many of the worst tendencies we’re seeing in cities today are the result of Democrats’ policies. George Soros-funded district attorneys are refusing to enforce laws and bring criminals to justice, while sanctuary city policies are bringing in illegal immigrants at the expense of law-abiding and tax-paying citizens. Racial and political animosity that groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa brought into America’s cities, short-sighted approaches to homelessness and drug addiction, and pandemic-era government intrusion did untold amounts of damage to urban areas.
The state of our cities has suffered tremendously on the heels of Democrat leadership. San Francisco has maps that help people dodge actual piles of crap in the streets. New York is putting illegals in posh hotels. Portland, Ore., and Seattle can’t get a handle on the problem of homeless addicts. And people are fleeing Democrat-run cities in droves.
That’s a trend that’s likely to continue unless the leadership in cities can get a handle on crime. But there’s a bright spot, and it’s taking place in the city that’s closest to me. Atlanta suffered under the woke leadership of former mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, but current mayor Andre Dickens has tried to get a handle on crime (despite throwing a few bones to the gun control crowd after a recent shooting in the heart of the city).
For months, I’ve been reporting on the controversy surrounding the proposed law enforcement training center that the City of Atlanta has been building. I won’t rehash everything — I’ll link my extensive coverage of the controversy at the bottom of this piece — but domestic terrorists linked to Antifa and groups that former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams endorsed have wreaked havoc on the city. It’s worth noting that the vast majority of them hail from outside Georgia, and they’re mostly young adults from privileged backgrounds.