Then yesterday, I get a protest. Talk about a late echo. This was not a laser quick reaction. It simmered for awhile in crock pot before I got my spoon full. One letter was from the temple leader, J. P. Singh. Another was from our neighbor at Bianco's deli, and the third was a reporter from the West County Times, asking me to call him.
The Sikh's projected this march/parade right downtown El Sobrante on Appian Way as a multicultural, multi-religion peace event. Part of the Sikh religion is that they respect all religion and that someone can end up in heaven taking numbers of different spiritual paths. This parade included a gigantic picture of one of their gurus that was proceeded by a crew to wash down with a hose, the road right before this truck and trailer. There were the loud chants on microphone in Panjabi and the pounding drum beats. All of this, of course, was to proclaim the equality of all religions, the peace between them all, and the definite non-supremacy of Sikhism.
Contrast this with about seven or eight men in Sunday dress, walking quietly on public sidewalks, handing out literature, speaking in our national language. The letter I received from Mr. Singh said:
We do not preach hate of "religious supremacy". . . . . By the way in Sikhism we respect all religions the same - none is inferior or superior. I respect Lord Christ and Prophet Mohamed as much as I respect my own Gurus.
Then I get the letter from Mr. Bianco, who wrote to Mr. Singh and sent me a copy:
Am I to understand that the only booth where "hate-speech" pamphlets were put out against you is in my parking lot? I want you to know I STRONGLY CONDEMN such attitudes, and I'm embarrassed and disappointed that my neighbors would treat you, (also my neighbor) in such a manner.
Mr. Singh is as well, as you might understand, doing all of this letter writing in the name of peace. He wants to protect everyone's constitutional rights and welcomes a parade with loud Bible preaching about the Prince of Peace right in front of the Sikh Temple. Well, hate speech was preaching what Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." That's exclusive, yes. It is also something that has been preached here in this country since the first Pilgrims got off the Mayflower. It was Jonathan Edwards, one of the early presidents of Yale, who preached the famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
I talked an hour with the reporter and he seemed to agree with me at the end. Here was my rant. We can't be intellectually honest and not judge important things like what we believe about eternity. We can't relegate judgment to only movies and restaurants. Jesus told believers to warn about Hell in his kingdom parables in Matthew 13. If rejection of Christ results in Hell, we can't be loving by saying nothing. If we love health, we must hate disease. Truth is antithetical. We can't be against things and for them simultaneously.
Baptists gave the country the first amendment freedom of religion. We cannot coerce someone to believe something. And we don't want to, but neither do we want to be coerced to believe in nothing. Alan Bloom over 25 years ago now wrote The Closing of the American Mind. His thesis was that if we tolerate all and believe nothing, we will close our minds to everything. Religions that contradict cannot both be true. We cannot be intellectually honest and not recognize this. If not, then all we will tolerate is not believing. Anyone who believes something is rejected for intolerance. These are things that are important and should be discussed and then believed, not muted because of politically or theologically incorrect positions.
People who won't tolerate belief have a belief---they believe in not believing and reject everything except tolerance. They love ecumenism. Ecumenism many times doesn't take Scripture grammatically and historically. Ecumenists often allegorize Scripture, an approach to the Bible that arose a few hundred years after God's Word was written. This method of interpretation is extremely subjective. The meaning of Scripture depends much on personal feelings. In this case, getting along with each other becomes more important than finding out and then obeying what God said. Men in this perverted system, of course, are more important than God and what He said. Getting along with one another becomes the only acceptable belief.
Hate speech becomes anything that disagrees with toleration. Toleration is agreement not to disagree. Everyone gets along as long as no one believes anything. And they can believe nothing except toleration because they have made Scripture totally subjective. You may say that Jesus is Lord; you may say He was a good man; you think He was just a prophet; you say he was a revolutionary; and you say He didn't even exist. And you're all right! Anyone who says differently has done hate speech and is an opponent of peace and unity.
Here's the thing. We didn't try to stop the Sikh parade, but they want to stop us from handing out tracts. Why? Our quiet tract distribution was about our supremacy. Their loud, bombastic peace demonstration was about equality and inferiority. But if you say it wasn't, then you are judging and that's not good for unity. But who said anything was hate speech? Aaaah. Yes. Is calling something "hate speech, " well, "hate speech." We will defend their right to call it "hate speech" as long as we have the right to keep preaching faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, as intolerant as that might seem.