Saturday’s event in Charlottesville, Virginia was shameful on several levels, especially that aspect where Virginia churches allowed themselves to be used as pawns by the left in their drive to abridge free speech in America.
Compromise of one’s principles is a terrible thing that leaves you with feelings of shame and regret. We all can recall moments when we wished we had spoken up to push back against something with which we disagreed, and when we do, we also recall the shame we still feel for not having taken that opportunity to push back. We fear being ridiculed or shamed for expressing our opinion so we sit quietly hoping someone else will stand up to say what we’re unwilling to say. In that moment, we’ve been terrorized into censoring ourselves, and those expressing a view with which we disagree are able to continue to do so while other people in the audience who disagree start to wonder if their view is wrong because no one else is pushing back. The speaker gets away with presenting an otherwise unacceptable viewpoint which causes doubt because no one pushed back.
After that first time, compromise gets easier and we find ourselves rationalizing situations in search of reasons to justify our compromise. Perhaps it goes something like “well, we would say something, but it would cause a big stink and it’s just not worth it.” Compromise in our Christian lives leads to sin as we ignore our Christian principles to succumb to temptation. In Matthew 10:33, Jesus says “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Jesus was warning us Christians not to compromise our Christian faith by allowing the world to keep us silent in proclaiming Him as our Savior. Christian Americans are under constant assault by the left to compromise our Christian principles and refrain from witnessing to the lost. The left creates a climate of fear and intimidation causing Christians to think twice before speaking out. That moment of second guessing is the time when we question the value of speaking out and far too often end up keeping silent while hating ourselves for our lack of courage.
Freedom of Speech is one of the foundational principles of America enshrined in the Constitution in Amendment One of the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers knew that the only way to guarantee free speech was to extend that guarantee to all speech and not just that speech expressing popular ideas. For, if free speech was limited to popular speech, then criticism of the government would be stifled, and the ability to freely criticize the government without fear of persecution was the reason for the First Amendment in the first place.
Who decides what ideas are popular and should enjoy freedom of speech? That is the exact question the Founders wrestled with in Philadelphia as they were drafting the Constitution. If there were ideas which were off limits when it came to free speech, then those in power could silence Americans by moving criticism of their actions into the unpopular speech category. It is for this reason that all Americans must be free to express whatever opinion they desire regardless of its unpopularity or repulsiveness to the body politic. For, we do not enjoy freedom of speech if we must speak under duress created by the fear of repercussion for our speech. Duress is a form of terrorism whereby we are terrorized into self-censorship. It is exactly this form of terrorism which is practiced by the left in the form of political correctness.
Political correctness was created by the left as a means to silence criticism of their radical regressive agenda seeking to advance socialism and communism in America. The political correctness movement employs shame, ridicule, economic coercion, and media propaganda to send the subtle message that certain ideas are off limits when it comes to debate in the national conversation. The left abhors shame unless it serves their purpose. Those on the left constantly carp about how wrong it is for homosexuals, transgenders, or any of their other favored classes to suffer shame from mainstream America, but they have no problem turning on conservatives to shame them into silence when conservatives attempt to criticize the regressive agenda.
The message subtly gets sent that one is better off keeping his mouth shut and not publicly criticizing lefty causes. If you disagree with this assessment, then try defending traditional marriage as the union between a man and a woman and see how fast you’re labeled a homophobe by the left. Or, try defending the historical worth of Confederate war memorials and see how fast you’re labeled a racist! Those who do so and get shouted down by overwhelming opposition gathered for that purpose are seen by others who then think twice about expressing their support. A climate of terrorist fear is created causing other critics to self-censor as freedom of speech is once again abridged in America to the dismay of the Founders.
Churches across Virginia put out the word to Christians that they were needed in Charlottesville to oppose hatred and racism by white supremacists gathering to protest the removal of a Confederate Civil War monument. Thousands of Virginians heeded the call and poured into Charlottesville to escalate an already politically charged event and increase the odds that something tragic would happen. When tragedy did strike, lives were lost and civility in political discourse was further destroyed. On Sunday morning, preachers across Virginia took to their pulpits to denounce the violence in sanctimonious terms designed to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing for the part they played in unnecessarily escalating the situation in Charlottesville.
Virginia churches aligned with the left to create a climate of intimidation as a group of Americans sought to lawfully express their First Amendment right to free speech. Their overwhelming intimidation of this group sent the subtle message to anyone else wishing to defend against the further removal of historical monuments that they could expect the same terrorizing response. It matters not what the motivations of the protesters might have been. Under the Constitution, they had the right to exercise their free speech and express their opinion, but the left, aided and abetted by Christians called forth by their churches, sought to create a climate of duress and intimidation to prevent the protesters from enjoying their constitutional rights.
