Woe to you when all men speak well of you. – Luke 6:26
It’s funny how things coincide sometimes.
This past Sunday, our pastor delivered a riveting sermon. In his gentle voice, he spoke about perfecting the art of giving offense.
Yes really. In discussing the text of Mark 6:14-29, he encouraged us to adopt a “sanctified indifference” in which we should be unconcerned about the consequences of telling the truth. John the Baptist wasn’t afraid to tell Herod the truth, despite the very real danger. “One of the great problems in the church today is that we are missing that ‘sanctified indifference’ – the willingness to unashamedly call a spade a spade,” our pastor said. “As Christians, we have a moral obligation to talk the talk and then walk the walk.”
The reason I found this sermon so timely was because the same day a reader sent me equally riveting words by Charlton Heston. I’ve read them before, but coming as they did on the heels of the sermon, they struck me anew with their force. “Political correctness is tyranny with manners,” Heston accurately observed.
Because WND and other independent news sites are not in the pockets of the mainstream media on any level – philosophically, morally, ethically, religiously, whatever-ly – they are moving targets for people who prefer to work by character assassination rather than logical debate. It’s well-known that when liberals start to lose an argument, they start attacking personally. (Trust me on this.)
Character assassination hurts. It’s dirty, it’s unfair, it’s a shameful fighting technique, and it’s wildly popular among the elite. That’s why most people are reluctant to expose themselves to it, and instead choose to be silent.
“If you talk about race,” said Charton Heston in his speech, “it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.”
Yet those types of accusations – all of them ugly and painful to receive – are the very epithets hurled at anyone who dares to speak his mind counter to the standard mainstream media dribble. The accusation of “racism” is a favorite, used as a last line of defense when a liberal is losing an argument. And the worst thing about being labeled a racist, notes Burt Prelutsky, is that denying it gets you nowhere.
And that’s been the most efficient and successful techniques the left has implemented in its culture war. Throughout history, in places that have descended into socialism and fascism and Marxism, the first thing the “agents of change” did was identified and then silenced the critics. (Fairness Doctrine, anyone?) One method is to use a government-backed media to assassinate the character of those who speak up.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we go looking for trouble. We don’t necessarily have to be blatant, obnoxious, or in-your-face about our opinions. But we do have to be persistent, consistent and unsilenced. “God doesn’t permit us to intentionally go out and pick a fight with those who don’t see things the way we do,” said our pastor. “But He does expect us to ‘speak the truth in love.’ And if that offends someone – tough, but I still love you!”
Being a small fish, I doubt I’m on the radar screen of the mainstream media, thank God. But the words I write are fightin’ words to some who disagree. And the fight won’t be a clean one, either. It will be a dirty character assassination. I know perfectly well I’m leaving myself open to accusations of “isms” galore. (At least I have a blog and can print the best snarks for everyone to enjoy.)
It annoys the heck out of the elite media that they can’t shut down the conservative, alternative media in order to continue with their insidious culture war without interference. The alternative media have an exasperating tendency to unite conservative thinkers and let them know they’re not alone.
Alone. Ah, that’s another well-known method. Anyone who disagrees with the mainstream is always the “only one.” Have you ever expressed concern about a policy in your public school, only to be told you’re the “only one” to complain? Have you ever written a letter to your congressman about a violation of the Constitution, only to be told you’re the “only one” who cares?
It’s the old psychological tactic of divide-and-conquer, and it works brilliantly. There’s nothing like going solo to deflate one’s sense of outrage and dilute one’s motivation. Without support, it’s hard to continue in any endeavor.
Another fun strategy in the culture war is when stating one’s beliefs or convictions is considered “hate speech,” even when expressed in the mildest terms and unaccompanied by anything even remotely approaching violence. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve been asked your opinion – don’t you dare state it lest you offend someone with paper-thin skin and a massive chip on the shoulder. (Think Carrie Prejean.)
Consider these examples of college kids punished by offended and vindictive faculty. It apparently eludes the esteemed academics that “diversity” of opinion is one of the least-tolerated hallmarks of most universities. But hey, conservatives are intolerant, right?
Or look at Sarah Palin. Because she dared to diverge from party lines, she is treated to no fewer than 18 “ethics” violations, which the media report as serious accusations rather than costly harassment.
For me, I’ve reached that point where silence is no longer an option. It’s scary at times to speak my mind, but it’s scarier to remain silent.
It’s scarier still to imagine a world in which all of us, myself included, are forced to remain silent. That’s why I figure I’d better speak up while I can.
So should you. Speaking up may not win you friends among the elite, as Jesus discovered. But you never know who you may influence as a result.