By Rhett Burns
I now rise to offer three cheers and a toast to King Kyle of Kenosha. May you live free and full of years, and may your tribe of bold men, full of courage and action, increase! May your slanderers pay through the nose and your accusers become a stench to their own children. You, sir, are a hero.
King Kyle? Hero? A bit over the top, no? Yes, but you’ll have to pardon the exuberance. Justice done is a joy to the righteous (Prov. 21:15), and so I write with rejoicing, gratitude, and no little bit of delight. I am not alone. I know men who shed tears when the final “not guilty” was read.
We have no personal connection to Kyle Rittenhouse nor Kenosha, Wisconsin. Why would we care?
We care because of what we share with Kyle. We are citizens. And that still matters to some of us.
That word—citizen—has fallen out of favor and usage. In the media, people are usually referred to as taxpayers or consumers or simply as individuals. But we are citizens, endowed with certain rights, like life, liberty, property, the presumption of innocence, and a fair trial by a jury of our peers. And self-defense.
We are citizens, which means we belong to a people and a place. Like Kyle did to Kenosha. True, he lived across state lines. But his dad, grandmother, other family members, and friends lived in Kenosha. He worked there and spent lots of time there. He belonged.
We all belong somewhere.
If Marxists, communists, antifa, paid agitators, and Democrats (but a I repeat myself) show up to set someplace ablaze, mostly peaceful of course, then good men will hope that they too have the courage that Kyle did.
To stand there. To stand up. To protect.
That’s why we care.
We also care because it wasn’t just Kyle’s life that hung in the balance. In a sense, America hung in the balance, too. I don’t mean to be overdramatic, but the stakes were high. The second amendment, the right to self-defense, and the right to a fair trial were all in the dock. Could the corporate media and their purposeful lies send a young man to prison for life? Would jury intimidation work? Could threats of more riots sway the judge? The fact that he was on trial at all demonstrated a failure of our society.
If I could rip off the old Solzhenitsyn quote: We knew Kyle was not guilty; they knew Kyle was not guilty; they knew we knew Kyle was not guilty; we knew they knew we knew Kyle was not guilty; but they still prosecuted him.
If the state succeeded in securing a guilty verdict, a worrisome precedent would be set. Citizens everywhere would lose. It already seemed like a show trial to threaten any other would-be Kyles from defending their people and place.
But one institution held firm. Presented with the facts of the case, much of it thankfully on video, a jury of Kyle’s citizen peers found him Not Guilty.
It turns out the five words that would have gotten you banned from Twitter a few months ago are true: Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing wrong.
And so it is that I’m filled with gratitude. Not only that the twelve jurors reached the correct verdict, but that our fathers so many years ago set such a system in place. The system did it’s job. Against untold pressures from mobs, both on social media and in the streets, the justice system prevailed in this case. Praise God.
The New York Attorney General may want to completely uproot our system, but I believe the Rittenhouse case shows why it is worth fighting for. Trial by jury is a product of the Christian West, and is one of the many reasons we must protect, recover, and rebuild the Christian West, no matter how many times Russell Moore or David French call you a Christian nationalist for doing so.
This is why now is not the time to sit back and enjoy a victory. We must practice one of the principles of war: pursuit. The enemies of Christ will not back off because of one setback. We shouldn’t back off either. We have squandered much of our inheritance in the West, but not all of it yet. We should press for every right that remains of what our fathers bled for. Don’t fall for the regimevangelical psy-op that says the Christian thing to do is to acquiesce to whatever demand the leftists are currently making.
But more than that, we must pursue by evangelizing the unbelieving Right. I believe the Left is overplaying their hand and digging their own grave. They will inflict much more damage before they are done, but the people are beginning to rub that crusty stuff out of their eyes and see clearly again. What they see is they’ve been sold a lifetime full of lies.
The tide will turn at some point. I believe we are about to see a significant pendulum swing back hard to the right. If these folks remain in their unbelief and sins, that swing could very well turn violent and produce a bloody future.
But their revolt is against the unnatural, that which does not accord with Reality, and their desire is to return to a West bequeathed to them by Christ, though they know it not. In other words, they are not far from the Kingdom.
So, let’s give them the Gospel of the Kingdom. They are ripe for the picking.
Big Eva types are so quick to remind us: the world is watching. Indeed. The unbelieving Right sees The Gospel Coalition slander Kyle Rittenhouse. They see Russell Moore call them demonic. They see Ray Ortlund demean them. They see David French call Drag Queen Story Hour a blessing of liberty. They see every squish in every seminary Christianize every progressive talking point. They see the think-tank Christians neutralizing any meaningful Christian political action opposing the left.
The world is watching, and they are not impressed.
But what if they saw the church, triumphant and militant, with psalms on our lips and joy in our hearts? What if they saw the church fighting and feasting? What if they saw us both putting enemies to flight and showing kindness to our neighbor? Proclaiming a gospel of victory and the kingship of Christ, all the while building a society that assumes His kingship?
What if they saw us standing up for Kyle Rittenhouse? What if they saw us standing up for them? Actually loving them?
We have a big opportunity before us, but we won’t seize it by constantly gesturing left, as if all unbelievers are progressives.
One could argue Kyle should not have been on the streets of Kenosha that night. I get it. Maybe it was unwise. Maybe a better calculation for him would have been to stay home.
But he did what none of the authorities across the nation would do. He took responsibility. When so many officials stood by and let rioters wreak havoc in their cities, Kyle stood up to defend.
In that sense, he is a hero. Not because he shot and killed rioters. That was tragic, and I wish it wouldn’t have come to that. He’s a hero because he rose to serve, to defend, to protect.
But I’m not so starry eyed to not see reality. Outside of Christ, Kyle Rittenhouse is lost, dead, and on the road to perdition. He needs Jesus.
So, if I actually got the chance to toast Kyle, I would add to that first paragraph: May you know and love Jesus Christ, the true Defender, Savior, and King, who washes away all your sins and brings you to God the Father.