Gary: Now, Religion in the News…. This week’s item is from the US News and World Report, August 2000. The following are excerpts from an article entitled You Can’t Make This Up! More Cultural Craziness That’s Stranger Than Fiction: “The Federation of Meat Shop Owners in France is offended that reporters refer to murderers as ‘butchers,’ since most butchers are gentle, peace-loving workers. An architect in New York complained about a news report identifying the architect of a shooting spree. ‘There is,’ wrote columnist Clyde Haberman of the New York Times, ‘the ugly face of anti-architect bigotry. Because it begins with the masculine-sounding syllable ‘his,’ the word ‘history’ has been banned at Stockport College in England. Also banned are the phrases, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ (offensive connotations of class) and ‘slaving over a hot stove,’ which ‘minimizes the horror and oppression of the slave trade.’
“By the way, Stockport College is in MANchester, England. A government-run employment bureau in Wassail, England, banned the words ‘hard-working,’ ‘reliable,’ and ‘smart,’ on the grounds that they discriminate against the disabled. The phrase, ‘commitment and a desire to succeed are vital’ was banned as well, apparently for insensitivity toward lazy people.”
Dave: I don’t know how you come up with these news reports, Tom. This is in incredible. Go ahead.
Tom: What I wanted to talk about in this is, on the one hand the world is going to hell in a handbasket. We have so many things that are so anti-God, anti-fairness, anti-justice, on and on…
Tom: Anti-rational. On the other hand, we seem to be increasing our sensitivities toward one another. I know some of this is…this article, which is from US News and World Reports is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but the idea here, that we would be so sensitive to such things as the butchers being worried about getting a bad name because that term is used for murderers and so on. What’s going on here?
Dave: Tom, I…I don’t know. I can’t deal with this. But we see it all the time. The irony is that at the same time that this supposed sensitivity for people like this, you know, “His-tory.” It begins with “his.” Well, I don’t know what you’re going to do with “woman,” because that has “man” in it.
Tom: Or Manchester, England. The college. What are they going to do? Change the name of city?
Dave: Yeah. Right. But at the same time that we’re having this nonsense—that’s what I would have to call it—20 years ago…well, maybe not 20; 50 years ago, surely, this would be ludicrous. At the same time, they can badmouth Christians. Christians are the butt of jokes. Fundamentalists—well, of course, we’ve got some fundamentalist Muslims who are terrorists. Nevertheless, if you’re a fundamentalist, you simply stand for the fundamentals of whatever you believe.
And Islam does teach terrorism. It does teach murder. This is Islam itself. But a fundamentalist Christian, then—don’t connect them with a fundamentalist Muslim. So, well, Tom, part of what this is doing, you can’t be straightforward in your speech. You can’t deal with truth. You have to be politically correct, religiously correct, because we don’t want to offend anyone. And that really relates to what we were just talking about. We are so self-centered. “Don’t you dare offend me. Don’t tell me the truth about myself.”
It’s in the church, tragically. So if you earnestly contend for the faith, if you dare to say that Jesus Christ is the only way—wait a minute! You’re offending the Muslims. You’re offending the Buddhists. And this is really the way it’s going, not only in our country but in the world.
Tom: Yeah, and we’re talking about not just ideas and opinions of these people over here, or those people over there. We’re talking about laws being made!
Tom: What’s going to happen to the courts? On the one hand, you have championing the rights of the homosexual. On the other hand, they’re putting people in prison for pedophilia! Now, how do you reconcile that?
Dave: Well, “championing the rights of the homosexuals”—but what about other people’s rights? The homosexuals trample upon the right not to have this flaunted in your face. The right not to have your children exposed to this sort of thing, but they can push it on society. They can push themselves and their standards on society. But if you dare to stand for Christian standards, dare to stand for the truth, then you are criticized as being “insensitive.”
Well, this is the way it’s going to be. It’s going to get worse…
Tom: That’s a good question, Dave. You really think there’s not going to be some kind of situation in which somebody wakes up and says, “This is ridiculous! This is insane!”
Dave: No! “Evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse.” It think it’s going to be worse. Jesus raised the question: “When the Son of man returns, will He find the faith on the earth?” No! That’s like Al Gore said at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast: “Belief in some higher power, by whatever name, in my opinion is essential.” Isn’t that wonderful? So just so long as you believe in any higher power, some false god—but don’t dare to say that Jesus Christ is the only way! That offends people. Now, we have destroyed truth, and that’s exactly where we’re going, unfortunately.