The chaos in Charlottesville is the confluences of radical left wing politics, the misunderstood nature of free speech, and the foolishness of glorifying the confederacy. Each one needs to be properly dissected before we can reasonably find answers and unity.
First: Most of us have forgotten that the Civil War was the most costly in terms of deaths than any conflict in American History. Over 600,000 men and women died fighting for the preservation of the Union and ultimately the freedom of black slaves in America.
The confederacy lost the civil war and was reunited with the union. Tragically some of the southern states felt compelled to make heroes out of those who rebelled. This ought to have never happened and the statues honoring them should never have been put up. The confederacy lost, their values were defeated, at the cost of much blood, heartache and pain. As a historian I would never erase who and what the south did in rebellion against the union but in no way ought we have ever erected monuments to them. At the same time no one but the state should take them down.
Second: Alt-left-wing politics (ANTIFA) is not organized to stand for social justice and human rights but to fan the flames of rebellion and racial angst in America. Charlottesville became a great opportunity to fan that flame and the hatred and stupidity of the white supremacists resulted in the death of a young women. White supremacy is bankrupt, anti-Christian, and anti-freedom. They need to be defeated with changed hearts and logic. The violence of ANTIFA and white supremacy and those like them also has no place in America.
Third: In Boston thousands marched against a free speech rally. The rally had little to do with free speech and I am thankful that those who protested did it peacefully. At the same time I wonder how many of the Bostonians realized what they symbolized? To object to free speech is to trash the very foundation of America. Unfortunately I saw too many signs carried by the Bostonians decrying free speech. Free speech is still the best weapon we have to defeat true fascism, racial hatred, and deception. When free speech is taken away then only the powerful have a right to speak.
Above all else Jesus has it right! Speaking through Paul to the church at Ephesus 4:15 he said, Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. True liberty and freedom means that we listen to the ideas of others, point out their flaws, and seek in everyway possible to show them the truth. Group and individual violence will never achieve any lasting resolution to these issues. It is only the truth that ultimately prevails and that truth does not come by force but by genuine love, patience, logic and wisdom.