Jake exemplified courage. In public forums, it is appropriate to walk away from an abusive situation. You probably trained your children and teens to take this action when experiencing a bullying circumstance. You’d be proud of Jake.
Todd Starnes reported an incident at the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association. At this conference for high school students, the speaker, Dan Savage, noted gay and lesbian advocate, went on a profanity-laced tirade against the Bible and verbally assaulted the students who hold a biblical worldview. Interestingly, the subject the speaker was designated to address was the issue of bullying. Yet, he used the power of the platform to condemn and abuse students who believe the Bible.
Several students walked out of the offensive lecture. One was Jake Naman. Appropriately, he stood up and walked out. He did not shout back at the speaker or make gestures or hold up a sign. Other students followed. As the students left, the speaker spoke about their leaving and condemned them from the platform—a platform designed to educate future journalists learning to report news, not to give cultural commentary.
Naman’s father, Phillip, told Starnes, “Dan Savage is a bully. When you are attacking somebody for their character, for their beliefs – that’s abuse. Dan Savage was abusing the children in a bullying fashion.”
In recent years, the hostile clash between opposing worldviews appears to be escalating and more fractious. It is very evident regarding certain sexual behaviors.
When serving as a public policy officer for another state convention, I experienced this first hand. A state legislative committee was holding a hearing about amending public school regulations regarding bullying. The goal was to bring in sweeping regulations that required teaching kindergarten through high school students the message of neo-tolerance characterized as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
There was already an extensive bullying statute in place in this state so that local districts were empowered to regulate and enforce their policies using these standards. However, that was not enough for those who want public acceptance of gay and lesbian behavior statewide. So their strategy was to hijack the current bullying statutes.
During the hearing, what really crushed my heart was the 11-year-old they brought to the table to testify for the new regulations. With tears in his eyes, he said he was bullied because he was “gay.” While I emotionally sympathized with the young man’s sexual confusion, I wanted to scream, “Who told this young boy he was gay? Has a grown adult, a teacher or counselor funded with tax-payer dollars, told this young boy he was gay?” They don’t have a right to do that. Has someone in authority used the power of their position to fill this boy with all the wrong answers about his confusion?
Such is the state of the union—political correctness. Or should I say “incorrectness?” And the intensity is escalating higher each year as a certain segment of the society is demanding normalization of its behavior.
If nothing else, this is a clear case of political bullying. The only way to deal with bullying is to begin by saying, “Enough! I will not take this any more.” Jake had the courage to stand up and walk out – to push back the bullying.
Sadly too many believers are passive about things they should be convictional about. In a June, 2006 article, Al Mohler wrote about this concept and submitted a commentary on what causes such passivity.
“Courage is far too rare in many Christian circles … Liberal churches have redefined compassion to mean that the church changes its message to meet modern demands. They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer. But, in the culture of political correctness, this argument holds a powerful attraction.
“Biblical Christians know that compassion requires telling the truth and refusing to call sin something sinless. To hide or deny the sinfulness of sin is to lie and there is no compassion in such a deadly deception. True compassion demands speaking the truth in love –and there is the problem. Far too often, our courage is more evident than our compassion.”
Yet passivity is not courage. Cowering is not courage. Courage includes some form of action and risk. When biblical conviction is placed on one side of the scale and political correctness on the other, ultimately the measure of compassion always tilts toward conviction. And faith is a verb that demonstrates great courage.
Lord, may the courage of the cross impact our lives each day.