Larry Buford (File photo)

The most common meaning of the expression “chickens coming home to roost” is that eventually, bad deeds or words come back to bite the source.

During the first presidential debate of 2020, former President Donald Trump was asked explicitly to denounce the right-wing militia and White supremacist groups which he refused to do. Instead, when he said “proud boys stand back and standby” he actually elevated what was referred to then as a mere far-right street gang, to national prominence. We now know the culmination of that was the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill, and it begs the question, why did the rioters feel so emboldened?

First of all, they were invited and incited by the former president; and secondly, they felt it was their White privilege to place a chip on their shoulders and dare the government to knock it off – a product of the two justice systems in America: one for Whites, and one for everybody else. Remember when January 6th rioter Jenna Ryan tweeted “Definitely not going to jail. Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong.” For equality and justice’s sake, why can’t we apply the Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have done unto you” no matter what race, creed or color?

Proverbs 22:6 reads “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The popular saying “Spare the rod, spoil the child” – derived from Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” – does not necessarily mean to punish a child, but rather to guide. Shepherds use rods to guide the sheep. What happens when children are misguided?

Let me illustrate with a couple of examples from the Bible: In the Book of 1st Samuel, Eli the high priest raised and supervised Samuel the prophet, and yet, his own two sons Hophni and Phinehas went unsupervised doing evil in the sight of the Lord – breaking the law of Moses, including that of having sex with women who gathered at the entrance to the tabernacle. Although Eli chastised his sons who were also priests, he did not go far enough to restrain them, and was punished for neglecting his parental duties. As a result, the Lord cut off Eli’s favor, and his two sons died the same day.

Likewise with King David (1st Kings), by his failure to discipline and train his children born through his union with several wives. One of his sons, Adonijah, became spoiled, disobedient, and entitled, going so far as attempting to overthrow his father and take over the throne. Another son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar.

Because King David did nothing about it, another son Absalom became so bitter and hardened that he took matters into his own hands and killed Amnon, his own brother. Just like Eli, David knew what was going on, but failed to act and perform his parental duties.

Going back to Proverbs, what are far right-wing conservative parents and churches teaching their children? Why are they weaponizing religion and shoving their beliefs down people’s throats when even Jesus did not. Jesus spoke truth and gave people a choice. In the story of the rich young ruler, Jesus did not run after him when he turned away to try and shove the truth down his throat. He merely gave him a choice and left it for him to decide. Our existence is about choices. The cross is a choice. Who are we to judge others?

While those who are being held to account for their part in the riot that took place on Capitol Hill, are laying the blame at the feet of the former president, we as Americans should be placing the blame at the feet of far-right parents and religious leaders who have failed to teach their children God’s word in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

So, when we see our children acting up and acting out, let us truly examine and honestly ask ourselves, where did they get that from? Can you spell boomerang?

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: [email protected]