A colleague recently posted a highly controversial cartoon on their wall about the “stand your ground” laws in Florida. He then proceeded to describe why he disagreed with the laws, loved the cartoon and didn’t feel Christians should support a law that promotes violence (that is a weak paraphrase). My rant for today is not about his position, to which he is entitled, but about what followed. The first series of posts were the lackies who jumped on the liberal bandwagon and sang his praises and how clever the cartoon was. Then a few of us jumped in with conflicting views, and worse yet, evidence and facts to back our position at which point discussion was halted – “Brothers, I don’t want a debate, I just want everyone to understand what a bad thing this is. Let’s all pray for peace.”
Silence the opposition! This is the continuing assault of all who would disagree with the liberal elite, the educated class who know all and see all. I am blessed to have a son with whom I can openly debate controversial topics. We often disagree in principle, theory, and application; but we are the better for our debates. His reason and logic stimulates me to work for my answers and question my own assumptions – I am confident my challenges do the same for him.
The goal of reasoned debate is to shine the light of reason on difficult and challenging topics. Intellectual honesty demands that we step up to the plate with our mental opposition and “give a defense for the hope that is within us…” Somewhere along the continuum of time, debate has become a dirty word. To disagree somehow is the equivalent of a violent and personal attack. There was a time we could debate homosexuality or civil rights or women’s roles and not have an opposing opinion designated as hate speech.
WARNING – there are several ways the liberal left is trying to silence those who differ with them. Stand up for what you believe in and you will develop enemies. Winston Churchill said it best, “You have enemies? Good! That means you stood up for something in your life.” Here are a few things to watch for:
- The Passive Silence – I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Our friendship is to important to me. Translation: I can’t defend my position and you are irritating me.
- Compromised Silence “Let’s just agree to disagree.” This may be the most skilled method of silencing the opposition. I see your views as a threat and continued debate will surely shine light on my inadequate argument, lets just agree to disagree (so shut up).
- Shamed Silence – Homophobe, hater, intolerant – this form of name calling tries to shame the opposition into silence. If I can’t defeat this person in honest debate, I will try to discredit them with name calling.
- Legal Silence – In some places legislation is being passed that infringes on our free speech and religious speech. Saying you oppose gay marriage is more than intolerant, its illegal. If we can’t defeat them – imprison or fine them.
- Violent Silence – we haven’t yet seen much of this, but this is the next stage in every changing culture. If a group cannot be silenced in every other way, the opposition often turns to violence to silence their detractors.
My acquaintance may have genuinely just wanted to end the discussion and move on, but I am not quite ready to be quiet. You are welcome to ask me politely to stop, or try to shame me, or sue me, or beat me with chains, but if you really want to silence me you have two options:
- Stop reading my blog post, unfriend me on Facebook, or put some earplugs in your ears.
- Stop me from breathing because I am not going down without a fight (or at least one heck of a good debate).