It happened in the Garden of Eden and during the time of Paul.. In America today, do those in power still exchange the “truth of God for a lie” (Rom. 1:25)? A healthy society is one that encourages the open and ongoing search for “truth”. A good understanding of the cause and effect relationships embedded in the universe by its Creator can lead to a happier, more prosperous society. Freedom of speech assists in that search. In recent years however, some expressions of “truth” have been designated “offensive” … “politically incorrect” … and punishable by those in power.
There are countless examples of political correctness and the suppression of free speech:
Recently, former star pitcher Curt Schilling made the following accurate tweet:
“5-10% of Muslims are extremists … in 1940, 7% of Germans were Nazis … How’d that go?” He was making the point that a passive majority is useless against a determined, well organized minority. Schilling’s tweet was factually correct but politically incorrect, and he needed to be punished. ESPN pulled him from the rest of its baseball broadcasts this season, including the playoffs.
At the University of Delaware, students were forced to undergo ideological reeducation as part of the university’s compulsory student orientation program. The program was described as “treatment” for students with “incorrect attitudes and beliefs”. Students were taught to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism.
In an excellent column by Dennis Prager entitled “The Left Sees Only White Evil” … he notes that white killers of blacks are presumed to be racists … while black killers of whites are not so presumed. They may be insane or somehow justified … and if a gun is involved, the gun may take all the blame … but they are never racists.
Finally, the CEO of Modzilla was fired because he supported California’s Proposition 8 that supported the traditional definition of marriage.
The concept of political correctness is actually quite sinister. Created narratives now replace evidence, experience, and reason in defining reality. These narratives are not debated in the public sphere and deemed acceptable … they are imposed. Anyone critical of them is punished or ridiculed. Often the narrative is anti religious or Marxist in nature.
One narrative is to divorce behavior from character and create “victim status” for select and preferred groups. This narrative fundamentally destroys character and is responsible for suppressing rather than elevating those who believe it.
Another narrative condemns America for supposed past injustice and claims she needs to be “fundamentally transformed”. This narrative ignores the fact that American capitalism has done more to relieve poverty throughout the world than any other force. The need for “big government” becomes a created narrative since only it can eliminate through redistribution the supposed evils of “inequality”, “micro aggressions”, and “the rich”.
The narrative that we have “a right not to be offended by others” is one reason given for suppressing speech. In a free society of course there is no such right and by what authority does someone define what is offensive? We certainly have a right to disagree but to become offended usually is a choice. The more people believe and exercise the choice to be offended, the more society is divided.
This “right” discourages critical thinking in school and universities. My son recently took some social science classes in college where the questioning of these narratives in class was “verboten”. Is this the new norm? Students develop an “expectation of confirmation”, and learn to ignore the timeless principle that educated people should actively seek out intelligent people with whom they disagree, for debate and discussion. They lose sight of their right to speak, that instead they must defer to arbitrary authority. They cease thinking like a free people which is a threat to free society.
The “right” not to be offended does not extend to everyone. It certainly does not extend to Christians, or even to men in some cases. When women criticize men it’s called feminism. When men do the same to women it’s called “sexism” or “misogyny”.
The deeper reason for limiting speech is the rapid transformation of society with narratives like the ones I have mentioned … they exchange “the truth of God for a lie” An honest and determined search for truth often finds it … “seek and you shall find” Reasonable discussion tends to expose lies and educate the general population. It’s far easier to say “the debate is over” and mock those who disagree.
Why is the subject of political correctness and suppression of free speech important?
God says “the truth shall set you free”. Since the foundation for ALL totalitarian regimes past and present is some form of lie, this may explain why all have suppressed free speech. Truth has nothing to fear in open discussion. Truth is where the evidence leads. Truth is its own narrative. Why then in American classrooms and universities is free speech suppressed? What do they have to fear?”
Society can survive if it commits immoral acts, assuming it learns from them. It cannot survive if it calls acts that are immoral “good” or acts that are good “immoral”. Narratives that overturn true morality are always fatal. We must resist that path. God warns “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness ” (Isa. 5:20) … and the “woe” that God describes in the verses that follow is quite sad.