The Cost of So-Called Free Speech

Monument to the Empty Bookshelves at Bebelplatz

Monument to the Empty Bookshelves at Bebelplatz

No doubt you’ve heard about the maelstrom surrounding Chick-fil-A. It all started with an article in the Biblical Recorder, reposted in Baptist Press News – an online magazine I’ve written for several times. (On the one hand, I wish I’d written something that would go viral. But not at this cost.)

For most people, it probably came as no surprise to learn that Chick-fil-A espouses Christian values, what with all its 1,600 restaurants being closed every Sunday. In the interview, company President Dan Cathy was asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage. He answered, “Guilty as charged.”

Period. He didn’t rant about being anti-gay. He didn’t spew hate-filled venomous words directed at gays. He merely expressed his opinion.

As a result, some Chick-fil-A restaurants are being denied business licenses. Whole cities are trying to close them down.

A famous celebrity tweeted that she wishes cancer for anyone who eats at Chick-fil-A. Really? Cancer? She went on to describe the chicken as "antibiotic-filled tortured chickens 4 Christ."

All this outrage because one person expressed an opinion which the Politically Correct Gestapo didn’t like.

Political correctness says that all opinions are equally valid, no matter who expresses them. But when a Bible-believing Christian states an opinion, then the true spirit of political correctness is revealed. The reality is that all opinions, with the exception of Judeo-Christian ones, are valid.

It brings to mind George Orwell’s Animal Farm. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” That book, along with his Nineteen Eighty-Four in which Big Brother closely monitors every activity of every citizen, foretold the story of Communism.

In Communism, all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. I know what that is like. I’ve lived in a country trying to crawl out from under that.

But I’m also reminded of Communism’s polar opposite: Fascism. In this case, a dictator with complete power forcibly suppresses all opposition and criticism.

Last year, I visited Berlin and walked across Bebelplatz, the site of the infamous Nazi book burning held on May 10, 1933. The Nazis burned around 20,000 books that evening, books which did not tout the Party Line. Is this where we’re headed?

In another story this week, Bibles weren’t burned but might as well have been. A hotel in England’s Lake District removed Bibles from their rooms and replaced them with the racy novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Aren’t all people in a free society entitled to hold a whole variety of opinions and express them openly without fear of censor? America has lost that.

More than that, we’ve lost reverence for God and His Word.

Maybe as a nation we are headed towards Communism or Fascism. I’m no expert and I don’t like to get political in my blog. But if that’s the case, then God is bigger than any mere man-made system of government. I’ve seen with my own eyes how persecution has made churches, albeit underground ones, stronger. Nobody and no government can stop the gospel from being proclaimed. Even if Christ-followers become mute – perhaps by being imprisoned or killed – the very stones would cry out that Jesus is Lord.

In God I trust, not in any government. How about you?

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