No basis for discourse

DiscourseIf I say that I like red cars, it is not logical to conclude that I think that all non-red cars should be immediately assigned to the scrap pile. It is true that I like red cars, but for a variety of reasons, none of the cars that are currently in my driveway are red. I don’t hate non-red cars. A positive statement about one color of car is not an implied hatred of all other colors. To think so is a logical fallacy.

But on several hot-button issues in our day, this understanding of logic seems to be lost on the political pundits and media personalities.

What brought this to mind is the “controversial” hiring of David Tyree by the New York Giants. David has gone on record saying that he is of the opinion that marriage should be between one man and one woman. This is a positive statement. But somehow this gets construed as hate speech by those who support gay marriage. A few years ago, we has the same bustle over statements may by Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-a.

No evidence has been presented that either Dan Cathy or David Tyree has issued threats or said anything that would put anyone in the LGBT community at risk. David Tyree is not preventing anyone from pursuing what they think will make them happy. He simply made some statements about what he thinks is true and optimum for humanity.

We seem to have gotten to the point in our society where we can no longer have civil discourse. If someone makes a claim for truth, rather than take on his arguments and present counter arguments, it is much easier to just label his opinion as hateful and thereby wrong. It is easier to discredit the messenger than to respond to the message.

But that sword should cut both ways. Why then is it not wrong for comedians like Bill Maher to make derogatory comments about Christians and other people of faith? Is it too much to ask that those who preach tolerance would be sure that those who support their point of view do so in a tolerant manner?

Apparently it is too much to ask.

But fear not. I am reminded that when Paul wrote most of his letters, Nero was the Emperor. The conditions arranged against faith in general and Christianity in particular were formidable. But two observations should be made:

  1. Paul spent no time complaining or otherwise advocating that Christians seek or wield political power to bring societal change.
  2. All the might of Rome could not quench the truth and Christianity spread despite the efforts to stamp it out.

Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:18). If Jesus is who he claimed to be, no redefinition of marriage, no labeling of belief as hatred, no intolerance can thwart what God has purposed.

As we consider the injustice of how Christians get lampooned in the media, we need to take seriously Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39) and Paul’s command to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

Paul expected, and received opposition. Why should we expect it to be any different for us?