2/22/13 Speech and Censorship

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Political correctness is becoming the new censorship. We’ve come to expect career-ending repercussions from politicians, sports-casters, entertainers, and athletes when they “misspeak.” No one is allowed an accident any more. A slip of the tongue is fatal. Every group that identifies itself in a particular manner has become as sensitive as a root canal gone bad.

Even that most sacred of free speech arenas, the church pulpit, has become a target of the politically correct crowd. Whatever it is that persuaded Tim Tebow not to speak at First Baptist Church in Dallas will be dissected, digested, and most likely found unpalatable and regurgitated, but what is being preached there is not a new-fangled sort of hate-speech. The Bible still says what it says, and what it has said for millennia, and has not changed much. It is society that has changed and is continuing to change. That there are those who dislike what the Bible says, or the claims it makes for itself is nothing new . . . but far from it.

The world is not changing for the better, because liberals who used to defend free speech with all the chutzpah they could muster are now those crying “hate-speech” at anything they decide is at odds with their views. How did liberals allow themselves to be thus manipulated?  Liberals used to be the tolerant ones. I think those days are behind us. Liberals seem to be well on the way to becoming intolerant zealots, changing places with the old guard conservatives who tried their best to stifle liberal voices of tolerance.

Perhaps I am misusing the word “liberal.” What I am seeing now fits no classical definition of the word, but more closely fits the word “bigot”. Yet “bigoted” is never a word that liberals would think of applying to themselves, as if they were exempt from this very human condition. We used to lump liberals and leftists together, but there’s a significant difference. Liberals were champions of free speech. Leftists never were, though they claimed that right for themselves. In the classic sense of the word, I suppose I’m a liberal, though I’ve never been a leftist.  

I’m beginning to think I’m becoming intolerant of intolerance. Does that make me bigoted? If this continues, I suppose I’ll just vanish into the ether like a collision between equal amounts of matter and anti-matter somewhere out in deep space, or worse, I’ll begin to pull my hair out. The lunacy of human behavior is getting beyond reasonable comprehension, headed towards intolerable.

Many historians have pointed out that it’s the tolerant who ultimately yield to the zealots, because the tolerant allow zealots to go about their business long after the business of zealots has become the destruction of those who tolerate anything besides the object of their zeal. This has been oft repeated in history. Why should it not be repeated yet again?

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you.”

Am I hated because I’m a Christian? If so, then clearly I’m not the first. Nor the last. Nor alone . . .

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