Why Christians should not support Antifa
If you have been watching the news in America, you will notice all sorts of unusual terms being used – Antifa, BLM, Boogaloo, Accelerationists, to name a few. So, who are they and what do they seek to gain from the current civil unrest? In the coming weeks, we will examine the major players and provide a Biblical response to their claims for radical change in America.
Beginning with Antifa, it is the name given to a loosely organised set of activists who claim to oppose authoritarianism, racism and right-leaning politics. The word “Antifa” comes from the German word antifaschistisch, meaning “anti-fascist”. Antifa’s version of activism is distinguished mostly by a willingness to (anonymously) engage in intimidation, denial of free speech and violence. Antifa members believe their tactics are necessary in opposing the “threat” of conservative political views. Although being “anti-fascist” is noble in theory, Antifa’s tactics are counterproductive and inherently oppressive. In fact, it could be argued that their actions represent political vigilantism. Clearly Scripture does not support Antifa’s approach to politics or culture.
Antifa believes their cause is noble because they are “resisting” what they see is a threat to freedom caused by conservative politics. Voting, debate, dialogue, legal action and other such courses of action are dismissed as inefficient or ineffective. Rather, Antifa believes the necessary response to perceived fascism is tangible, physical action – including physical harassment. It also promotes direct acts of violence against people and property, though its leaders frequently attempt to distance themselves from this element of the movement.
Although Antifa prefers to use violence, rioting and intimidation as its tools of political warfare, it also uses a process referred to as “de-platforming”, particularly against those with whom they disagree. Any words, speakers, writers or events that fall outside of Antifa’s preferred ideology are censored, cancelled, boycotted or otherwise shut down and denied a voice. The de-platforming approach involves protesting, blockading or literally shouting over unwanted expressions to nullify them. Therefore, at its core, de-platforming literally denies people the ability to express or explain their views.
Another common tactic used by Antifa is “doxing”. This refers to the act of deliberately revealing personal information about opponents (ie phone numbers, home addresses or other details). This leads to harassment of opponents through the use of threatening phone calls and, in some cases, the threat to cause violence to a person in their home. Of course, the aim of doxing is to increase social pressure on the opponent in order to make them conform to Antifa’s ideology.
From a secular perspective, Antifa’s tactics are hypocritical and self-defeating. In practice, Antifa merely replaces perceived government fascism with actual mob fascism. I use the term “perceived” because according to the definition, the US Government would not currently be considered as fascist. Fascist ideology is a combination of unaccountable leadership, regimented adherence to certain ideas and forcible suppression of dissent, heavily relying on fear and intimidation. It is clear that the group that is fascist is actually the group who claims to be opposed to it. After all, any unofficial and anonymous group who violently harass, drown out or destroy any person or business with whom they disagree is not resisting fascism – they are crowdsourcing it.
No serious Christian should support Antifa. The Christian worldview in no way allows for rioting, predatory attacks, intimidation or any of the other tactics associated with Antifa. While believers should always stand against racism and oppression, the methods used by Antifa are inherently contradictory to Biblical Christianity.