After protestors began to use the words, "black lives matter", some attempted to respond that "all lives matter". This response created a backlash because of a perceived attempt to minimize or divert the message of the protestors. All the associated brouhaha made me think a bit.
Do we really believe that all lives matter? Many among us agonize over the issue of abortion, believing it to trivialize the idea that all life matters. Likewise, we as a nation struggle constantly with the fact that many in advanced stages of illness or aging wish for an end to life but the prevailing view of the sanctity of life denies any right to die "prematurely".
Many will probably see that this emphasis on living as long as possible, regardless of quality of life, is grounded in our traditional religion. Physical demise closes the door on any opportunity to "get right with God", so we must hang on as long as possible.
In contrast with the above examples of a supposed commitment to "all life matters", we also witness our cavalier disregard for the collateral damage of our wars. If a "few" of their innocents die over there while we protect our interests here, that is generally seen as okay. The idea that a few should die so the greater number can live in security of life and property is rarely questioned. Only God can pull the plug, unless it is a state sponsored termination.
Whenever, the human urge to seek vengeance, retribution, or security hits us, the sanctity of life is jettisoned like so much ethical garbage. The real message is that my life really matters; and, if yours needs to end to insure mine, then die you must. Noble sounding words dwindle to sound bites when actions tell a different story.