Thursday, January 07, 2016
WA Post: "Trump...Winning War On Political Correctness"
The Washington Post is suggesting that Donald Trump may be winning the war on political correctness.
Not only are Republicans and conservatives weary of the PC charade, even a majority of Democrats are sick of it.
A majority of all Americans---68%---say "enough" with the madness.
The Post says, "Trump is channeling a very mainstream frustration."
In fact, the Post identifies "political correctness" as the Republican presidential candidates "all purpose enemy."
Ted Cruz and Ben Carson have also identified Political Correctness as a cancer on our culture.
I'm not into "channeling," but there is a growing level of rejection toward the PC nonsense.
It's time for the Christian church to get over it as well.
The Washington Post tells the story of Cathy Cuthbertson, a former administrator at what the Post refers to as "a command post of political correctness---the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio."
She says, "You know, I couldn't say 'Merry Christmas'. And when we wrote things, we couldn't even say 'he' or 'she', because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody's afraid of offending me."
The Post says that changed for Cathy when she attended a Trump rally in Hilton Head, S.C., where she now lives.
She says the Republican frontrunner is saying what a lot of Americans are thinking, but are afraid to speak up because of political correctness.
And, "We're tired of just standing back and letting everyone else dictate what we're supposed to think and do."
The Post says, "In the 2016 Republican presidential primary season, 'political correctness' has become the all purpose enemy. The candidates have suggested that it is the explanation for seemingly every threat that confronts the country: terrorism, illegal immigration, an economic recovery that is leaving many behind, to name just a few."
But it's much more than a "talking point" for a politician.
In their own article, the Post admits that Cathy's sentiment is felt strongly across the political spectrum.
Surveys show 62% of Democrats, 68% of Independents, and 82% of Republicans are sick of PC. Among whites, 72% said they feel that way, but so do nonwhites---61% agree with whites.
The disgust is neither partisan nor ethnic.
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt says, "People feel tremendous cultural condescension directed at them and their values are being smirked at, laughed at by the political and media elite."
William Galston, a former Democratic strategist for Bill Clinton and Brookings Institution scholar, makes an interesting point. He tells the Post, "Driving powerful sentiments underground is not the same as expunging them."
He says, "What we're learning from Trump is that a lot of people have been biting their lips, but not changing their minds."
He admits, "Allegations of racism and sexism have turned into powerful silencing devices" and "you can be opposed to affirmative action without being a racist."
Political Correctness has been used as a powerful silencing tool.
In his book, "The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back," Peter Jones says, "America is still number one, but unfortunately she is number one in homosexuality, feminism, divorce, the destruction of family values, abortion, political correctness, and the occult humanistic spirituality of New Age religion."
William Bennet, who served in the Reagan administration, said in his book, "The Devaluing Of America," that political correctness is "the new MaCarthyism of the Left"---the thought police.
William Lind is the foremost conservative researcher on the subject of political correctness.
I strongly recommend you take a few minutes and read his article, "The Origins of Political Correctness."
In 2000, he wrote for the first time in American history, "Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic."
It has gotten worse, not better in the past 15 years.
However, it's clear the Post and Galston, although both admit Americans are fed up with PC, favor working harder at "changing minds" than "changing direction."
There is the suggestion in the article that pushing back against political correctness may merely be an excuse to say ugly things to, and about other people.
The article is also clear---the Washington Post does not support Trump. Nor will they support any other GOP candidate.
But forget Trump---and the other politicians for a moment.
Americans are asking, "Will you please remove your mask?"
There is a fundamental yearning in America today for authenticity.
Let's talk about the Christian church, its mission and the message of the gospel.
Paul wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).
The message of the gospel, therefore, is about repentance and redemption.
In Acts 17:30 he says God has overlooked times of ignorance in the past "but now commands all men everywhere to repent."
Repent from what?
Political Correctness is not only choking our culture, it is choking the church.
Isaiah (5:20 ) wrote, "Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter."
Malachi (2:17) says, "You have wearied the Lord with your words, yet you say, In what way have we wearied Him? In that you say Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them."
As Pastor Rob Bell puts it in his book, "Love Wins Out," God would not punish anyone for sinning, sending them to an eternal Hell. That would not be fair. God is a God of love and would not eternally punish a misdeed.
Isaiah would say "Woe" to mainstream denominations who, in their fear of losing even more members, have embraced political correctness in its fullness---telling lost people God condones homosexual relations, abortion and other deviant behavior because God is "Love," all to create a "welcoming" environment.
However, I believe the Lord is "wearied" with the words---or lack of them, in too many of our evangelical churches.
Political correctness and the hyper desire to be accepted by the culture, evangelical churches are, too often, redirecting the message to emphasize personal happiness, rather than personal restoration and redemption through the power of the gospel and a commitment to share that message with others as Christ instructed us.
It is impossible to share the gospel in its fullness without violating the culture and vernacular of political correctness.
And now under this administration, sharing one's personal faith in Christ may cost that person their military or teaching career.
Proselytizing in those environments is now illegal.
This, too, has had a silencing effect on the church.
Under the guise of "relating" to the culture---or making the Bible "relevant," we have become one with the culture.
Those who desperately need redemption and restoration are merely given affirmation---and 5 keys to happiness---when in fact they need a complete transformation---redemption and restoration.
Too often it is impossible for those seeking help and personal change to distinguish between the message of the church and that of a dozen other great service organizations in their communities.
It has been said that had John Newton looked to the message of some churches today, he would have been directed to a sensitivity class to better understand his racism, and a vocational retraining class to find another trade more acceptable than slave trading.
And his song, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see," would have never been sung.
But it was sung. From slaver to preacher. His preaching was so biblically powerful that the church could not accommodate the people who came to hear him preach.
He was a primary influence in the life of a young William Wilberforce, who as a politician, not a preacher, is credited with bringing about the abolition of slavery in his country.
Memo to pastors: Don't underestimate the power of the gospel for filling the pews.
Memo to all of us: Be Bold. Be Faithful.