Here is how dictionary.com defines McCarthyism:
The practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”
Those in power, in an effort to crush those who disagree, who hold differing values or views, make unfair accusations against the dissenters. When Joe McCarthy was accusing people of communism back in the 50s, conservative Christians were likely to cheer him, because he was attacking something we hated.
Now, the tide has turned and we are counter-cultural. We are the despised minority standing against the mindset of the majority. We believe that sexual activity outside of the marriage between one man and one woman is sinful. Once, we could claim that our views were part of a moral majority. Study after study has made it clear that this is no longer so. We are, according to Dr. Moore, a prophetic minority – called to speak an unpopular truth to a world that hates it and will hate us for proclaiming.
There is a new McCarthyism rising in America. Now, anyone who dares to speak in contradiction to the culturally-approved mindset is accused of being filled with fear and hate. “Communist” has been replaced with “homophobe.”
Let’s make an admission here. Homophobe has not been totally inaccurate as the church has responded to homosexuality, especially in years gone by. There has been plenty of hate and hurt throw by our brothers and sisters against those with same-sex attractions and behavior. But there has been a new day dawning among conservative Christians, in which we saw that our duty was to love homosexuals in the name of Christ as we proclaim the gospel to them. Today, most Christians and most churches have bent over backwards to demonstrate love, to accept homosexuals as people, to befriend them and care about them.
What we cannot do, without sacrificing everything we believe in, is say that their sin is not sin. Christianity is about admitting sin. I’m a greedy, angry, lustful, self-centered, proud person. I accept that my nature is sinful. I repented of my sins and put my faith in Jesus Christ. The process is far from over, but God is transforming me to be like Christ. Whatever is part of my personality or behavior that is not in alignment with the character or commands of Christ is sinful and needs to be transformed. That is Christianity. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sinful. We cannot, without denying everything we are, accept homosexuality as okay.
But our world is not satisfied with this. It demands that we not only love and accept homosexuals as human beings, but that we approve of their behavior. So, we are now becoming an oppressed minority.
The Duck Dynasty Disaster
Phil Robertson has all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb. When he is asked a question, he answers it. He has not learned to apologize for his biblical convictions. GQ magazine asked him some questions, and got the answers I think they were looking for. Phil thinks homosexual behavior is a sin. (I’m shocked, said no one in the world!) Granted, Phil was a little more colorful than perhaps he needed to be. That seems to be who he is. But he stated a view that until about 5 years ago was the dominant view in America, a view that is still held by millions (one studied said around 45% of Americans). Homosexuality is a sin.
By the responses of the media and some advocacy groups, you’d have thought Phil called for internment camps for homosexuals or some sort of punitive societal action. He didn’t. He was asked a question about sin and he (in his own inimitable style) answered it.
It did not take A&E long to suspend Phil. I don’t know what will happen. I hope the whole family will walk away. A&E has made millions off this Christian family and the hypocrisy of the TV network here is blatant. I certainly hope that Phil and his family don’t back down and cowtow to the new societal overlords who demand that everyone march in lockstep with their view of things.
Some Helpful Perspectives.
There have been a lot of articles written about this and social media lit up like a Christmas tree last night.
I found the following articles especially helpful.
1) Marty Duren wrote: “Are there any LGBT community members who support free speech?”
This is the most effective approach to this issue in the public realm. This is a free speech issue. Are Christians, who stand against the views of now-majority culture going to be allowed to speak our minds? Or will New McCarthyism (my designation, not Marty’s) try to intimidate us into silence?
Here is some of what Marty said:
Methinks A&E is protesting all the way to the bank. Suspend the star but not cancel the show? How ironic a network that makes millions under the First Amendment guarantees, does not defend it for one of its biggest stars.
There is a First Amendment. It guarantees freedom of speech. There is a protected right to speak one’s mind, even when it goes against the prevailing thinking. Even when it goes against “tolerance.”
2) Micah Fries wrote: “Phil Robertson and Christian Dissent”
Micah warns us about how we express our dissent – making sure that we speak the truth in love and season our dissent with grace. Good reminder.
Here is a sample of his excellent post.
Beyond that, let us be careful to speak the truth in love. We believe in a traditional view of marriage. We believe that God designed marriage as a reflection of Jesus’ relationship with the church, and therefore marriage is more than a social convenience, it’s a theological statement. We should not be afraid to say that. However, we should be cautious of how we say that. Far too often, in a time like this, we get emotional and we respond with what may be true words, but we shout them out of anger, or embarrassment, and ultimately destroy our message, not because the message is wrong but because the messenger is.
3) Russell Moore’s article was a solid homerun! “Duck Dynasty?”
I am so thrilled he is now leading our ERLC! His article here was both gracious and direct. Here are some quotes.
… I hardly think silencing him can be called open-minded. In fact, it’s the sort of censorious cultural fundamentalism that is neither “progressive” nor “pluralistic.”
Let’s have the sort of cultural conversation that allows us to seek to persuade each other, not to seek to silence one another with intimidation. That’s what real diversity is all about.
Let’s have genuine diversity, meaning let’s talk honestly with one another about what we believe and why. Muting one another isn’t what debate is for in a free society. It’s what remote controls are for.
There were many other good articles, but these I recommend most highly.
It is a new world now, and we are going to have to learn to live in it, even when our views are hated and censored by our sinful culture.