A recent article in the Los Angeles Times called into question whether or not boycotting a state over a social issue would hurt the state's economy. An economist quoted in the piece said, "Boycotts can help frame the image of an economy or a region. Image framing and [public relations] really does have an impact, but it's really hard to tease out what that impact is."
In other words, attempts to shame state legislators around the country for listening to their constituent's concerns about transgender bathrooms and religious liberty may be bad for public relations without affecting public revenue. Nevertheless, Christians in the public square are supposed to feel shame for believing and living out "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
In post-Christian America, biblical wisdom holds little appeal to secularists; scant premium is placed upon spiritual wisdom. Secular, fringe-extremists have become so infatuated with idol worship that they have lost all sense of restraint, with the goals of pushing transgender bathrooms, turning straight men gay and heterosexual women into lesbians. These zealots fit Immanuel Kant's definition of the fool: "one who sacrifices things of value to ends that have no value."
We now live in an age of State ideology when there is a correct position on same-sex intercourse and marriage, climate change, transgender rights and Muslim immigration. Free speech does not extend to these areas, there is only the approved party line and dissenting views are not allowed in public without being scorned openly. Secularists no longer want to win the debate; they want to end the debate.
Solomon painted with an even sharper edge when he prophetically described those who fuel social anarchy in America: "A foolish evil man walks in rebellion" (Prov. 6:9, The Aramaic Bible in Plain English). The Hebrew word there can be translated "insurrectionist," and this describes the type of people who drive the LGBT agenda. Michael vs. Fox's commentary is more descriptive. He writes that these are people with "shoddy moral character, prone to wickedness and simple nastiness, and devoid of good sense and moral compunctions."
The recent battle over same-sex intercourse and marriage, and now transgender bathrooms, reinforces the truth stated by Solomon, namely that "Folly seeks a public venue and appears in much the same places as Wisdom. They are often in proximity, proposing alternative choices in many circumstances."
Up until the last century, America was a culturally confident civilization. Her citizens were imbued with a deep biblical faith that embedded itself into religious and political thought. The Founder's believed "that the laws made by them were subject to divine law, and that citizens retained freedom even to disobey a secular law as revealed in the Bible."
Until the last two to three generations, the greatest export sent out by America was Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Lord of Life. Righteousness elevates a nation to greatness in the world, making it a power for good. The surest way to progress, prosperity, and the common good was "not the wisdom of policy, extent of empire, splendid conquests, flourishing trade, abundant resources—but righteousness—exalteth a nation. ... What an enemy is an ungodly man to his country!"
What do we do?
Mark Steyn noted in his recent speech to the Institute of Public Affair's Gala Dinner in Melbourne:
"If you push back as hard as the Left pushes for its causes, your cause can be won. You can reframe the debate on your terms and you can put them on the defensive. And they are the ones saying, 'No, you can't say that', they are the ones saying, 'No, that's not funny', they're the ones saying, 'You have to be banned, you have to be silenced'.
"They are not yet going into the offices as they did with Charlie Hebdo and gunning down everybody, but they're on the same continuum of the people who are always arguing for why you have less freedom, why you have to shut-up, why you have to be quiet, and why you have to crawl into silence while they get to impose their world on you. And it doesn't have to be like that."
If you want "Example No. 1" of what Steyn described, consider the trouble that retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling faces (including potential job loss) every time he dares to say anything that contradicts the politically correct lines about the LGBT movement or radical Islam. (See here for recent brouhaha.)
America is in need of a spiritual resurrection. A return to the basic principles of America's Founders. Like the proverb by Geoffrey Chaucer: "Out of the old fields must spring and grow the new corn."
True believers don't succumb to the shame-game of secularists, however, remembering what their Lord said, "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:25-26, ESV).
We simply need a Gideon or Rahab to make a stand.
1 Mark Steyn, Speech to the Institute of Public Affair's Gala Dinner in Melbourne (2016)
2 Michael V. Fox, Proverbs
4 Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution II
5 Charles Bridges (1794-1869), An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs
6 Harold J. Berman
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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