Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free Speech and Diversity That Isn't, And Half the Country Knows It

Many state colleges and universities have courses on pluralism.  I'm not kidding when I say that Harvard includes me in their study.  I've received a few emails and phone calls from Harvard students through the years.  I think it is interesting when you read what Harvard says "pluralism" is on its definition page, which includes the following four aspects:
First, pluralism is not diversity alone, but the energetic engagement with diversity. . . . Second, pluralism is not just tolerance, but the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference. . . . Third, pluralism is not relativism, but the encounter of commitments. . . . Fourth, pluralism is based on dialogue.
I'm fine with a definition acceptable to Harvard.  I have used the example of Coke and Pepsi.  They both get to exist, but that doesn't mean they have to promote each other.  They can even say one is better than the other.  I would expect it.

I can tell you that I have an open mind when I talk to people from other religions.  When I recently visited a Sikh home, I asked him to give me his explanation of Sikhism and what motivated it.  I spent and hour and a half sitting, listening to him and asking questions.  I don't believe Sikhism, but I really know what it is and why I'm not a Sikh.

Every Christian with whom I have spoken in California at state education institutions says that the message of Christianity is not welcome.  It's not fine for any of our church members in the public high schools or state colleges or universities.  They cannot give their opinion without the threat of violence.  When I say violence, I mean that they are given intimidating treatment.  That is allowed to go on.  Only one point of view is allowed.

I was talking to a young lady who attends El Cerrito high school here, who is a Christian.  Everyone is protected in their speech except for Christians.  She is African American, she grew up in California, and she says that here California is supposed to be some kind of model of diversity and multiculturalism, but she can't freely talk about Christianity on campus.  You can with every other religion, she says.  This is not someone who grew up in our church.

Trump wins the election, and there are violent riots in the street, destruction of property, physical harm to people.  I hear one side call that first amendment rights.  On the other hand, Trump supporters celebrate, and that is covered as hate speech.  Just supporting the victory is viewed as hate speech by a large portion of our population.  Those same people use foul language and expletives to deal with Trump support.  For sure, some Trump supporters retaliate, but nothing like what they get from the proponents.

Jamelle Bouie, who is on mainstream media, a regular panelist on CBS on their Sunday shows, as well as appearing on many others, writes a column for Slate magazine, entitled (and he is serious), "There Is No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter."  Many, many have said they don't want Trump to succeed and that he isn't their president.  I've never seen so many death threats.

Everyone reading here knows that in most of the United States and especially in public institutions, you cannot show support for Trump.  I'm sure there are athletes in the NFL, NBA, and MLB who like Trump, but they can't say it.  You saw 100% support of Hillary.  I get why the coaches in professional sports feel like they will be better off if they bash Trump.  They don't think they can keep their locker room together if they said they wanted him to win over Hillary.  Maybe he liked her, but Greg Popovich is a recent example.  Here's someone you know is a complete filthy mouth, who is regularly disrespectful and condescending to people all around him. You know he is.  He gets away with it, because he has won five championships, and perhaps a few other reasons that people won't say.

If we want to keep free speech, if we want to continue saying what we believe or even think, then we better get doing it, and doing it in a major way.  They can't shut everyone down.  If people are too afraid, the numbers will help.  I'm not saying for people to be disrespectful.  I'm saying speak out in a respectful way against abortion, against evolution, for a Christian worldview, for a true view of history, for conservative principles, and for the Bible.  We better stand right now.


Tyler Robbins said...

Your story of listening to the Sikh gentlemen is encouraging. I once spent two hours talking with a 19-yr old man who was a Wiccan. It was a very illuminating experience, but not in a good way. The man was astounded that I simply wanted to know what he believed. It gave me an opportunity to contrast his views with the Gospel, and to make comparisons about worldviews, eternity, sin and the meaning of life.

Anonymous said...

I was also encouraged by these stories. Looking at the example of Jesus in John 4, we can see that it is important to listen to other people if we are to reach them. People are going to listen to us present the gospel better if we take time to listen to what they believe. It also gives us a better understanding of how to share the gospel with them in a way that they understand.

Thank you Bro. Brandenburg and Bro. Robbins for taking the time to listen in order to more effectively share the gospel.

Kent Brandenburg said...