By aligning themselves with the left to shut down criticism at the removal of historical monuments the left has deemed racially insensitive, churches have become useful idiots in the left’s war on free speech. The next monument the left wishes to remove just became that much easier to tear down as defenders think twice about getting involved due to the events of Charlottesville. And, what happens when the next issue is the defense of traditional marriage? You think the left is going to show up to defend the free speech rights of Christians? No, they’ll be opposing Christians just like they opposed the much less defendable Confederate monument protesters.
To destroy free speech, the left has gone after ideas which are difficult to defend such as preservation of Confederate monuments. To assist their efforts, the left has waged a propaganda campaign against these Confederate monuments for decades beginning with recasting the Civil War as a struggle to preserve slavery instead of the actual reason of states’ rights. Recent lefty propaganda has ginned up the idea that these Confederate monuments represented racism, and stirred the pot with astroturf groups hired to demonstrate fake outrage over the presence of these monuments. Yesterday it was traditional marriage which the church has refused to defend for the past fifty years since no-fault divorce was introduced. Today it is Confederate monuments, and tomorrow it will be another affront to Christians.
Christians are portrayed by the left through their media propaganda machines as right-wing extremists for holding biblical views and being unwilling to compromise on their Christian beliefs. The left has been tearing at Christianity in America for decades by destroying traditional marriage, forcing prayer out of schools, denying the rights of Christians to protest the evils of the abortion industry, and waging economic war against Christian business owners refusing to compromise their beliefs to promote homosexuality and other evils that run counter to their Christian beliefs. Homosexuals purposely attack Christian businesses and Christian public officials when their needs could be met elsewhere decrying what they describe as economic tyranny when they are inevitably refused service. However, nary a peep was heard when Airbnb canceled the reservations of the protest group prior to their arrival in Charlottesville even going so far as to also cancel their accounts because they disagreed with the group’s ideas. Reprehensible as they may be, the ideas of the Charlottesville Confederate monument removal protesters are no more reprehensible than those of homosexuals destroying traditional marriage or abortionists destroying lives because they will inconvenience the mothers.
Churches exhort their congregations at every opportunity to go out and witness as Jesus declared in the Great Commission. We Christians are mindful that we face the full wrath of the left and their orchestrated political correctness campaign of intimidation as we go about our lives, and we choose to select our witness opportunities carefully, aware that we should not to deny Jesus but also aware that the left lies in wait. By aligning themselves with the left to intimidate the free speech rights of the protesters in Charlottesville, these same churches that exhort us Christians to witness and then pressure us with guilt when we fail to do so have made witnessing that much harder by furthering the left’s political correctness campaign of free speech intimidation. They’ve also demonstrated that the churches don’t have our back whenever the left comes after us for observing our Christian principles.
Leadership in the various Protestant denominations has acquiesced to the leftist agenda afraid to stand up for Christ in a world where evil is increasingly portrayed as good while good is denigrated as evil. Yet these same Protestant church leaders urge us to go forth where they fear to tread. They’ve watered down church doctrine to increase membership only to see membership continue to decline as more people figure it’s not worth the trouble to attend church when church no longer stands for anything. Church leaders have made a Faustian bargain with Satan as they’ve shifted their focus from God to attendance and finances. Now they’ve aligned with the repressive forces of the left which seek to silence criticism through the intimidation of the political correctness movement and seek to destroy the church as a great obstacle to the spread of evil throughout the world.
I am disgusted with myself for not standing up yesterday to challenge the pastor of the church I attend when he piously sought to shift blame away from the churches which threw fuel on the smoldering coals of Charlottesville and onto the protesters seeking to exercise their free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. I sat there while the pastor defended the church from any future charge of racism by pointing out that the church bishop is a black woman, as if that had anything to do with the events in Charlottesville. No, that was a predictable attempt to ward off a charge of racism, and a sure indicator of the fear that the pastor holds of the left. I am ashamed to admit that I compromised my principles by refusing to speak out for fear of being ridiculed and attacked. That in itself is a sad commentary on the church when a member does not feel loved enough in their own church to stand up and speak truth to power for fear of being ostracized and shouted down for holding beliefs contrary to the conventional wisdom. Any attempt on my part now to rectify the situation would reek of the stench of second guessing, and I have to live with the shame of my intimidation.
The leftists co-opted Virginia churches into aiding their campaign of free speech intimidation by selecting a target hard to defend with which to incite their moral outrage. These churches became useful idiots in the left’s war on free speech, and will soon find themselves on the receiving end of its wrath whenever they decide to attack another Christian principle. Those who heeded the call to gather in force for an overwhelming show of intimidation and the pastors who called them are clueless as to what they’ve done, but the church leadership is probably all too aware of the choice they’ve made. Free speech in America died some more in Charlottesville Saturday, and the left gained that much more power to silence conservative criticism of its agenda.